Q and A
August 9, 2010
Q: Who, among the wrestlers you've known over the years, could make an effective transition into the political world under the right condition? There have been a few already, of course.
A: I have no idea; I am not up on politics enough or otherís views on politics to have an opinion.
Q: Would you, under any circumstances, ever running for political office yourself?
A: See above.
Q: Years ago you said in a Q that your favored match was SummerSlam 2001 with Edge and years later your match with Bryan Danielson (sorry another Daniel Brian question). Can you tell me please why ? Is been itching me for a long time. Are they close ? Or is the later one by far your favored?
A: I donít think I can pick one absolute favourite. My Summer Slam match with Edge was by far the biggest singles match of my career, the Danielson match one of the best technically, I also loved my first singles match with Terry Funk, because it was one of the most emotional because of the crowd reaction.
Q: I finally was able to catch your match against Danielson for the ROH Championship (and it was awesome!), and right after the match ended, the crowd started to chant something at Bryan. Unfortunately, the commentator was screaming over the crowd so I could not make out what they were chanting. Do you happen to recall what they were chanting at Danielson immediately after the match?
A: I have no idea, if I had to guess, ďBest in the WorldĒ.
Q: You've probably been asked this already, but, as someone not on the WWE payroll, how do you feel about Martha Hart's latest lawsuit against the McMahons?
A: I donít know enough about the agreement between the two after the initial lawsuit, so itís hard to comment. Personally I think Owenís career should be remembered and available to people, with the royalties that selling it generates going to his family or The Owen Hart Foundations charity.
Q: If you were to go to WWE today and start a new ďTeam CanadaĒ faction, who on todayís roster would you chose to replace Elix Skipper, Major Gunns, Carl Oulette and Jim Duggan?
A: This is not going to happen, and if it were the obvious choices are the Canadian guys on the roster like the Hart Dynasty, Christian, Edge, Jericho, etc.
Q: I was wondering if you ever met Martha Hart and what your opinion is of her in general, and your opinion on the recent lawsuit she filed against WWE?
A: I only met Owen on 2 occasions and never met his wife.
Q: In Steve Austinís book he says when Owen Hart tried to kick out of the pin during their 1997 IYH match, he probably did so to make himself look strong but in doing so potentially made Austinís neck even worse. My view was Owen did it to try and maintain kayfabe as the pin looked so weak due to Austinís condition. Whatís your take on it?
A: I donít think there is any point speculating or passing judgement. In the heat of the moment when you donít know the condition of your opponent and are improvising on the fly, on a live PPV, who knows what is going through your mind..
Q: I know from the endorsement that Trish Stratus gave you for your SWA that you helped the women back in 2001-2003. Looking at how far womenís wrestling has fallen in WWE today, do you think you could, with a straight face, consistently help the current divas plan 1 minute and 40 second title matches?
A: I think the problem is bigger than just helping these girls plan matches. I think in many cases (certainly not all) the current womenís roster is not as talented and the office is booking them a lot less credibly, so just helping them put better matches together is not the problem, and if it were Fit Finlay is still with the company, he can do every bit as good of a job as I can at it and quite probably far better.
Q: On the last Q & A you answered a question about JR getting disrespected in storylines. What I think is the important question is how can Vince McMahon consistently ignore JRís announcing ability? Jim Ross has been very professional on his website about answering these questions but I think heís made it perfectly clear he wants to be announcing and itís not his decision that heís not. His passion that he added to the broadcasts was invaluable in my opinion and the current crop of announcers arenít in his league. On top of that, I was never a JBL fan when he was a wrestler but found him entertaining as a smackdown broadcaster and JR once commented that even though heíd love to broadcast with JBL, the powers that be would never let it happen with both of their southern accents.
A: Vince believes what Vince believes and that is just the way it goes, heís the boss itís his show. There are talented workers that are passed over for less talented workers in WWE as well; this is not a new occurrence. JR is the best (BAR NONE) wrestling announcer this business has ever seen, but I donít think Vince is looking for someone to call wrestling matches, he wants younger people who can announce his weekly episodic television show, and Vince is the boss so thatís is what we get.
Q: Trademark question using Mr. Anderson as an example: Could WWE have trademarked Mr. Andersonís gimmick with lowering the mic and introducing himself? Could Ken Anderson, presuming WWE owns Mr. Kennedy, use the name Mr. Kennedy on TNA tv if he legally changed his name to Ken Kennedy?
A: I do not know.
Q: I want to ask you the same question you asked someone on your last Q&A. Are there anymore TNA fans?
A: I fear probably less than when I originally asked that question.
Q: I was watching Impact recently and they aired a Kurt Angle vignette. In the segment, Kurtís voiceover claimed that, ďIíd rather wrestle in front of three or four thousand people chanting ĎTNA!í than 15-20 thousand people sitting on their handsíĒ. Now, this was an obvious shot at the WWE and an attempt to put over the passion of the TNA fan base, but do you think admitting something like that on the air does more harm than good in terms of making TNAís product far smaller league than the WWE? We already know it is, but why publicly acknowledge your weaknesses?
A: I see your point but honestly at this stage of the game I donít think it matters. Everyone knows TNA is the minor league because they have been telling us that on Impact for years.
Q: We all know what a huge heavy metal fan Jericho is. During your time together, especially when you were training and working together, were you a fan of the music at all, and did he convert you to any of it? Or are just very tolerant of such things?
A: While I am not a big music fan I do enjoy a wide range of music so I was able to enjoy what ever music Jericho was playing at the time. The only music I have been completely unable to enjoy was Jerry Lynnís death metal.
Q: Have you happened to have tried any of Jim Butcher's stuff. He has two great series - Dresden Files and Codex Alera. You might like the Dresden Files series as it's urban noir fantasy. I think his stuff is fantastic and really easy quick reads.
A: I have not but when I get a break in my ďto read listĒ Iíll consider checking him out.
Q: I'm assuming you've either watched or are at least aware of Lesnar's performance at UFC 116 but have you seen any of the interviews that Heyman did leading up to the fight and after the fight. More specifically interviews he did with Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting. I bring this up because Heyman just knows how to sell a person. With the short 5 minutes pre fight interview that I saw, I genuinely felt even more interested in the fight than I already was. Granted that, a person like Heyman has always been used in pro wrestling as essentially a speaker / promoter, I found that he can be extremely valuable to the world of MMA or at least promoting fighters in MMA. IF you have seen these interviews I would like to know your opinion of Heyman or just having someone that can speak to an audience so well and how much of an asset that can be.
A: Iíve been saying this for years; I think any sport could use Heyman either in promotions or as a motivator for the athletes.
Q: Do you like NXT and do you think the show's format should be different?
A: I caught one episode of each season and did not enjoy the concept. I felt it exposed the business and did not properly build the talent.
Q: Was just wondering if you could advise me some exercises or some training drills on strengthening my legs and increasing my heigth.
A: There is no such thing as Heigth, there is width, but height is just height, and Iím not sure how training your legs will make you taller. Okay I know Iím being a smart ass but the Heigth this is very common and is a big pet peeve of mine. Squats and lunges are always great ways to strengthen your legs.
Q: Did Dawn Marie ever give you personality/promo tips when you were paired together and vice versa? Would she have been a viable wrestler? I don't recall her in too many matches, outside of the 'catfights'.
A: She did not attempt to give me promo tips at any point. As for her as a viable wrestler I guess it depends on the time frame; by todayís standards certainly but during the Trish Stratus era probably not. Dawn was best as a valet; she was AWESOME on so many levels. That was her calling in this business and she was often underutilized in that role.
Q: Hi Lance. I have been attending training sessions with Chase Stevens & Tracy Smothers every few weeks when a certain promotion runs here in Indiana. They've been telling us how they believe that less is more in a match. I can certainly understand what they are saying, but I'm only 5'6 & 195. I see the guys around my size or even a little smaller like Rey Mysterio, Amazing Red, Evan Bourne, in WWE and TNA, and they are all high flyers. So do you think I would have a better chance at getting noticed wrestling the high flying style?
A: Yes you will get noticed more with a high flying style but that does not change the fact that ďless is moreĒ is the truest statement in this industry. The less is more concept does not mean donít do anything, it means you have to first learn how to work so that you can get the most out of everything you do and make everything you do mean more. When you learn this you will be able to do less than others and have it mean more.
Q: Do you see Ring Of Honor becoming bigger then the original ECW?
A: I hope so, and on some levels perhaps it already is, but I do not have a crystal ball.
Q: Just curious if WCW/WWE would have asked would you have done a character gimmick like a Goldust, Doink, Undertaker, Raven?
A: I have always done what was asked of me in this business, so I would imagine so.
Q: I just read your Wrestlemania 7 commentary and loved it, but seeing at the bottom you mentioned you have actually worked with Hacksaw Jim Duggan in the past. I have always been a fan of Hacksaw and was wondering if you could tell us what it was like to work with him.
A: There are two answers to this depending on what form of ďwork withĒ you mean. Jim was a great guy, who was fun to be around so working with him was a great experience. Now if you mean work as in actually having wrestling matches with him it would be a different answer because athletically we were obviously on completely different pages and thus from a style stand point I did not really enjoy wrestling with him. That is not to say he isnít a great performer just that our styles are not a good mix.
Q: I regularly attend PWA wrestling in Edmonton, and really enjoy the shows. My favorite wrestlers - Camikaze, Brady Roberts, and Ravenous Randy. My question is what are some of the best parts of booking PWA, and what are some of the less fun parts?
A: The best part about booking is when a planned angle or finish gets a really strong reaction that is very rewarding. The worst part about booking is the limitations of a limited stagnant locker room. That is not a put down of the talent I mean that with a set talent pool that does not change much you have the same 20 guys you have to fill 16 spots with so itís a challenge to keep the show fresh.
Q: Do you know if there is any significance or meaning to the thin pieces of wrist tape that Triple H wraps around a couple of his fingers when he wrestles?
A: I think he just does it because thatís what Flair used to do and he stole it from him.
Q: If you could pick two current WWE wrestlers to perform in a 60 minute Iron Man Match, who would they be? (Of course, the storyline and buildup would matter, but disregarding all that. Just based purely on who you'd like to see wrestle against each other in that particular type of match).
A: I donít think there is anyone Iíd like to see do that match in 2010. Iron Man matches are a bad concept now because fans donít care enough to keep their attention for 60 minutes. Fans know that the falls donít matter (everyone gets pinned all the time now) so they wait till the last 5 minutes to start caring. 55 minutes is a lot of time to fill when fans donít care. I think it would be far easier to try to do a great match that goes 60 minutes so fans canít just sit back and wait for the last couple minutes to see who wins.
Q: Are you glad that the Money in the Bank gimmick wasn't created until after you left the WWE or would the PPV payoff be worth the risk of the match? Would participating in a Money in the Bank match have been any more satisfying than a Battle Royal if it had gotten you on a
A: Iíd have had no problem doing Money in the Bank especially the earlier ones when the bar was a bit lower. I feel I would have been creative enough to come up with entertaining stuff that wouldnít have been too dangerous. Iíve done a couple ladder matches before and the chance to have a WrestleMania match would have been more than worth it.
Q: When you ask a rhetorical question such as the recent one about the Raw tag match, how many responses do you typically get?
A: About a dozen.
Q: Did you ever work with Roddy Piper? If not, did you ever talk with him in the dressing room?
A: I never worked with the man, and I think the only time we spoke was a brief introduction back stage at WrestleMania 19 in Seattle. He seemed like a very nice person.
Q: What is your opinion of the general ban on piledrivers in WWE, TNA and other wrestling promotions around the world? It seems that there are many other wrestling maneuvers that are allowed which are just as dangerous.
A: I do not feel pile drivers are unsafe, when done by and taken by properly trained skilled wrestlers. Unfortunately there are less and less of those around. In the grand scheme of things banning them is likely a bit safer and does not really detract from the over all product level so Iím not too upset they are banned.
Q: What happens, if you don't accept an idea by creative like shaving your hair for some angle as CM Punk recently had to? Would that cost you your job (assuming you're not Triple H)?
A: I always hate these questions, because I always give the same answer and itís an answer you all should be able to figure out for yourselves, especially in light of you HHH comment. It all depends on who you are and the circumstance around the idea. If you are Percy Watson and you balk and wearing the glassesÖFIRED, or left in developmental to rot. If you are The Undertaker, you can pretty much kill any idea you donít like with no repercussions. Everyone else and every other idea it all depends.
Q: Recently I had the chance to sit front row at a WWE house show, and the title belts were in really bad shape, leather looked like it was wearing out and lots of wear on the plates. On TV the belts look perfect so I was pretty surprised at this. So my question is do they use different sets of belts for TV vs the ones the wrestlers take with them to house shows?
A: Yes I believe they do have Title Belts strictly for TV now. This was not the case when I was there but HD may have made them get new ones for TV.
Q: If Paul Heyman was to take control of TNA, what changes do you think he'd make to the product? Do you think if he doesn't show up is there any chance of TNA getting their act together?
A: I assume Paul would want to get rid of all or at least most of the 40+ crew and start having the show make some kind of sense. Iím not sure even Paul could save TNA, and as long as Vince Russo is there their act will not be gotten together.
Q: I don't know what the Pope is supposed to be, is he a pimp, a millionaire or does he just think he's the black version of the real pope? Just like John Cena, he has that camouflage cap and salutes his fans, so is he a marine? He wears that "Never Give Up" t-shirt so is he a motivational speaker? Or is he just a jacked up white rapper? My question is this do you think they are giving these wrestlers multiple gimmicks to appeal to more demographics or are they just overloading these characters because they aren't that interesting to begin with?
A: I think you are over analyzing. In the case of the Pope, I think he is just a cool dude with a unique name. I see the money as just a play on the name, itís not like they are playing up that he is so rich that itís real money heís dropping. As for Cena I think the problem (if it even is a problem) is that the character has developed and changed directions over time. He started as a white rapper and grew from there. The Military element came out of the movie Marine and got over and stuck.
Q: Have you ever been to the Impact Zone? Because I really wonder if there is a sign or screen that tells the audience when to all stand up and what to chant and when to cheer. Because it seems like the crowd reactions are choreographed.
A: I have never been but it would not surprise me. WCW used signs to prompt the crowd back during their Universal Studios days.
Q: I just purchased the Vince McMahon DVD and one of the matches was the Undertaker vs Vince and I couldn't help, but notice throughout the entire match that whenever they showed the wide shot of the ring there were several people in the audience who were not looking at the action in the match. If any of us saw a fight in a parking lot between two average guys we would all be standing with our eyes glued to see what would happen next. The people in the audience paid to see a legend fight the ultimate villain and there was barely any reaction. Who is at fault for this? The wrestlers, the writers or do we just chalk it up as a bad crowd?
A: Iíd have to see the match and know the angles etc. going in to comment. There is a strong likely hood that the crowd was looking for the inevitable run in. When booking is such that everyone expects a mass run in the crowd often does not get into the match until the run in happens so they spend a lot of time watching the ramp rather than the match. I think HHH and Orton suffered from this a couple Manias ago, when fans expected the big McMahon family run in that never came.
Q: Why didn't WWE ever put out another cookbook? Surely, people bought the first one, right?
A: Apparently not enough people bought it. I assume you were being sarcastic, or at least I hope so.
Q: How would you describe a WWE ring mat in terms of "give" or "spring" when jumping compared to a standard basketball court or volleyball court?
A; Basketball Courts have NO give at all so WWE rings would have MORE than that.
Q: You've mentioned Jim Cornette "cutting a promo" on people/subjects. Is promo cutting in daily life particular to Cornette and a few others or do wrestlers generally change the way they speak as a side effect of the business? ie: if you were at a PTA meeting and had an opinion on school lunches, would you "cut a promo" on school lunches just out of habit?
A: I assume you are trying to be funny, but since I only assume and donít know for sure, it seems you have failed. A promo is just someone vocalizing their opinions or views. If you are a good promo you get your point across and entertain while doing so. Cornette has strong views and opinions so he is often ďcutting promosĒ. Since wrestlers are more used to having to voice their opinions and views naturally we would come across more like we are ďcutting a promoĒ in normal situation when we have to voice our opinions as well.
Q: What are your thoughts on Sabu (In/Out of the ring?). Did you like wrestling him?
A: Sabu is a great guy who has a lot of heart and his heart is always in the right place. I both like and respect Sabu very much. I was not a huge fan of wrestling him however and think he would echo that sentiment if asked about wrestling me. We were stylistically complete opposites and I donít think either of us thought we gelled well together.
Q: I would be interested in knowing what you would consider to be the best plans for a nice romantic evening?
A: Odd question; I think it all depends on the individuals involved in the evening. You have to account for personality and tastes in such matters. My wife and I recently spent a night in Banff which was the perfect plan for us. We stayed at the Banff springs hotel, and the evening consisted of a nice walk into down town Banff, a very nice dinner, and then a pleasant walk back to the hotel after dinner. The rest of the evening while not planned was very pleasant and none of your damn business.
Q: I was just watching some old WWE footage on YouTube and couldn't help notice how The Coach was always the butt of pretty much any joke involving the Rock amongst many others and they always seemed to really enjoy ripping into him. Did this carry on backstage? And was he popular with the rest of the locker room? He always seemed to have good chemistry with people he worked with.
A: It did continue back stage, because people liked the Coach and ribbing him was fun and he took it well. Iíve always said the best stuff in wrestling has to be genuine on some level and I think this was an example of it. Fans could tell Rock was having fun so they had fun along with him. Coach was a great sport.
Q: Worldwide wrestling is divided in 3 different styles, puroresu, lucha libre and american wrestling, my opinion is that puroresu is the most solid one, so in your opinion which of these 3 is the best wrestling style?
A: Neapolitan ice cream consists of three flavours: Vanilla, Strawberry, and Chocolate. I think Strawberry has the most fruit in it, which do you think is the best Ice Cream Flavour?
Q: What is the most heat you've ever gotten in the ring, either from insulting the crowd or just from being the heel in your ring work?
A: I think the most heat I ever got was facing Terry Funk in Amarillo, TX in 2000, during my Team Canada run in WCW. In the words of Terry Funk, There was an arena full of cowboys who wanted to shove a hockey stick up my ass.
Q: This is a two-part question. As someone looking to break into the business, I am acquainted with a very successful Indy worker in the Northeast. We have had some conversation about his training me. What do you think the benefits of one on one training could have? What negative affects could there be? And with wrestlers such as Jay Lethal and Chris Sabin admitting to backyard wrestling up to and including their early Indy careers, how would you approach a former backyarder who wants to break into the business, as I know many trainers and promoters try to avoid them like the plague.
A: I would not tell people about your backyard experience and as for 1 on 1 training, I think that is a poor way to train. I think training with a group better prepares you. You can learn from otherís mistakes and you get to see others doing things, which you never get to do if you are the only trainee. You also are force to work with different people which is important. If you only work with a skilled trainer you will never learn how to adjust when others do things poorly, a skill you will NEED at the Indy level.
Q: How does a wrestler know, a move won't severely injure him when performing it for the first time? I'm thinking of moves like jumping from a really high ladder and stuff like that...
A: Perhaps Iím in a mood today but come on seriously? We never KNOW for a certainty that anything wonít injure us, which is why we train and work up to things. You donít just get up and go ďHey Iím going to take a bump from 40 feet todayĒ. Guys did suplexes and were okay, then guys did superplexes and survived, then guys did top rope superplexes and survived. We work up to things and make the best educated guess on how to do things as safely as possible, and then we cross our fingers and hope for the best.
Q: Backstage do wrestlers refer to each other by their real names or by their ring names. Is Triple H Hunter or Paul? Were you Lance Storm or Lance Evers? etc,
A: No one was ever formal enough to call me Lance ---- anything. Iíve covered this a million times, guys generally use what ever name they were introduced to a guy with first. I often use wrestling names guys donít even use anymore. If you get to be really close with people sometimes you use real names but generally wrestling names are the norm. most people call Hunter, Hunter or even just H. Flair is the only guy Iíve ever heard call The Undertaker, Mark but I assume that is more because Flair would have met him back in his Mean Mark Callous days in WCW, than him purposely using his real name.
Q: Why did WWE switch to Hollywood writers and when did this happen?
A: I honestly donít know.
Q: How does an aspiring wrestler weed out a legitimate wrestling school and one that's a scam and just wants to take your money?
A: Speak with others who have trained there and look at the reputation within the industry of the person running the school and doing the training. My school as an example has a link and plug right from the WWE website, which I think says a lot about the credibility of my school.
Q: Was WWE's Tough Enough show featuring guys who were actual fans that sent in the tapes or were they independent wrestlers?
A: There were both.
Q: Besides the Power Plant did WCW have any kind of developmental system and were you ever asked to work out or train at the Power Plant before you debuted in WCW?
A: No on both counts.
Q: How much politicking do you think goes on in the industry today?
A: How do you answer a question like that? Even if I was in every locker room in the business today, politicking by its own nature is something done BEHIND the scenes in PRIVATE.