Q and A
December 3, 2008
Q: I once read that Bret Hart said that he thought chops were too fake, that no one would slap someone in a fight, and were only used to get people to scream "Wooo," What are your thoughts?
A: I think this statement was made more as a shot at Flair. Is a chop any more fake than whipping someone at the ropes and having them coming back or a guy holding perfectly still while someone press slams them, or punching someone in the face countless times and them not having a broken nose or a black eye? We are out there to entertain the crowd and for the most part crowds enjoy chops. Artistic license has to be taken into account in pro-wrestling.
Q: When teaching at your school do you use film study as a tool? Do you tape their performance and show it back, and also perhaps show old matches of yours or others to study? If so is there any favorites to show?
A: I do use video when I teach. I think people need to see what they look like when they sell to really understand and do it well. We watch a lot of stuff back. I also use a few of my matches as well as a Bret Hart match from his DVD as an instructional tool. To avoid getting asked which Bret Hart match, I use the match he had with Bam Bam Bigelow from Spain. It has very good basic psychology to it.
Q: Do you hold your female students to the same standard as the men? Do you think they should/can be as technically sound as the males, and do you think that there is a female out there that can be believable with male wrestlers, as perhaps Chyna once was?
A: I hold all my students to the same standard, in that I try to get as much as I can out of all of them. Every student is different not just the guys and the girls. I don’t try to get everyone to a 7 out of 10. If I think I can get an 11 out of someone I will try to do that. Some will never be more than a 4 so I try to get that out of them. If they make it to 4 I then push to get them to 5. Generally there is the size issue with men fighting girls, but women certainly can be as technically sound as the men. Nora (Molly Holly) was technically sounder than many of the men. In my last class my second most technically sound worker was a girl.
Q: Is there a spot you flat out refused to do? If so how well did your refusal go over?
A: There are a bunch of things that I would say no too, mainly a bunch of crazy hardcore crap. I doubt anyone would even ask me to do them, or be surprised when I refuse. I actually told Paul Heyman once that if I had to take another Ball Mahoney chair shot I’d quit. This was actually after the first Balls Mahoney chair shot I took. His response was to book me hitting Balls with chair shots after that. He also added that if I did not bend the chair over Balls’ head I’d be fired. I think he was joking. I wasn’t though.
Q: As a wrestler, do you think it is better to be very technically sound (I.E. Bret Hart) or very adaptable (I.E. Shawn Michaels)? And don't say both.
A: I think if you are technically sound you are likely adaptable. I think adaptability is the greatest asset in this business, but that being said if you aren’t technically sound you won’t truly be adaptable.
Q: Had MMA been more popular when you began as a wrestler, do you think you would have given consideration to it as a profession as opposed to professional wrestling?
A: I doubt it but who knows. Had amateur wrestling been an option when I was in school, I may have gotten into that and had I excelled at that and MMA was big back then maybe I would have made the transition.
Q: You said you had real heat twice Don Callis when you had a bad neck, what was the other and why?
A: I lost it and got hot with Balls Mahoney in Smokey Mountain Wrestling. It was a house show and he injured my elbow quite badly trying some stupid arm bar he saw on a Japanese tape. I was just sitting there expecting a simple arm bar and he twisted my arm and popped my elbow. I dropped character and cussed the hell out of him right in the ring. I still have problems with that elbow today. It’s prone to hyper flexing and when it does I can’t straighten it again for days. I’ve had to be careful in the ring and in the gym ever since.
Q: If you were in charge, how would you have handled the whole Shamrock vs. Slice Elite XC debacle? Would you have forced Shamrock to go despite his injury, called off the main event all together, replaced Shamrock with someone else besides Petruzelli, or something else all together?
A: Ken wanted to fight; it was the commission that wouldn’t allow him to. They could not have forced him to. I would have gone with another option that was on the table that night. Frank Shamrock volunteered to step into the fight in Ken’s place. Frank being much smaller would have given Kimbo more of a chance to get a knock out, but with Frank being a bit of a legend, had he tapped Kimbo on the ground the company would still have a huge star. It would have also set up either a Ken – Frank match or the eventual Ken – Kimbo rematch depending on which guy won. Not to mention the upside that if Elite XC had bribed Frank to stand with Kimbo, Frank would have been smart enough to keep his mouth shut.
Q: I believe Christian Cage is probably the most versatile mainstream wrestler out there now. He can go from face to heel, and anywhere in between. It's not just that he great on the mic, he also has a great move set, that can be tweaked to fit either a heel or face role. My questions are do you agree that he is the most versatile mainstream guy, and also, do you like him better as a face or a heel?
A: I like Christian way better as a heel. That may be because I know him and know that a heel is a much more honest representation of his true nature.
Q: How would you feel if Haas impersonated you one-week -would you be flattered, or defer judgment you wait until you'd seen the impression?
A; I’d pop for it, provided it wasn’t the large penis, cabbage patch version of Lance Storm. Actually I’d pop for that too, they could just have him come out, kiss his wife, and break into a ridiculous cabbage patch dance. For those of you who don’t get that reference, I started my baby face cabbage patch days after kissing Jackie Gayda (who is married to Charlie Hass now) in a match with Rico.
Q: Over the years you've worked with lots of great wrestlers in tag teams. Who would you say was your favorite to work with and why?
A: I get asked this all the time, and there is no one answer; all of them were great in their own way. I loved my time in ECW so tagging with Justin was great. Christian and I were such great friends that the UnAmericans were awesome. William Regal and I had something special and highlighted each other so well, that we may have been the best team of the bunch. When I teamed with Jericho we were too young and green to be really great, and my run with Candito was too short. Yasu and I in Japan was another awesome team but hard to compare because we didn’t have the same personal friendship because of the language barrier.
Q: What are the top five guys you wish you would have got to do a program with, not just work one match?
A: Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Dean Malenko, Sting, and Christopher Daniels.
Q: I was reading your Q&A section where you were hating on Doink The Clown. Please tell me how the original Doink (Maniac Matt Borne as a heel) is anything less than awesome? He could've been a Heath Ledger type character in the Attitude era of WWF.
A: I guess he was too cartoony for me, and most of what I remember of him was all the comedy baby face stuff, which I hated.
Q: Hey Lance, I was just wondering, it TNA ever gets their booking and show in order and become legitimate competition to WWE would you consider joining that company? There are a couple matches I would like to see you in that I think would be awesome, such as: Lance Storm vs. A.J. Styles, Lance Storm vs. Christopher Daniels, Lance Storm vs. Samoa Joe, Lance Storm vs. Kurt Angle. Those are some matches that I would be excited to see.
A: I will be far to old by the time that happens, you might as well say if World Piece breaks out, would you come back. All 4 of the matches you mentioned would be great and I’d love doing them, but I wouldn’t advise anyone hold their breath.
Q: How far do you think Bubba Ray Dudley could have got as a singles wrestler? From my perspective he appears to be a pretty good worker and a good enough brawler to make up for any weaknesses, and he's great on the mic as both a heel or a face so I think he could do pretty well, but wanted to get a professional opinion.
A: This is a real good question. Bubba is a great worker and a great talker, but for some reason he did not catch on as a single when WWE first broke up the Dudleys. I have no idea why because he has all the tools but for some reason it didn’t work. I’m not sure if it was because they were just so established together that the crowd didn’t want to accept him on his own, or if his work rate was so tag oriented he needed more time to adapt himself to singles. For what ever reason Tag Wrestling is what he is best at.
Q: Speaking of La Parka, did you ever get to work with him? He always seemed like an odd character, and someone I would really like to pick the brain of. But more so, he looked like he was having fun out there, and that is the key.
A: Never worked with or met La Parka.
Q: Repeat this question for Ultimo Dragon. Another guy I always loved.
A: I worked with Dragon a ton in Japan for WAR. Dragon is one of the all time best Jr. Heavyweights EVER, in my opinion. He is a great guy and just amazing in the ring. I loved working with Dragon.
Q: But really, this is a question I wanted to ask anyone who is adamant about fitness and physical conditioning: does seeing someone flagrantly out of shape bother you? I ask this particularly since you are a wrestler, and you'll see fans of all kinds, including those whose blood type may very well be marinara. It's just something I've always wanted to know, and you seem like the kind of guy who'd be honest about it.
A: It bothers me when it is kids because I know how much harder their life will be because of their obesity, and in a lot of cases the blame falls on the parents. Making sure your kids eat well and are healthy is so important and parents that don’t do this are really neglecting their children’s long-term health.
Q: In your wrestling career were you ever asked to play a Russian? You do have the look, though most "Russians" have been larger guys.
A: I was not, although I did own a CCCP singlet, which I think I’m wearing in one of the camp photos in Jericho’s book. I had a post Cold-War career so there wasn’t a huge call for Russians.
Q: I’ve noticed over the past couple of years that wrestlers bounce off the ropes A LOT more than before. For example if wrestler A does a run in against wrestler B. He’ll slide in and punch wrestler B a few times and then stop punching and bounce off the ropes. Personally I hate that because it’s so unrealistic.
A: I think the idea is to get up extra momentum to be able to hit someone harder. Of all the unrealistic things in wrestling I find it odd that this is the one that bothers you.
Q: This week on WWE’s sub site for ECW, the OMG moment is RVD’s ECW PPV debut (the one versus a certain blond-tailed warrior!). After the match, he took the mic and basically ripped the powers that be a new one…my question is, did you know he was going to do that? When you left the ring was your reaction legit, or was that part of the planned event?
A: I had no idea that he was even going to cut a promo, so my reaction what ever it was (I don’t remember) would have been legit. I also hadn’t had a night’s sleep in 3 days at that point so I was lucky to just not fall over.
Q: Jericho recently has changed to wearing trunks like you did towards the later part of your run in WWE. It's a different look and puts him past his Y2J character, but what do you think of the look? Does WWE prefer wrestlers wearing trunks or is it a personal choice?
A: Outfit is generally a personal choice. I assume Jericho just wanted a change so he switched. I think he looks a little shorter and stockier in the trunks but either way works for me.
Q: Do you think that tag team champions should escort each other to the ring/stick together when they're not in a tag match? (For instance, Kofi and CM Punk not being anywhere near each other on the last Raw)
A: I don’t think Tag Champs should be doing many single matches at all, and when they do it should be to further a Tag Team program, so yes the partner should be out there.
Q: Do you think the era of the "journey man wrestlers" like you, Jericho, Eddie, Benoit, etc is over?
A: Certainly dieing out. Unfortunately the days of guys traveling the globe and working territories has died out. There are a few guys that still fit the bill, Bryan Danielson being likely the best but yah; we are becoming a thing of the past.
Q: If not pro wrestling, what other profession would you see yourself in?
A: I was in University to become an accountant before I decided to pursue wrestling.
Q: Do you think Batista beating Jericho at Cyber Sunday was too premature? I felt Jericho dropping and reclaiming it was pretty pointless and probably would have been better at Survivor Series.
A: I agree but I think WWE booked them selves into a corner with the guest referee stipulation. Once Austin was the ref, it became hard to have Jericho screw Dave, plus they obviously wanted the Austin beer drinking to close the show and you can’t do that if Jericho wins.
Q: A few years back, Vince Russo mentioned that a wrestler union would be a great benefit for the industry, but he doubts that will ever happen. Do you think it would work, and any idea how likely it may be?
A: It’s extremely unlikely, because you need the guys at the top (who would benefit the least) to go to bat for the guys underneath (who would benefit the most). This is traditionally an individualistic sport and guys tend to look after themselves. The only chance of a union happening in my opinion is by accident. By that I mean if Vince continues to push WWE as Entertainment and not Sport, and continues to promote RAW and SD as scripted television series, that the union that governs television actors and writers could take notice (if someone in WWE reached out on the down low) and decide WWE television performers should fall under their umbrella.
Keep those questions coming, and please use Q and A as the subject line.