WCW: ?

December 17, 2007

Iím up to the big leagues now with my Promoters commentaries, which brings me to a bit of a weird spot. While I worked for WCW for almost a year, I have no idea who I should call the promoter that I worked for at that time. Ted Turner is always who people associate with WCW but he had very little if anything to do with WCW at that time, and I certainly had no interaction with the man, and doubt heíd be able to pick me out of a line up if asked. I was hired during the Russo-Bischoff regime, and met with both of them when I negotiating my WCW contract.

I believe Russo was pretty much just creative at that point, and it was with Eric that I negotiated my contract and I considered him my boss for the majority of my time there. I say majority because there were times when I worked there that I think Eric was no longer in power, but as I said before, it was generally hard to tell who was in charge of WCW during my time there.

We actually had a debate once on an International tour about who was in fact running the company and in charge of WCW. I think Kevin Nash and I finally decided that Diana Myers (Head of the Legal department) was actually in charge of WCW, because whenever there was a dispute between the office and talent, she was the one that got called. She would have to pull the respective talentís contract and decide what actions if any could be taken. We figured that pretty much made her the boss. It was a very strange place to work.

For the sake of this commentary Iíll consider Eric Bischoff my boss during my time in WCW, since he hired me, and the majority of my WCW dealing where through him. Contrary to a lot of peopleís experiences (in particular guy of my stature and place on the card) I had nothing but great experiences dealing with Eric. He was very straightforward and easy to deal with when we negotiated my contract and he always seemed to have a genuine smile on his face when we crossed paths at work after that point. After initially hiring me I didnít have many business dealings with him, so other than saying he was always pleasant and approachable when he was at work I canít say much else about him.

Creatively I dealt with either Vince Russo or Ed Ferrara. Russo I never saw eye-to-eye with nor did I cared for the man much based on the little bit I got to know him. Ed however was much more pleasant to deal with, despite not seeing eye-to-eye much with him creatively either. Thankfully Johnny Ace was my road agent through most of my WCW career and he and I got along great, so I went through him wherever possible in my dealings with the office or creative.

As far as the promotion goes I loved my time in WCW. I had a very acceptable travel schedule, the office booked all of my travel, and money was extremely good. I was figured in enough to be featured on every PPV, and for the most part I got to work with great people. I wrestled with guys like Kidman, and Rey Mysterio a lot, as well as occasionally getting to work higher up the card with guys like Sting and Booker T. I also got to learn a lot getting to work with agents like Dave Finlay, Johnny Ace, and Arn Anderson. WCW was a fabulous experience and I would have been happy to finish my career there had WCW stayed in business.

Now for the fun part, was I owed money when I left WCW? You would think with WCW being such a big company and having a reputation for being a money pit that I would have no money complaints what so ever. I was after all working under a legally binding contract for a company with shit loads of money. Well guess what, I think I was (or perhaps am) owed money by WCW. This isnít a pay issue; I received my cheque every two-week like clockwork and my guarantee and nightly bonuses were all paid in full. Where the possible money issue comes from is royalties.

My WCW contract entitled me to a percentage of any merchandise I was featured in. I was only in WCW for 11 months so I didnít have much merchandise, but I did have some. I think they produced 12 dozen of the Lance Storm T-Shirt which sold out the first hour they went on sale (The NBR PPV in Vancouver) and they never made anymore. I was also featured in (or so I was told) a WCW video game. WCW put out Back Stage Assault in 2000 and Iíve been told Iím a hidden character in that game. Iíve never received royalties from a video game, so if I was in fact featured in this, or any other WCW video game, technically WCW owes me some degree of royalties.

This is in no way an issue for me. I donít imagine it would amount to much, which is why I never bothered to look into it. I know several of the top guys were looking into law suits over merchandise royalties at the end of WCW, but for my small portion, pursuing it would likely cost me more than I could possibly get in return, and I kind of get a kick out of being able to include WCW in the long list of promotions Iíve worked for that stiffed me to some degree on money.

Lance Storm