2006 A Look Back

December 26, 2006

I figured this week I could take a look back at 2006 and talk a little bit about what I remember happening in the wrestling world this past year.

Likely the biggest story in wrestling this year was the re-launch of ECW. I was contacted by WWE before this project was announced and offered a 3-year contract to join the NEW ECW. I turned the offer down not wanting to return to the road and looking back am I ever glad I did. ECW is nothing like it once was and has been nothing but a disaster since itís inception. Ratings have declined, house shows have been cancelled, and the December PPV has been called one of the worst of all time. Being a part of ECW now would be the same as being a part of WWE before, if you were featured on Velocity, the same schedule the same crew the same creative force, and on a show that is seen as less important than the mainstays of RAW and Smack Down. I wish all of those who are a part of it all the best, but I am EXTREMELY glad Iím not a part of it.

Another thing I thought was interesting in 2006 is that my good buddy Edge captured the WWE Title on two occasions. The most interesting thing about his title reigns is the fact that RAW ratings increased fairly significantly both times he won the title and drop that same amount each time they took it off him. You would think such an obvious ratings draw would get a longer title reign but this is wrestling and things that seem to make so much sense donít always materialize.

The World Heavy Weight title also had an interesting year with Rey Mysterio capturing the title and becoming the smallest World Champion in WWE History. A record that I think will stand likely forever. Rey is truly a one of a kind performer and I was thrilled when he won the title, but then he went on to likely set another record as the least pushed champion of all time. Apart from JBL (who was leaving due to a back injury) I donít think Rey beat anyone as champ, and there was a stretch where he was beaten (and in some cases squashed) 4 or 5 weeks in a row on Smack Down as Champion. I have never seen any company treat their World Champion as poorly as WWE did Rey. Rey could have been an exciting and inspirational champion, had they not completely buried him through out his title reign. It is to his credit and how over and truly unique he is that the crowd didnít completely turn on him while he was champ.

Fit Finlayís return was another memorable moment for me in 2006. Iíve been a huge Finlay fan since I first worked him in Europe back in 1993. He retired from the ring in 2000 after a severe leg injury yet managed to come back in 2006 in his 40ís and instantly become one of the best workers on the roster today. Finlay is an amazing performer and his matches with Benoit where the highlight of 2006 for me.

I too returned to the ring in 2006, albeit after a lot shorter lay off than Finlay. After ďretiringĒ from the ring in June of 2005 after wrestling Chris Jericho at ECWís ONS PPV I was lured back to action for ROH in April of 2006. After 10 month inactive I returned to wrestled Bryan Danielson for the ROH World Title in one of the longest matches of my career. I am extremely proud of this match and getting to compete again on my own terms was a truly great feeling.

I returned to action again in May of 2006 for 1PW in England. This return was supposed to reunite the Impact Players but my partner Justin Credible no showed the event (something he was good at in 2006), which took a lot of the luster off the trip. With Justin out of the picture I ended up wrestling Doug Williams in a single match for 1PW in what turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. Doug is a fantastic mat wrestler and we had a great pure wrestling match.

To end off the year I worked a BSE show in Toronto with Christian and as you all should know by now we had a great time, despite Christian breaking my throat with a clothesline. I mention this more to bug him than anything else as I am healing up fine and since I donít wrestle regularly it isnít that much of an inconvenience to me. I suppose it should be noted that while I had some great, or at least good, matches in 2006 I did go 0 for 4. Maybe I need to apply myself more in 2007 (LOL).

Till next year,
Lance Storm