Wrestler of the Day – April 3: Lance Storm

Today is Lance Storm. And I’m being totally serious.

Storm got started in Canada and went over to Japan for Wrestling Association R. This led to him getting a job in Smoky Mountain Wrestling as part of the Thrillseekers with his fellow wrestling school graduate Chris Jericho. This is a well known match of theirs from SMW Night of Legends 1994.

Heavenly Bodies vs. Thrillseekers

The Bodies (Jimmy Del Ray and Tom Pritchard) have Jim Cornette with them and Jericho is coming in with a badly broken arm as well. How did he break it you ask? Allegedly by doing a shooting star press into Jim Cornette’s pool. What else would you expect? The Thrillseekers seemingly come in driving a racecar, but the car is a ruse and they’re in the ring to clean house early on. Stereo superkicks have the Bodies in trouble and a double clothesline put them on the floor. Storm dives on both Bodies and the Thrillseekers rule the ring. Jericho’s arm isn’t in a cast so that he could be cleared to wrestle tonight.

He backdrops Tom down to officially start and Del Ray takes one as well. The Bodies bail to the outside again and it’s off to Storm for the first time. Lance kicks both Bodies down with ease and they head outside for the third time in less than five minutes. Tom comes in and takes Storm down before Del Ray comes in without a tag. That’s fine with Storm as he armdrags both guys down at the same time before Jericho comes back in for another double superkick, putting the Bodies outside yet again.

Back in and Storm tries to fight off both guys but gets tripped up by Del Ray, allowing Pritchard to take over with a bulldog. Tom backflips Jimmy onto Storm for two and a release northern lights suplex puts him down again. Del Ray lifts Pritchard up into a legdrop as we take a commercial break. Back with Storm’s back being double teamed and Del Ray getting two off a clothesline. Pritchard comes in again with a suplex for two of his own.

Tom tries to drop backwards with an elbow but Storm is out of the way and makes the hot tag to Jericho. Chris cleans house with one arm but Pritchard trips him up from the floor and posts him hard. Jericho is busted open and it’s a GUSHER. There’s a pool of blood on the floor less than 20 seconds later so Tom posts him again.

Back in and Jimmy rips at the cut like a good villain should and even Cornette gets in a shot of his own. Jericho is helpless here and the referee is thinking about stopping it. Del Ray pounds in right hands to the cut but can only get two. Pritchard drives a knee into the cut for two more as Jericho is just covered in blood. The referee (covered in blood as well from checking Jericho) finally stops it but Jericho literally begs to keep it going. For once the referee actually listens and the match restarts and Storm hits a quick spinwheel kick to give Jericho the pin.

Rating: B+. The wrestling was good but a lot of this is for the blood. That was AWESOME and one of the worst looking cuts you’ll ever see. Jericho looked like a star here and in what was kind of a stroke of luck, would leave SMW after this match to go to Japan full time. It’s a great way to go out as well as he looked great. This is one of the more famous matches from SMW and it’s easy to see why as that blood was INSANE. Seriously, if you like bloodshed, go find this match.

After some time in Japan it was off to ECW. One of his first major shows there was their first pay per view, Barely Legal. His original opponent was Chris Candido but an injury forced a replacement.

Rob Van Dam vs. Lance Storm

So Van Dam is the replacement? That’s a heck of a sub. He looks weird without his gloves on. Styles is really getting on my nerves. You don’t have to call every single move. This is television, not radio. We can see what’s going on and contrary to popular belief, some of us know a few wrestling move names. The dynamic here is completely different that it was before and maybe it’s due to the familiarity of the guys in there but this feels like a far higher quality match.

The finger point thing gets zero response. And now we get to the reason why I couldn’t get into ECW. We have a solid match going here between two guys that are certainly talented enough to be out there on their own and deliver a good match. So what does Van Dam do? He goes and gets a chair. Yeah the pelting of it at Storm looked and sounded great, but seriously, why was it needed?

One thing ECW never was able to understand was the idea of less being more at times, which would have certainly been the case here. Van Dam is called a sell out here as he was actually doing some stuff in the WWF around this time and if you’re in ECW that means you might as well be a demon or something. Ok I know I criticized the chair but the chair surf thing has always been something I’ve loved.

Storm kicks out of the frog splash that I guess was only four stars. I love how a move can gain the ability to win a match as the guy doing it goes higher up on the card. Shawn Michaels used the superkick for years and it was just a run of the mill move. God bless kayfabe and star power I suppose. In a little sequence that I like, Van Dam misses a spin kick so Storm does the same move and hits it.

I guess he got serious all of a sudden after getting his teeth kicked in for awhile. For the third time in two matches, we see a handspring move. People, watch the match in the back please. It looks freaking stupid otherwise. We do the same thing as before (again) as Storm gets what would become the Canadian Mapleleaf on Van Dam but it’s just a standard move at this point.

The Van Daminator misses and Storm gets the chair for the weakest looking chair shot I’ve ever seen. The fans boo the heck out of it so if nothing else they’re consistent. Van Dam goes for a springboard move and botches the heck out of it (to be fair it was a difficult move) and you know what chant is coming. Storm somehow has a weaker chair shot the second time around.

Naturally this gets more booing, and the wrestling fan in me is shaking his head. Is it really that bad of a thing that Storm is a very good wrestler and doesn’t want to use weapons? Seriously, it’s not the end of the world. That right there is why it never appealed to the masses. Can you imagine someone that grew up on Flair and Anderson being sold on this? Anyway, the Van Daminator and a standing moonsault end this.

Rating: B-. If not for the completely unneeded chair, this would be a much higher rating. These two had a very solid match and it worked very well I thought. It was completely different from the first match and made me have a much better feeling about the show. The first match was a highlight reel match, but there was a flow here, although the ending could have been far better.

Storm would become a heel and join the Triple Threat stable as a prospect. This led to him winning the Tag Team Titles with full member Chris Candido, even though they loathed each other. Here’s a match between them while they were still champions at Cyberslam 1998.

Lance Storm vs. Chris Candido

They’re tag champions and they HATE each other. For no apparent reason Candido does a full entrance here. All Storm to start and a baseball slide puts Chris in the fans. Big plancha takes Candido out further. DOWN GOES SIGN GUY!!! The fans of course like Sunny more than anyone else and can you blame them? Candido fires off some chops to get some WOOs going.

Storm misses Candido and almost hits his face on the buckle. Close enough I guess as he sells it anyway. Delayed vertical is countered but Candido gets a neckbreaker for no cover. He’d rather pose a bit instead. Off to a chinlock which doesn’t last long. Storm tries to make his comeback but gets caught in a release powerslam. Storm comes back with chops as there are fans dressed as Bigelow and Sabu.

Big spinwheel kick puts Chris down again as does a dropkick which gets two. Storm misses a jump though and gets crotched on the top. Belly to back superplex gets two for Candido. Northern lights suplex gets two. Powerbomb doesn’t work and Storm gets a kick to take over. Candido fires off a super rana but he delays in covering again so it’s only two. They go the top again and Storm fights back and hits the Blonde Bombshell (top rope powerbomb and Candido’s finisher) for the pin.

Rating: C. Eh not bad and WAY better than anything else tonight, but just kind of there. These two feuded forever and had much better matches but this was ok. I’d rather have just looked at Sunny for the ten minutes they had for the match though. Not much and the whole Candido/Sunny issues went nowhere.

And a title defense from Wrestlepalooza 1998.

ECW Tag Titles: Hardcore Chair Swinging Freaks vs. Chris Candido/Lance Storm

They still hate each other and even though they don’t get along and fight each other, they manage to beat every team in the company as they do it. Don’t you just love Heyman’s brilliance? Mind you the challengers were in the arena to make their challenge yet the champions are here first. In a funny spot, they argue over who gets top billing. Oh I get it now: the champions came to the ring and were introduced before they actually accepted the challenge. Is Heyman even thinking?

The Freaks are Axl Rotten and Balls Mahoney in case you were wondering. To my surprise we start with a wrestling sequence. Something tells me this isn’t going to last long. Good night Balls Mahoney is worthless. Rotten is trying to wrestle which works ok but it’s hard to take a guy who wrestles for a team called the Hardcore Chair Swingin Freaks seriously. They do a standard tag match here and it’s really not that bad. I’m very surprised. Rotten throws chops and the fans WOO.

They start a BRING IN FLAIR chant and my head begins to hurt. First off, just no. Second off, isn’t that exactly what ECW is supposed to be against? Third of all, I love how they just assume Heyman can afford that. The fans were stupid at times and were dragged around by Heyman by their noses. It’s really pathetic at times. Sunny shows up and the champions fight over Storm saving her. “Hey! You keep your hands off my fiancé! If she dies who cares??? YOU JUST STAY AWAY!”

And now we get to the flat out stupid part of the match. Balls hits his finisher. There’s no one around. They should win the titles. He goes to get a chair. That’s almost understandable I guess. Now let’s have the stupid part. He turns around with the chair in his hand and Storm jumps up with a springboard to come at Mahoney.

What does he do you ask? Does he throw the chair at Storm? Does he, oh I don’t know, MOVE? Nope. He puts the chair in front of his face so Storm can kick it into Balls’ head. That was just pathetic looking. On and Candido hits Storm with the chair so he can get the pin and they fight back to the locker room. This has NEVER been done before!

Rating: C+. Other than the freaking idiotic stuff at the end, this was ok. The key thing: for the most part they kept things toned down and had a wrestling match. Since Barely Legal they’ve toned the violence down a good bit and it’s been helping a lot. This was ok and would have been a lot better had the ending not sucked as much.

After the team finally split up, Storm would eventually hook up with Justin Credible as the Impact Players. They would challenge Tommy Dreamer and Raven for the Tag Team Titles at Guilty As Charged 2000.

Tag Titles: Impact Players vs. Raven/Tommy Dreamer

The Players come out separately for no apparent reason. To be fair the champions do too. Apparently the Impact Players are trying to take over the company so Dreamer and Raven are fighting for ECW. Sure why not. Raven is RIDICULOUSLY over. They can’t get in the ring as the Impact Players (I feel like I’m doing OCW again) fight them off. We hit the floor because that makes sense to give up your advantage like that.

The champions throw the other guys off the stage as they’re working together. Hey we go to an actual tag sequence. I’m stunned. Ok to be fair ECW matches usually do go to rules after the insanity dies down. Dreamer is both busted up and in trouble as we HIT THE CHINLOCK! It’s fun seeing these guys actually wrestle for a change rather than just having mindless brawls.

If nothing else we get to look at some rather hot women during this with Francine and Dawn Marie. Storm misses the second best superkick in wrestling and Dreamer gets the hot tag. Well kind of as he hits the hand but no one calls it. The referee realizes they kind of blew the spot and just lets it go I guess. Raven hits his drop toehold. I’ve always liked how simple yet awesome that was.

And there’s the Tombstone but surprisingly it only gets two. I would have bet on that being the ending. Storm sets up a table and then like an IDIOT stands in front of it. As he goes through it, the only thing I can think of is YOU FREAKING DESERVE IT. The girls go at it and it’s nothing special. There’s your Bronco Buster which still is freaking stupid. Raven takes a Singapore cane shot for Francine but walks into That’s Incredible for the pin.

Rating: C-. Give this more wrestling and a bit more time and this can be pretty good. This was just too short on wrestling and too little Raven who is the best guy in here not named Storm. This was a decent enough match though but it just needed more time to make it a good bit better.

Like almost all good teams though, they would eventually split. Credible would win the World Title and Storm would challenge him at Hardcore Heaven 2000. It was supposed to have Tommy Dreamer as well but he was too injured stepped aside.

ECW World Title: Justin Credible vs. Lance Storm

So basically Dreamer is busted up like a bad steak but is going to fight anyway. Francine turned on Dreamer and cost him the title at Cyberslam which was the show where Dreamer won the title from Taz in the first place. Justin says that if anyone other than Storm comes out he’ll throw the belt in the trash. Why not it’s not like it means anything. Dreamer’s music hits and here he is.

You know for a guy that was allegedly bleeding to death about two and a half hours ago he looks pretty good. Heyman comes out to talk some sense into him and here’s Storm and Dawn Marie. Ok so it’s just one on one and Dreamer gets the winner at Heatwave. What the heck ever. Let’s just ever this over with. Heyman keeps screaming that Justin has the company by the balls. That’s 8 times he’s said it now.

Dreamer shakes Lance’s hand, which is good since I think this is Lance’s last night as he left for WCW since he never got paid or anything like that. I actually remember this match which is a rarity for me and the original ECW. Storm hits him, Justin runs. Then we do that about 5 more times. Hey we’re getting some contact that lasts more than a second! Ah never mind he’s running again.

The cane comes into play and down goes Storm. Storm appears to be bleeding. Hey look it’s a table, because we’ve only used those in like 5 matches so far tonight. We chop it out for a bit and that goes nowhere. The fans want Dreamer. Psh, why would you want him? He’s only an advertised main event contender here. Why would you want him? Storm hits a decent rana.

This guy is just flat out talented. Joey talks about how they managed to keep Credible from destroying the ECW Title’s lineage. Yeah I’m sure the whole WCW wrestler losing to a WWF wrestler in an ECW ring and then the ECW Title being on Raw and Smackdown didn’t do anything close to that. Superkick (see what I meant earlier?) by Credible gets two.

Credible actually hits a decent cross body off the top, showing he can actually do a basic move properly. This is a major step for him I tell you! He then goes through a table, because that’s just how we roll around here. Storm hooks his finisher, the single leg Boston crab and it’s catfight time. Was there ever a point to these things? Dawn takes a Tombstone and nothing of note is happening.

Tombstone on Storm of course gets two. And now we just slug it out. Credible goes for a swinging DDT which he of course, messes up. The second tombstone ends it and it was just completely uninteresting as it just happened for the pin. And here’s Dreamer to beat up both Credible and Francine. Ok then.

Rating: D+. This just felt like another match. This would have been great on a big TV show or something like that, but this just didn’t do it for me. It’s ok, but for one thing does anyone buy Justin as world champion? I never did, and I didn’t buy Storm as a legitimate challenger. This just went nowhere at all and the ending was pretty boring too. Weak ending.

Due to Heyman barely being able to pay anyone, it was soon off to WCW. Storm would immediately be given a big push where he would win three midcard titles in his first month. Here’s US Champion Storm vs. Hardcore Champion Big Vito from July 24, 2000 on Nitro.

US Title/Hardcore Title: Big Vito vs. Lance Storm

Storm jumps him to start but gets slammed down as well as clotheslined. Vito pounds him into the corner but Storm comes back with a leg lariat to take over. That gets him nowhere as Vito pounds him into the corner and pulls out some weapons. A traffic cone is knocked into Storm’s testicles and it’s table time.

Vito takes too long though and Storm superplexes him down. An O’Connor Roll gets two for Storm as does a small package. Vito snaps off an overhead belly to belly suplex but the top rope elbow only gets two. An Impaler puts Storm down for another two and they trade superkicks. Storm throws on the Mapleleaf (half crab) and wins the Hardcore Title.

Rating: D+. This was part of the Storm super push where he won three titles in three weeks and just barely lost the world title match in the fourth week. Vito was a journeyman who did about the same thing no matter where he went. This was decent enough, but I’m not sure why you would open a show with it.

Storm would form Team Canada as a midcard stable. They would feud with the Filthy Animals and face them in a six man tag at Sin.

Team Canada vs. Filthy Animals

Team Canada is Elix Skipper, Mike Awesome (Yes he made a heel turn since the last show) and Lance Storm. The Animals are Konnan, Mysterio and Kidman. This is a Penalty Box match where the guest referee, Jim Duggan, can throw the people in a penalty box if they break a rule. The Canadians come out in a bus for no apparent reason. Oh and Duggan isn’t part of Team Canada anymore, I guess due to the beatdown last month.

Storm talks about Duggan being in the Animals’ back pocket which doesn’t sit well with the Hall of Famer. There’s no time limit given on the penalties so it’s a bit complicated. Duggan looks old. This is an old WCCW stronghold so you can tell they’re running out of ideas. Storm vs. Mysterio to start. Rey starts out flying around as it’s weird to see Storm being the bigger and stronger of the two.

Skipper and Awesome interfere a bit and are sent to the box almost immediately. Apparently it’s 3-1 for one minute. Tony makes a bunch of hockey references which most American fans won’t care about. Konnan powerbombs Rey onto Storm as the box is emptied out. Good thing the advantage meant nothing at all. Rey gets a falling splash and it’s off to Kidman.

Kidman vs. Skipper now as Awesome is sent into the box again. Make that Storm as well. Why do I have a feeling that this is going to be the norm for this match? Konnan throws on some hold as they keep tagging in and out. The announcers are making it sound like the only chance the Animals have is when the Canadians are in the box. Back to full strength as Skipper easily out moves Konnan.

Matrix move is easily blocked by simply grabbing a reverse DDT out of it. The Canadians don’t like to tag for some reason. Off to Awesome and I’ll bet money on Storm and Skipper being sent to the box within a minute. Backbreaker gets two for Awesome. Major Gunns and Tygress argue on the floor and Duggan yells at them. Rey tries to cheat but is sent to the box for two minutes as is Kidman.

Powerslam by Awesome gets two. Tygress sprays Gunns with water or oil or something and they go at it. Only Gunns goes to the box though. Ah there goes Tygress too. Skipper drops a springboard leg drop on Konnan as we hit the chinlock. Yes because with a 3-1 advantage it’s the right idea to put a chinlock on. Awesome comes off the top with a clothesline as he comes in.

The box empties out as this is getting rather stupid. Off to Storm who walks into an X-Factor but Konnan is spent from doing two moves so he takes a little nap. Off to Kidman who comes in on fire. Well not literally but you get the concept. We hit the floor and everything breaks down.

Awesome has scissors and tries to give Kidman a haircut for no apparent reason and is sent to the box. Bronco Buster to Storm from both Rey and Tygress. She goes to the box as Storm gets a forearm to Rey, only to get caught in the ropes and hit by a leg drop. Off to Kidman who gets the Unprettier for two. The box empties though and Awesome hits an Awesome Bomb to Rey as Storm puts the Maple Leaf on Kidman for the tap out.

Rating: D+. Total and complete mess here with the rules seemingly added on for the sake of adding rules on. It didn’t help the match or anything but they did it anyway. Not much of a match as it was just a six man with extended faces/heels in peril spots. This feud went on more or less until the end of the company.

Here’s one more WCW match, from the final Nitro for the Tag Team Titles.

Tag Titles: Lance Storm/Mike Awesome vs. Chuck Palumbo/Sean O’Haire

The more famous guys are challenging. Team Canada won a non-title match last week to get this. See, why is logic like that so complicated? That’s a basic story and it gives perfect justification as to why we are where we are here. After a quick break, Vince is with Trish again and Cole interrupts them. He says a bunch of WCW related people are worried and Vince threatens to fire Cole. PLEASE DO IT VINCE!

Storm of course starts with technical stuff. Tony almost says World Tag Titles but has to shift to WCW Tag Titles. Slingshot splash by Awesome for two. Hot tag to O’Haire and he beats the crap out of Awesome, hitting his weird reverse Samoan Drop. I could watch Lance Storm throw superkicks all day. Palumbo hits his Jungle (super) kick and the Shawnton Bomb ends it.

Rating: C-. I always liked all four of these guys so I was a fan of this feud. The match of course was really short so it’s kind of hard to grade, but at the same time this was ok I guess. It put the champions over and didn’t give us a title change for the sake of a title change, so I can’t really complain about that at all. Decent match but again nothing great at all.

It was soon off to the WWF in the Invasion. Storm would be the first WCW name to appear on WWF programming in a run-in at Raw in Calgary. A few weeks later he was challenging for the Intercontinental Title.

Intercontinental Title: Lance Storm vs. Albert

Albert rams him into the corner to start and Lance is in trouble. Storm sends him to the floor but his plancha is caught in a slam. Albert is rammed into the post and Storm takes over. Back in Albert military presses Storm and follows with a splash for two. Bicycle kick looks to set up the Baldo Bomb but Mike Awesome gets the referee. That allows Hugh Morrus to hit Albert with the belt. A superkick gives Storm the title in a short match. Storm got a BIG pop for winning the title.

We’ll jump ahead nearly a year to Vengeance 2002. Storm is part of the Un-Americans with Christian and is challenging the new Tag Team Champions Edge and….Hulk Hogan?

Tag Titles: Lance Storm/Christian vs. Hulk Hogan/Edge

This isn’t going to be fun is it? I think the tag titles went on both brands at the time but I’m not sure. Yeah they did. Ross then explains that Toronto is in Canada. Ok then. It’s also the Hendrix music for Hogan. Yes let’s pay a commercial artist for music when WE OWN THE MOST FAMOUS SONG IN WRESTLING HISTORY! He follows that up by TWICE, yes TWICE saying that Hogan fought Warrior at Mania 3. WOW.

I knew that when I was 4 years old. Hogan vs. Christian starts. That’s a weird thing to see: Hogan fighting a guy that’s young and talented that hasn’t been elevated up yet. Dang how out of place does Hogan look here? If you get another talented guy in there, you could have a pretty interesting tag match. Or like this: Edge vs. Lance Storm. That sounds perfectly entertaining. This however, just isn’t interesting. Also, within about two months, Hogan has won the tag and world titles.

He’s like what, 50 at this point? Is there a reason to give him such title runs here? I can almost guarantee you that Edge will get pinned here if they lose the belts. Naturally Edge is the one getting beaten down. Hogan comes in and Christian goes for that diving reverse DDT of his. Hogan botches the HECK out of it. You know, because it’s such a hard move to take isn’t it? Leg drop to Christian but Storm makes the save.

Hogan doesn’t take the superkick from Storm right either. Edge comes in to clean house while Hogan looks for a pudding pack or something. And there goes the referee. Test runs down to beat up Hogan and Edge. Storm covers Edge for only two. Wow that surprised me. Rikishi of all people comes down to beat up Test. Sure why not?

Christian distracts the referee and JERICHO comes out to nail Edge with a title belt for the ending. Wow it only took four guys to get the belt off of Hogan and he didn’t even get pinned. That might be a new record low for Hogan. Naturally, this title that Hogan was so proud of was never mentioned again and he never went after it again.

Rating: D. Just bad and Hogan looked awful out there. Four guys to get the title off of Hogan. He botches a ton of spots, and he doesn’t even let Storm or Christian get to say they pinned Hogan. Yeah, this is definitely about the young guys. Can’t you see that? Brother?

Another jump ahead, but this one is only about nine months. He’s in yet another tag team, this time with Chief Morely (Val Venis). This is the match that was cut off of Wrestlemania XIX for the Miller Lite Catfight Girls.

Raw Tag Titles: Kane/Rob Van Dam vs. Lance Storm/Chief Morely

The Dudleys are in champions’ corner for no apparent reason. Kane shove Storm to the floor to start and Van Dam kicks Morely’s head off. Van Dam hits a nice flip dive to take out the champions and Kane adds a plancha of his own to pop the crowd. We take a break and come back with the champions in control of Van Dam and Morely grabs a sleeper. Van Dam counters into one of his own but gets caught in a Blue Thunder Bomb.

Rob avoids a splash and makes the tag off to Kane who cleans house with a tilt-a-whirl slam for two on Storm. There’s the top rope clothesline for two more as Morely makes the save. Everything breaks down with the challengers in control and there’s the chokeslam to Storm. RVD loads up the Five Star but Morely shoves him off the top. The Dudleys lay out Storm with the 3D before dropping an elbow on Rob to give Lance the pin.

Rating: D+. Just a quick match here which had some strange booking decisions. Kane and Van Dam would take the titles the next night on Raw, so why not just switch them here to fire the crowd up before the show starts? The tag division was really starting to die around this point and having two sets of titles just didn’t work.
Since this is supposed to be about Lance Storm and not his partners, and since Storm didn’t have a lot of major singles moments in WWE, here’s a singles match from Raw on September 8, 2003.

Lance Storm vs. Rico

If nothing else we get to look at Jackie Gayda in a barely there outfit. The idea here is that Storm is boring and trying to find a personality. Rico starts the boring chant before the match so Lance punches him down. Goldust in turn starts a Rico Sucks chant and we’re ready to go. A quick suplex gets two for Lance but Rico comes back with a kick to the face and a clothesline before ripping at Storm’s face. Off to a chinlock for a bit until Storm fights up and starts firing off clotheslines. Jackie tries to get involved and gets kissed by Storm who quickly finishes Rico with a springboard missile dropkick. Short and not terrible here.

Storm would retire as a wrestler in spring of 2004 before becoming a trainer in OVW. He would however come out of retirement a few times, including at One Night Stand 2005 (ECW Reunion show) for a match with old partner Chris Jericho.

Lance Storm vs. Chris Jericho

It’s Lionheart here too and we get a dramatic pause joke from Joey. It’s great to hear Joey talk about the old days, which to be fair and honest were more or less crap but for the sake of this it’s fine. Jericho is freaking small here as he looks like he did in WCW which I mean in a good way. It amazes me that these two have been so intertwined throughout the years. Foley throws in that he was the guy that saw Jericho in Japan and got Heyman to bring him to America and ECW in particular.

Dawn Marie is a crack whore apparently. We hear about SMW to really make this great. Apparently Joey and ECW don’t like that the New York Athletic Commission made them use mats. This is something that on paper sounds great and on a rare occasion like this one it works like a charm. With these guys here’s what you do: “Chris, Lance, you have 7 minutes, here’s your ending.” That’s all they need. Joey calls Foley Mickles. Ok then.

We get a big old Chris Candido chant who would have passed away only about a month and a half before this show. To say the crowd is hot is like saying Steve Austin might have had alcohol before. We have an F JOHN CENA chant. Foley: How does the Calgary Crab differ from its Boston cousin?

Joey: It doesn’t it’s just a gimmick. Jason and Justin Credible are here and with Dawn Marie running interference, Justin canes the heck  out of Jericho to allow Storm to get the easy pin. Joey complaining about itching from Jason is funny. Lance more or less retired after this.

Rating: B. This was rather fun indeed. These two have good matches just about every time they’re allowed to get in the ring and this was no exception. This is a pairing that it’s hard to get wrong and it worked out just about perfectly. Solid match and a solid ending to Storm’s final match in the mainstream.

Storm would almost exclusively become a trainer after this, though he would occasionally wrestle for independents. Here’s one of those matches, from ROH at Border Wars 2012.

Mike Bennett vs. Lance Storm

Bennett has his old trainer named Brutal Bob Evans with him but no Maria, as in Maria from WWE who is absolutely gorgeous. The fans immediately chant for her and I can’t say I blame them at all. They shove each other around to start with Lance being pushed into the corner which goes nowhere. Both guys trade strikes with Storm hitting a European uppercut to send Bennett into the corner and down to the mat.

Storm fires off some shoulders into the corner and a running version to the ribs gets two. Off to an abdominal stretch which is the most logical move for him at this point. Bennett quickly reverses and sends Storm to the apron and then into the buckle, sending Storm to the floor. Mike throws Storm into the announce table and then the barricade and we head back inside. The fans chant obscenities at Bennett because they can’t handle their countryman getting beaten up. Sore losers.

After sending Storm into the corner it’s off to a bow and arrow hold by Bennett to give the guys a breather. Storm flips out of the hold into a kick to Bennett’s face but gets caught in a backdrop to put him right back down. Back to the reverse chinlock with a knee in Storm’s back as Bennett keeps things slow. Lance fights back and they slug it out with both guys seemingly spent again after only a few minutes. In a rather impressive display of athleticism, Storm jumps from the mat and up to the top for a back elbow to the face, getting two.

The superkick is blocked and Storm walks into a spinebuster for a close two. Bennett tries a fireman’s carry but Storm slips down to the apron. A springboard clothesline misses though and Mike spears him down for two. Storm tries something out of a fireman’s carry but Bennett comes back with a sit out Rock Bottom called the Box Office Smash for two.

A dragon screw leg whip puts Storm down and flips off the fans (Storm mentioned that metaphorically in his pre-match promo) before putting on Storm’s own Canadian Maple Leaf half crab. Storm reverses into one of his own but Evans pulls Bennett to the floor. Storm hits a big dive to take Mike out before going back inside. With Evans distracting the referee, Mike gets a chair, only to have Storm blast him in the back with it and superkick Bennett down for the pin.

Rating: C+. This is probably the match of the night so far, but that ending brings it down for me. Storm using the chair is completely against what he’s been talking about leading up to the match and it goes against his style in general. Now, superkick the chair into Bennett’s face would have been fine, but it doesn’t feel right for Storm to just use the chair on his own like that.

Lance Storm is a fine wrestler but never reached anything higher than the midcard. What people don’t seem to get is that there’s nothing wrong with that at all. Storm could move around a ring very well and was often a bright spot in the mess that was ECW. No he wasn’t a top star, but he was a solid midcard and tag hand with an awesome springboard missile dropkick. He made Val Venis relevant again in 2003. That’s proof enough for me.

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  1. zappa says:

    Lance Storm is a fine wrestler but never reached anything higher than the midcard. What people don’t seem to get is that there’s nothing wrong with that at all.

    You want wrestlers you like to reach the top. I don’t understand why you don’t get that?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I do understand that. I also understand that not everyone is capable of doing that and is better suited for being in the midcard. By his own admission, Storm isn’t a charasmatic man. Without that, you’re not getting that high on the card. The fact that he got as high as he did is impressive.