Wrestler of the Day – November 20: Lance Cade

Next up we’ve got a guy who was starting to show some potential when he passed away far too early: Lance Cade.

Cade started in 1999 after being trained by Shawn Michaels. We’ll pick things up in his early days with Memphis Championship Wrestling on June 23, 2001, a WWF developmental territory at the time.

Scotty 2 Hotty vs. Lance Cade

The bell rings but an injured Rikishi comes out to say that he’s reformed. After about three minutes of talking, Cade cranks on the arm to start until Scotty runs him over with a shoulder. A dropkick gets two for Scotty but Lance comes back with a bunch of right hands to the jaw. That’s fine with Scotty who crotches him against the post but it really doesn’t seem to hurt him that much.

Cade takes him back to the floor for a beating before choking on the ropes back inside. Scotty’s comeback is stopped with a spinwheel kick and we hit the chinlock. Back up and Scotty speeds things up before planting Cade with a DDT. They slug it out with Scotty taking over and starting the real comeback. A backdrop looks to set up the Worm but Lance bails to the floor and tries to leave. That’s not cool with Rikishi so the fat man throws him back inside, setting up the Worm for the pin.

Rating: C-. This actually wasn’t half bad. At the end of the day it wasn’t supposed to be a competitive match or anything like that, but rather a way to have a rookie like Cade get some experienced against a veteran like Scotty. This was better than I was expecting, which isn’t saying much given how low my expectations were going in.

After a few years in OVW, Lance changed his name to Garrison and got on Raw. Here’s a semi-famous match from Raw on June 16, 2003.

Garrison Cade vs. Lance Storm

Here’s the thing: Steve Austin is on the stage chanting BORING at Storm for the better part of the match. He even brings out a big blanket, saying that he can take a nap on the stage by watching a Lance Storm match after watching grass grow and paint dry didn’t knock him out. Storm hammers on Cade to start but Cade comes back with a dropkick. Garrison cranks on the arm as Austin starts yawning. He lays down on the stage because the match is even more boring than he thought it would be.

Now Storm works on the arm as Austin declares him better than sleeping pills. Austin: “I’m having a dream. Lance Storm is in the ring. OH NO IT’S A NIGHTMARE!” He wakes up as Lance drops Cade with a punch and says Storm has put the whole world to sleep. Storm finally yells at Austin and of course gets rolled up for a fast pin.

Since Cade was as boring as Austin said Storm was, they stuck him with Mark Jindrak as a tag team. Here they are in a Tag Team Turmoil match at Armageddon 2003.

Raw Tag Titles: Tag Team Turmoil

Gauntlet match more or less, with two teams starting and the winners advancing to face the next team. There are six teams total and we start with La Resistance vs. Rosey/Hurricane. The Dudleys are the champions coming in. Rosey takes over on Conway to start but it’s off to Hurricane very quickly. Out to the floor quickly which goes nowhere so back in for a full nelson by Conway.

Swinging neckbreaker gets no count because he’s under the ropes. Dupree comes in as we talk about France in Iraq. Never let it be said that Vince passes up a chance to cheer on AMERICA. Hurricane gets a face buster to escape and there’s a double tag. Rosey cleans house and throws out Dupree. A super splash off the shoulders of Rosey off the second rope ends Conway.

Mark Jindrak and Garrison Cade are in next, running through the crowd and stealing a rollup pin in maybe 20 seconds.

In next are Storm and Venis with the new guys taking over on Jindrak who escapes to bring in Cade. The fans tell Storm he’s boring which is a point to his character at this point. Storm speeds things up a bit but double teaming by the heels takes the heel down. Wait, actually I guess Storm and Venis are good guys. Works for me I guess. Storm avoids a splash in the corner and here’s Venis.

Val cleans house, destroying both guys with relative ease. He was always a pretty steady hand so that doesn’t really surprise me. Lance hits a Cactus Clothesline to take himself and Cade out. Val tries a suplex to bring Jindrak back in but it’s the Warrior at Mania 5 ending for them.

Team number five are the Dudleys, the reigning champions. The Dudleys take over and it’s a Tree of Woe for Cade. They’re only ten time champions here so this is a LONG time ago for them. Off to D-Von and Jindrak with Jindrak hitting a clothesline to get two. Jindrak isn’t that good at stomping. Cade goes up but mostly misses an elbow. Double tag and Bubba cranks it up. Everything breaks down and D-Von and Jindrak trade rollups. Dropkick misses and 3D ends Jindrak.

The final team is Steiner/Test. Bubba may have hurt his shoulder. Double team on Bubba but he manages to take Test down. Suplex sends Bubba flying and Test works on his arm a bit. We finally get something normal going with Steiner vs. Bubba. Steiner drops the elbow and actually covers, getting two. Fujiwara Armbar by Steiner and it’s off to Test who works on the arm even more.

Up to the corner and Bubba shoves Test off and ACTUALLY HITS THE BACKSPLASH!!! I’ve never seen him hit that ever and shockingly enough the guy he hit it on is now dead. Double tag brings in Steiner and D-Von. Neckbreaker takes Scotty down and another one to Test gets two. Double teaming occurs by the challengers and Test gets a sidewalk slam for two. Test accidently kicks Steiner but Test gets a full nelson slam to D-Von for two. Nice move by the Canadian to send in the belt as a decoy and then he gets a chair shot with the referee distracted. Doesn’t work as a Bubba Bomb gets the pin on Test but nice idea.

That would be the end in theory but here’s Bischoff to announce that there’s a final team, who have used their favor for winning at Survivor Series. Yep it’s Flair/Batista. This lasts about 90 seconds and the Dudleys get in maybe two punches combined. Batista gets the powerbomb on D-Von for the titles.

Rating: C-. Hard to call these because they’re more or less just a bunch of Raw matches thrown together into a 20 minute match. It’s ok but if you’ve seen one of these you’ve seen the vast majority of them. It really does show you how weak the division is when the Dudleys are the only realistic team that could win in there. Nothing great but I’ve seen worse.

Somehow they got on Wrestlemania XX.

Raw Tag Titles: La Resistance vs. Dudley Boyz vs. Garrison Cade/Mark Jindrak vs. Booker T/Rob Van Dam

Booker and RVD are defending and this is one fall to a finish. Booker has an AWFUL remix of his song here so hopefully they drop the belts so we don’t have to hear it again. Van Dam and Dupree get us going with Rob monkey flipping him down. Booker comes in with a side kick for two and a hip toss for an interfering Conway. Rene is knocked into the Dudley corner for a tag off to Bubba with the Dudley getting two off a neckbreaker. Booker comes back with a side kick but D-Von tags himself in before the cover. RVD jumps in with a kick to the face of D-Von but there was no tag so it’s Jindrak vs. Booker instead.

Cade and Jindrak take over on Booker in the corner but Rene steals a tag to take over. This match needs to end already. We’re four minutes in and I’m already bored. Conway hooks a bow and arrow hold which goes on WAY longer than needed. Booker fights out with a spinebuster for no cover but it’s not hot tag to RVD. Everything breaks down but D-Von breaks up the Five Star. It’s Booker vs. D-Von but Cade breaks up 3D. The scissors kick and Five Star are enough to pin Conway and retain the titles.

Rating: D. Sacre bleu what a waste of my time. No one card about this match because the tag division was so dead at this point that almost every team was just thrown together. Since this is Wrestlemania though, there’s ANOTHER four way tag match later tonight. Nothing to see here and the match sucked on all levels. Let’s get on to ANYTHING else.

Time for a new partner. From Vengeance 2004.

Tajiri/Rhyno vs. Jonathan Coachman/Garrison Cade

Uh…yeah. Seriously how do I even talk about this? This is like an opener on Heat, but a bad one. This was announced on Heat. Seriously, what was the thought osn this? To my great shock and awe, this has a backstory. For no apparent reason Eugene was made GM of Raw for a night and had a game of musical chairs for a title match. Tajiri was eliminated first and Coach got the last seat. This fell out of that.

Tajiri is actually popular. Coach wisely runs from Rhyno. I’ve never seen the appeal of Cade. The guy just isn’t that good and that’s all there is to it. Oh look: Rhyno vs. Garrison Cade on Pay Per View. Coach and Cade beat up Tajiri. Again, is there a reason this is happening? I mean was there NOTHING else to try?

After even more boring stuff, we get green mist from Tajiri to Cade. Apparently the referee seeing green stuff on Cade’s formerly blonde hair is perfectly fine. This is making my head hurt and I’m not even fifteen minutes into it. Cade gets gored, Coach gets kicked and I need a stiff drink.

Rating: D. This was a glorified squash and it was just boring as all goodness. Tajiri was always good for some stuff, but Cade and Coach? Really? That’s the best you can come up with? This was one of the dumbest openers of all time and it’s also one of the least interesting. I mean just think about it: Tajiri and Rhyno vs. Garrison Cade and Jonathan Coachman. Think about that for a minute.

Cade missed the better part of a year with an injury before coming back in late 2005 as Trevor Murdoch’s partner. Here they are in one of their first matches together at Unforgiven 2005.

Raw Tag Titles: Lance Cade/Trevor Murdoch vs. Rosey/The Hurricane

Earlier today the southern boys say they’ve beaten the champions before and they’ll do it again. Cade and Murdoch are a brand new team, forming like ten days before this. Naturally they’re the #1 contenders. You can see a bunch of fans going to get popcorn during this one. Hurricane vs. Cade gets us going and the champs clear the ring quickly. Hurricane headscissors Murdoch to the floor as we talk about country music.

Hurricane hits a missile dropkick and it’s off to Rosey. Lawler points out the stupidity of having a place that loves country music asked to boo a pair of country boys. Cade takes over on Rosey as Murdoch goes to hit on Lillian. Well to her credit she looks great tonight. Hurricane saves her but Murdoch gets a SICK elevated DDT to the floor on storm boy.

Rosey takes over but misses a splash in the corner to put him down. We finally get a trainer down here as the match falls apart. Cade cheats some on the floor as Hurricane is carried out. Like an idiot he comes back and tags in, only to get clotheslined a few seconds later for the pin.

Rating: D. Isn’t this what Raw is for? The tag titles were far less valuable back then than they are now and the country boys would break up like a month later. This was nothing but that DDT on the floor looked great. This was probably better than most tag title matches around this time, but it was still terribly uninteresting which might as well be printed on the belts.

After some time apart, the team would reform late in 2006, including this match on Raw, October 2 of the year.

DGeneration X vs. Lance Cade/Trevor Murdoch/Highlanders/Viscera/Charlie Haas

This is under Texas Tornado rules. Everyone rushes the ring and are pretty easily dispatched. This is exactly what you would expect: DX dominates and barely breaks a sweat. Top rope elbow hits Charlie, Chin Music, Pedigree, done in about two and a half minutes.

From Cyber Sunday 2006 as the team gets back in the Tag Team Title hunt.

Cryme Tyme vs. Viscera/Charlie Haas vs. The Highlanders vs. Lance Cade/Trevor Murdoch

The options are Texas Tornado, Fatal Fourway or Tag Team Turmoil with the insane one winning. Texas Tornado means everyone is in the ring at the same time. No titles or anything but rather just a match to fill out the card. Tornado gets half the vote and it’s a big mess. I remember Viscera and Charlie as a team but have no idea why. This is a total mess of course.

Who would imagine that JTG would be the only one left in the company at this point and that Viscera is the most famous name in this match somehow. I’m not even going to try to keep track of what’s going on here as it’s a free for all. JTG and Charlie are the only ones in the ring. Great German suplex by Haas to take over but they’re replaced almost immediately by Shad and Viscera.

Shad has been arrested 23 times for assault. The Highlanders get rid of the fat man as Cade and Murdoch take over. And then JTG hits a kick to end it. Sure whatever. They dance on the announce table after the match and teach JR the handshake. And there goes King’s laptop. Racial stereotyping FTW! Yes I said FTW.

Rating: D. Total mess here with no flow or story in sight but that was the idea I guess. It was just a big disaster with everyone all over the place. It was to put Cryme Tyme over but of course they never wound up doing anything. They would get fired sooner or later here but I’m not sure when. It’s not like it matters or anything so whatever.

We’ll jump ahead a good bit here to No Mercy 2007.

Jeff Hardy/Brian Kendrick/Paul London vs. Lance Cade/Trevor Murdoch/Mr. Kennedy

This is a bonus match, Jeff is the IC Champion and the country boys are the Raw tag champions. The tag champs say they have a new partner to keep another fluke like the one on Raw from happening. Cade and Kendrick start things off and it’s quickly off to London. Murdoch comes in and gets taken apart by a double teaming from Hardy and London. Trevor runs Hardy over with a clothesline and it’s off to Kennedy with a big pop.

Kennedy misses a charge and Hardy tags in Kendrick. Cade is in as well and Murdoch low bridges Brian to the floor. Kendrick plays Ricky Morton for awhile as Kennedy chokes him in the corner. A BIG boot in the corner gets two. Cravate keeps Kendrick down and he still can’t make a tag. Back to Cade who loads up a superplex but Kendrick headbutts his way out of it and a tornado DDT puts Cade down.

Double tags bring in Jeff and Trevor and Hardy tries that sitout gordbuster of his. He drops Murdoch though and Trevor LANDS ON THE TOP OF HIS HEAD. FREAKING OW MAN!!! Swanton would get the pin but Murdoch rolls to the floor to check if he’s dead. London vs. Kennedy now and Kennedy is put down with a spinwheel kick. Hardy misses whatever he was going for as Kendrick and Murdoch fall to the floor. Kennedy gets London on top and the rolling fireman’s carry slam off the middle rope gets the pin.

Rating: C-. Considering Murdoch is still alive, this at least ends on a positive note. The ending was cool too and with this being a bonus match, there’s only so much criticism I can give this match. It did its job, although I kind of wonder what the ads for this show were like given that there was a big ten minute hole in it and they already had a 15 minute talking segment to open things up.

The follow up on Raw, October 22, 2007.

Paul London/Brian Kendrick/Mickie James vs. Melina/Lance Cade/Trevor Murdoch

Cade and Murdoch are Raw Tag Team Champions here. London and Cade get things going here with Cade throwing him off a headlock. Cade jumps over him in the corner but gets taken down with a quick armdrag. Off to Brian for two off a sunset flip as the small guys take turns working on the arm. Even Mickie tries to come in with a shot of her own but it’s quickly off to Melina.

That goes nowhere so it’s back to Murdoch vs. Kendrick with the country boy grabbing a neckbreaker for two. Kendrick nails a quick kick to the face and tags London to speed things back up. A spinwheel kick gets two as Cade makes a save. Everything breaks down and Cade clotheslines Murdoch by mistake, allowing London to hit the standing shooting star for the pin.

Rating: D+. Quick match here with the girls mixed in to prevent the champs from getting pinned clean. That’s an idea that we haven’t seen in awhile and could stand to make a comeback. There wasn’t time to see do anything here, but combining a pair of feuds into a single match is an easy idea to use.

Here’s a quick match from Heat on June 1, 2008.

Jeff McCallister vs. Lance Cade

Cade and Murdoch have recently split up and Murdoch became a country singer for like a day. He hammers on Jeff to start and walks around, yelling at the crowd. A big legdrop has Jeff in even more trouble and a Rock Bottom into a sitout spinebuster is enough for the easy pin.

Somehow, for reasons I’ll never understand, this got Cade a main event slot in the Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels feud as Jericho’s protege. Here he is on Raw, September 22, 2008.

Shawn Michaels/Batista vs. John Bradshaw Layfield/Chris Jericho/Lance Cade

Jericho’s idea was to make it 3-2 and I guess it worked. Shawn and Cade start things off with Shawn destroying him. Cade reverses a whip and JBL adds a right hand to really give Lance an opening. Off to Jericho for a chinlock and an enziguri puts Shawn down. Off to JBL who hits a swinging neckbreaker for two. Back to Cade for more of a beating in the corner. Jericho chokes away as this has been one sided for the most part. Bradshaw comes in and they slug it out but JBL kicks him in the face to put him right back down.

It’s JBL vs. Batista at No Mercy if that clears anything up. Shawn jumps into the fallaway slam but he counters into a DDT to put both guys down. There’s the tag to Batista who cleans house. Spinebuster to Jericho and a powerslam sets up the Shawn elbow. Superkick is countered into a Walls attempt but Shawn rolls him up for two. Everything breaks down and Batista spears JBL outside. Lionsault misses and it’s off to Cade. Forearm puts him down but Jericho’s distraction lets him hit a sitout Rock Bottom to Shawn for the pin.

Rating: C. Just a main event tag match here that felt like it belonged at a house show. It wasn’t bad or anything but it just wasn’t interesting. There wasn’t much focus on the JBL vs. Batista match at all and Batista was only in the match for about a minute or so. Not bad, but just kind of there.

We’ll wrap it there as Cade would be released just a few months later. Unfortunately he would be released due to a seizure brought on by an overdose of pills. He died in 2010 due to an overdose of drugs. Cade may not have been a star, but he was showing potential when he got his big run in 2008, even beating Shawn Michaels in a tag match. The name would have needed to be changed, but there was some talent there. He was a good tag guy and at 29, should have had more than enough time to get a singles run going.

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