Lance Storm

Lance Storm Is Such A Brilliant Wrestling Mind!

Lance Storm (@lancestorm) is a professional wrestler known for his time in ECW, WCW and WWE and currently works as a producer for TNA Wrestling. He sits down with Chris Van Vliet in Las Vegas to talk about the rebranding of IMPACT Wrestling back to TNA Wrestling, what exactly a producer does, how he came up with The Canadian Maple Leaf as his finisher, his thoughts on the current era of wrestling, the story behind his dancing gimmick in WWE, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin bringing out a pillow during Lance’s promo, how he got put into a tag team with Val Venis, his thoughts on match ratings and much more!

Quote I’m thinking about: “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas A. Edison

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On possibly competing again:

“I’m not in ring shape. I could still go but I’m not putting on tights and taking my shirt off in the ring anymore. I’m 54 coming up on 55. But the cosmetic ring shape I am not in. I think I could physically do the other part sure. But I have high standards.”

On possibly still facing Chris Jericho:

“You’re omitting the next sentence where he said he doesn’t want to put an expiry date on his career and actually pick an endpoint. But it’s funny because the building is still there. I went to a wrestling show there a few years ago. But I remember Jericho, he was at a concert in Edmonton. On the drive back, he pulled into Ponoka and went to the building and took a photo out front. And he sent me the photo and then I was going up to Edmonton a few months later or whatever I’m like, I’m gonna stop in too. I stopped with a buddy of mine. And I had the photo of the Jericho sent me and I tried to stand where I would stand if I was beside him and like stood with my arm out like this. And I’m like someone’s gonna Photoshop these two together. And so I sent to him the photo of me standing in the same spot and then I had a bunch of people in the Observer message board do some Photoshop for me to get this put together.”

On not liking gimmick names for moves:

“I just think it’s all dumb. I used to joke with Edge because I always used to laugh at Edge because he had the Edgecution, Educator and there was a brief period of time where he was trying to get over a sort of reverse sharpshooter. You start with the Sharpshooter but then you spin to your belly, but you stay facing [the opponent]. And he was like trying to come up with a name and I joked just call it the Edgelicious.”

On his job in TNA: 

“Producer coach is sort of what I would consider it, used to be an agent job. But they like to call it producer now. So yeah, take what creative does and translate that to talent and then help coordinate all that on the headset.”

On his wrestling pet peeve:

“I think my biggest pet peeve, and I blame Vince, is what I consider just terrible, s*itty covers on pins. It was a couple of years, actually probably five or eight years ago. But Vince became obsessed you got to hook the leg, you got to hook the leg. And so everyone in WWE started doing this. And then I think everyone just copies it because that’s what they watch. But I would say nine out of ten pins today, the person goes towards the guy’s hips and grabs the leg and then rolls his back onto the guy’s stomach. And the guy making the pin is staring at the ceiling with no weight above the dude’s or female’s sternum, it’s like this is terrible. You’re not holding the shoulders down. It’s a terrible visual. Now there’s a lot fewer of them in TNA because I have been harping on the talent since day one. And it’s like, you can still hook the leg, but go to the shoulders, and you can just tell that everyone’s thinking leg because the person is laying there in front of them and they go towards the hips first. It’s like no, pin the shoulders, you can reach back and get the leg. And then the other thing that I harp on people is when you’re covering the shoulders, chest to chest, your head up, we can see your face. We’ve heard the expression Oh yeah, he always looks to the lights. He’s a loser. It’s a part of why she got over, but look at the way Rhea Ripley pins people. You know she won. And you know that she’s the boss. She’s in charge, she won this match.” 

On over-choreographed matches: 

“It’s a double-edged sword in that part of me doesn’t like it but part of me realises it’s what you got to do now. It’s just the situation where the speed of what we do now, or they do now more than me, because I’m not the one physically doing it. But what’s done now is so much faster, and so much more complicated. I’m not going to call a Speedball Mike Bailey spot just on the fly. I’d have to sit in a chinlock for five minutes to explain it to him. Like it’s just too fast and too many things that yeah, there’s a lot more than just gonna be a tackle, drop down block, hip toss, I’ll clothesline Yeah, yeah. So you have to go so much faster. So you have to sit down and put that together. Now, what the really good guys that do that do is you insert places where you can speed it up or slow it down accordingly. So that if the crowd is more into it, okay, well let it breathe here. If they’re not then move past it. And you would just sort of have to have an idea on what this crowd is going to like, put something together you think they will, and then adjust accordingly for time and crowd reaction. But I actually had a long talk with Mike Bailey, it was when he was putting the Ospreay match together. I was talking to him, it’s just so funny that this would not be done [in my era]. And he brings up so well how much [did you plan]? He brought up the singles match with Edge at SummerSlam. There’s a lot of stuff in that, he’s like, how much was that was actually called on the fly? And I’m like, oh, yeah, you’re right. It’s just that with that metric I worked with Edge for several weeks on the house shows before it. So we did eight simpler, similar versions of it over the course of a few weekends. So it’s like, yeah, 80% of it was stuff we’d done before. And could call real quick and easy. It’s not like we went into SummerSlam and just yeah, I’ll talk to you out there, Adam and we just went out there and called it because it wouldn’t have been anywhere near as good. And it’s just working into the environment that you have to and it really changed. And if we covered this last time, I’m gonna talk with somebody. But to me the moment that it changed was the Monday night wars when matches started being five minutes long.” 

On indie wrestling: 

“This is what I don’t like, because I don’t think it bodes well for learning. I think there’s too many people on the indie scene or trying to get noticed whatever else. And it’s like, that’s all they’re worried about. We have to come up with this really cool, innovative creative spot. So it’ll be gifable. And it’s like, well, that’s great. And Mike Bailey can have some really cool gifs, but Mike Bailey’s really f*cking good. He’s a great wrestler that really knows what he’s doing. So he has all the other parts and he does some really cool sh*t that’s giftable But if you don’t learn the being really good part first, I think you end up getting more injuries, more danger, and less actual true art form.” 

On issues with wrestling:

“That’s the part of the current wrestling product that I don’t like the constant comparing and grading. And that’s one of the things it’s like, it’s art. It’s not math. So like, I happened to like, Josh, and Osprreay better than Mike and Ospreay.”

On the angle with Steve Austin and the pillow:

“It started bad and thankfully they did adjust it, because it hurt Lance Cade for a long time too and actually started hurting everybody, because Jerry Lawler was like oh, yeah, grab a hold. That’s boring. And the crowd started chanting boring. Anytime on a house show someone grabbed a hold, [the boring] chant was there. Oh sh*t, what have we done here? But again, Vince pulled me into the office with a well we’re trying to get more crowd interaction. He’s like, everybody chants you suck at Kurt. No one thinks he actually sucks. It’s just something for them to say. We want to see this as that. And after the pillow with Steve, I went to Vince and I was like, Can we not make it more than that, Make it a shut up and wrestle gimmick where it’s like, Dude, get off the goddamn microphone, you’re boring as sh*t just go out and wrestle, it’s what you’re good at. And it started working on house shows because I go to the ring and grab a microphone and start explaining how I’m not boring. I even started reading the definition of boring from the dictionary to explain how it’s not doesn’t apply to me at all, which is boring as sh*t. And then the opponent’s music would hit. I do the head turn like I did in WCW the place would pop like crazy. And then we go on to have a match. Like it was working. As soon as I told Vince it was working, they changed it. But then again, part of me thinks they were trying to see if I would say no to something. I could be off base. Like Dean Malenko would come and he’s like, just to give you a heads up, someone said wouldn’t this be funny if Lance did this? And it’d be like, I’m dancing. And then the Dean came to me. He’s like, Yeah, just so you know, he said someone said something and Vince thought it would be really funny if it turns out you were a human tripod and had a large hose and I’m like, where’s that gonna go?”

What is Lance Storm grateful for?

“My kids, my health and my job at TNA.”

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