Q & A

february 28, 2007

Q: In the documentary movie "Beyond the Mat" it is mentioned that Rolin Alexander of APW really wants his students to "make it big" by signing with the then-WWF, because if they are signed Rolin gets a percentage of their annual salary. I've never heard anything of the sort from any of the Indy wrestlers, promoters, or trainers I've known through the years. Was Rolin yanking the chain of the guy putting together the documentary, or is this more common that I'd expect?
A:This is not that uncommon. Some school and trainers require students to sign a contract with them. Some times it is a managerial type contract where they get a percentage of your earnings, while others have them sign an exclusive contract where they have to work shows run by the same people who run the school. Often they offer the training at a lower cost as an incentive to sign such a contract. Iíve heard guys offering training people for free in exchange for an exclusive contract and then the talent can only take bookings approved by them and also pay a percentage. As far as Iím concerned this type of deal is a complete scam and people should avoid places that operate like this at all costs. Itís hard enough to make it in this business without some else trying to control you and milk your success. My students sign a liability waiver and that is all. They can work where ever and whenever they like and donít owe me an addition penny no matter how big they make it.

Q: Hi Lance Storm, just wondered your thoughts on british wrestlers. It seems as if Vince Mcmahon dosnt like the thought of a british wrestler to hold the WWE or World Heavywieght title, The British Bulldog was way over most of his career, even when he played a heel he was a heat magnet. Also Finlay, if he is booked the right way, he could be the top heel on Smackdown without a doubt, he's incredible, and can cut a decent promo, am i right?
A: I think you are trying to read way too much into this. There are tons of people who you could argue could do well with the title who never get there. When you look at the minimal number of British wrestler who have worked for Vince over the years it isnít that surprising none of them have been Champ. There havenít been too many Asia World Champs, it doesnítí mean Vince has something against Asians. I think also when looking at a top draw in the US choosing a foreigner is questionable, hell even Benoit they billed from Atlanta when he was Champ.

Q: Hey I just got back from a great ROH show and was thinking Iíd love to see you come in again and work with Albright or Nigel Mcguiness when you are healthy enough to go. Did you work with Albright in OVW? If so what are your thoughts on him.. From what I have seen I am VERY surprised WWE let him go.
A: I was talking with ROH about possibly coming back for a shot but my doctor still hasnít cleared my throat for full combat. I did work with Albright in OVW and thought he was a very talent wrestler. WWE was looking for a personality at the time and Brent is an ability guy, if they booked him right he could have gotten over and done well. A lot of guys get that one short chance and then get passed over. Tank Toland of the Dickís tag team got shafted too.

Q: II was wondering what are your thoughts on Jushin Liger as a worker and a person. I was also wondering why many people such as chris benoit look up to Dynamite Kid and not as much as tiger mask 1?
A: I donít know Liger well enough to comment on him as a person I only worked with him the 3 times. He was a great worker and a lot of fun to work with. I think all of those guys who admired Dynamite had a ton of respect for Tiger Mask. Benoit though was actually trained by Dynamite at one point and knew him personally so he would look up to him more.

Q: What are your thoughts on Lita? I think the way they made her go out was a slap in the face. I think it was unfortunate that the only time she was a heel in the WWE was right before she retired. So when she left, it wasn't really a big deal, fans booed her out of the arena and chanted names about her that i probably shouldn't repeat here. She truly did re-defined women's roles in professional wrestling, and i will always think of her as one of the best Women's champions of all time.
A: Lita was a big deal in the progression of womenís wrestling in WWE and I like her a lot as a person but you know what, wrestling is wrestling and what happens on screen is a WORK. Jericho who was a really big deal left RAW kicking and screaming and looking like an idiot too.

Q: I know this requires a long answer, but in brief, how would u define a technical wrestler?
A: I would describe it as someone who actually wrestles. One who is good at the basics and fundamentals, and has good execution. Bryan Danielson would be a prime example.

Q: What do u exactly mean when u describe a wrestler as being "green"?
A: Inexperienced

Q: U may not have an answer for this question, but since Y2J is ur buddy, u might have talked about it with him.. He and Benoit were challenging Austin and HHH for the tag titles in may 2001, when HHH tore his quad but still continued the match, later on Jericho put him in the Liontamer. Now was Jericho aware of HHH's injury when he applied the move? If so did he put less pressure?
A: He knew HHH was hurt but HHH told him to go ahead. He likely would have not put as much pressure.

Q: Would u say that the HHH-HBK-Benoit triple threat from wrestlemania XX is the best wrestlemania main event to date? I personnaly think so.
A: Itís entirely possible. I still love Bret vs. Owen from X but that was the opener. Bret vs. Austin (which I havenít seen) could be up there too.

Q: At the 1st One Night Stand was there any grudges still held between certain parties, How was Mike Awesome received did he make up with Paul Heyman?
A: With the exception of the JBL Ė Blue Meanie incident everyone was professional. I donít think anyone made up but rather put differences aside to do business.

Q: Do you not feel that Rey Mysterio would be better off going to TNA when contractually possible? I mean what they did to him on SmackDown recently just buried him even more. No pay off seems to be in sight for him, much like with his world title reign disaster.
A: God no! No one who has left for TNA has become a bigger star. Getting laid out isnít a permanent burial. Rey will be back and an over Superstar again. He will make more money and be a bigger star if he stays put.

Q: We see guys getting crotched all the time in matches, on the top turnbuckle, top rope, ring post and guard rail outside. My question is, how the hell does this not really hurt?? Especially when during ladder matches, the spot comes where the ladder is pushed over and the guy lands on the top rope, balls first! I've been watching wrestling for about 20 years now and I know guys protect themselves in moves but I cant for the life of me work out how this doesnít hurt, if even just a little (if there is such a thing as a little amount of pain when it comes to a shot to the balls).
A: The thing so many people over look is that a lot of stuff does really hurt we just are willing to put up with it for the sake of the match. You can try to protect yourself on low blows but often it is an uncomfortable landing.

Q: I would like to know how long it usually takes for a student who is learning the wrestling craft to train before first stepping into a ring in front of fans. Is there an average time span or does it depend from person to person?
A: It very much depends on the individual. Some guys will NEVER be ready while others could be ready in a month if they really take to it and get enough training in that month. The majority of my students are ready to have decent matches after their 12 weeks of training.

Q: I was wondering if you could give me your opinion on something. Lately I do not thing WWE has been putting out as good a product as they normally do. It may be because they feel as if they have no competition with TNA but I think they do. But anyway, What do you think of the product that WWE is putting out and do you think TNA is really around to stay? Thanks if you get around to reading this or even replying hope to hear from you.
A: I think WWE has been really solid of late. I think they have actually improved since the departure of HHH. TNA is around as long as the money people are okay with continuing to lose their money, or they completely change their product and approach to business.

Q: Do wrestlers tend to exaggerate their weight to get over, if so about how much?
A: Some do some donít, there is no rule of thumb. Generally the ring announcer will say, ďHey how much do you weigh?Ē and whatever the guy says gets announced.

Q: Say you work in Japan, how do North Americans communicate with the Japanese in the ring?
A: Believe it or not some times you just wrestle and donít communicate in the ring. Iíve had matches with guys Iíve never once spoken a word to.

Q: Iím a huge Matt Hardy fan. Every week he gets one of the biggest pops and his in ring work is excellent. Why wonít WWE put him in the main event? Smackdown needs some new blood in the World Title hunt. Iím a little tired of Batista and Booker and even Taker who has been in and out of the title race his whole career. Nothing against any of them they all deserve to be where they are but so does Matt Hardy. Why isnít he there? Even JBL brings this point up in every one of Mattís matches. Do you know why he isnít in the main event?
A: Generally in WWE you get labeled and Matt has not been labeled as a Main Event guy, and convincing anyone otherwise is VERY difficult. Matt has worked Tags and Mid-Card so long people begin to view him that way. Iím not saying that is right or wrong just the way it is.

Q: Have you seen the Heroes of World Class Wrestling DVD yet, and did you watch the Von Erichs and WCCW growing up?
A: I have not seen it and Iíve never watched World Class. It wasnít available on TV here when I was a fan.

Q: You may have answered this before and I missed it.(I've only been reading your blogs for about a month) I am curious what your opinion is on the six-sided ring that TNA uses. I personally dislike it. Maybe I'm just getting old and like the four-sided ring because it is what I'm used to.
A: I donít care for it. I donít think it adds anything, and when you go against tradition it is either a big hit or comes of as a pointless gimmick. I donít see it as a big hit.

Q: Regardless of how much TNA's been lacking in potential lately, do you have any favorite matches, feuds, match types that were seen in the 6-sided ring (4-sided back in their growing days)?
A: I never ordered their PPVís so I didnít get to see most of the good matches. So much happens on TNA each week I find I remember nothing when it is all over. I think Daniels had a solid match on their one 2-hour special.

Q: Back in mid-2005 OTR with Landsberg had RVD as his guest for a 1-on-1 interview. During the interview, Landsberg asked RVD what he'd do to make the current product better. RVD basically said he'd go back to having more squash matches involving jobbers and save the big, feature matches for later. What do you think? Is it possible to go back to that style of booking done in the early/mid-90s?
A: I agree that the squash match format got people over better, but I donít know if fans would endorse going back to that format and ratings good drop drastically.

Q: Just wanted to know your thoughts on The Great Khali...I think he is terrible and should be off TV...Do you agree with me? Also is it because he is so big that he is on TV?
A: Absolutely he is on TV because he is so BIG. I wouldnít say he is terrible but his wrestling is.

Q: Who do you think is the best Indian pro wrestler ever? Do you think that the TNA management is holding Sonjay Dutt back? Also do you think Sonjay should move to the WWE???
A: I have no idea who all in wrestling is even from India. Sonjay would not even be offered a job in WWE (in my opinion) based solely on his size. The entire X-Division is being held back and wasted I wouldnít single out Sonjay.

Q: Going to a house show this weekend, and the "Powers of Pain", The Barbarian and The Warlord are in the main event. Did you ever get to meet either of the two, and if so how were they as both people and professionals?
A: Iíve met them both but very briefly. I doubt they would even remember it. Both were pleasant enough but again it was basically just a ďHi, Iím LanceĒ conversation.

Q: Did you ever get to meet Bret Hart? If so, do you stay in contact with him?
A: I was actually on TV with him in WCW, so yah weíve met. There is a picture on my site of us together. I spoke to him a few months ago. He travels a lot so we donít talk that often.

Q: Lance, I know the traditional ways to win a match clean are pinfall and submission, and with submission there is a chance of someone passing out, but are you a fan of the referee stoppage win that Bryan Danielson used during his title run, where he would just elbow someone until the referee stops the match?
A: Iíve got no problem with that. When things are done differently it can be effectively. I think it gave the finish more of a shoot feel, which I believe was the attempt.

Q: Hey lance, in your last Q&A you mention Val Venis is lost in the shuffle because he's a nice guy. My trainer called me that. Do you have to be a little mean in this business?
A: I wouldnít say you have to be mean, but to reach the very top in this business you have to be willing to stand up and fight for it outside the ring too.

Q: Do you think there is a possibility that Finlay could have a title run anytime? I would love to see this as I think he's head and shoulders better than Batista.
A: Being better really doesnít enter into it, unfortunately. I doubt WWE will put the title on Fit. As good as he is I donít think they see him as the hood ornament (for lack of a better term) of the company. WWE likes guys who stand out walking through an airport and grab attention. You first see Big Dave in public you go, ďWow look at that guy heís hugeĒ That is not the reaction you get when you see Finlay. You actually have to see Fit work to be impressed.

Q: You where in WCW with Russo and seem to be very opinionated on your stance on TNA as long as he is there. In your opinion, what would it take before TNA finally gives him the boot. I try to support TNA but now I find the product completely unwatchable.
A: I would really like to know the answer to this question. Most people you talk to agree that the program is unwatchable. Buy rates have actually dropped, despite having added bigger name talent to the company and actually having a slight increase in viewers. The show is less effective than ever at generating money. Someone in TNA seems to either enjoy burying their head in the sand or just enjoys losing money.

Q: Why does WWE love big guys so much? With the exception of Hogan most of their biggest draws have been normal size (or maybe just above normal) wrestlers like Austin, HBK, Bret Hart, and the Rock.
A: WWE first exploded on the backs of BIG guys in the 80ís and I think Vince will always have that bigger is better mentality.

Q: You seem to have a very strong following despite never being a top guy (a travesty I must say!). I know you have a Straight Shooting DVD but what are the odds of a Best of Lance Storm DVD coming out form WWE or someone else?
A: It would pretty much have to come from WWE, as they own all of my ECW, WCW, and WWE footage. There isnít a whole lot left if you exclude that. I wouldnítí hold my breath but an active campaign requesting one couldnít hurt. Vince likes money so if he felt there was enough interest in it he would make one.

Q: Do wrestlers that work for the big promotions in Mexico and Japan have to work a lot more years than wrestlers in the WWE, and save more money in order for them to be able to retire and be well off financially?
A: It all depends on the individual and how smart they are with their money. There are guys who have made millions and have nothing.

Q: I have read your postings for a while now, and am a little confused. I was under the impression that Victoria is actually your sister (I got this from comments you have made yourself). But in your 02-11-07 Q&A, you responded to someone's question that it was a few-years long rib. So was there some sort of particular joke there, or just a fun way for two friends to say how close they are? Or is she actually your sister, and you're fooling me again?
A: It started years ago, someone made a silly comment about how Victoria and I looked a lot a like and thought we were related or something like that (I donít remember the exact comment) that was so absurd I thought it was laughable. I then decided that a stupid question deserves a stupid answer and us being brother and sister was born. It grew from that and got dumber and dumber. I kept making stupid comments about it (at one point claiming we were identical twins) and everyone kept eating it up and believing it so I never bothered to correct anyone.

Q: What are your feelings on Umaga? Do you see him as being able to carry a title, or is he destined for an eventual midcard jobber spot? What are your feelings on his manager Armando Estrada?
A: I hate when people try to label everyoneís spot. There is a lot of ground between Title holder and mid-card jobber. I doubt he will ever be the top dog. I find Estradaís promos entertaining and it is a shame he has been pushed to the side somewhat with Umagaís current involvement with Vince.

Q: Looking at a wrestlers lifestyle [from what I Know and assume], it appears the biggest challenge to maintaining and enhancing physical and mental strength would be lack of sleep. When my kids where born and didn't take too well to night times, my body shrunk. Is this a problem?
A: Burn out is definitely a factor and lack of sleep due to travel is a big part of that. You go so non-stop for so long you donítí even realize how burned out and tired you are till you stop. Iíve talked to Jericho and others who stepped back and all of us said the same thing, that we didnít realize how burned out we really were.

Q: I was looking at UFC 67 and I'm surely not the only one who thinks Mirko Cro Cop look a lot like you, so my question is did someone ever ask you an autograph thinking you were Mirko?
A: No one ever has no, but the dude is one handsome man!!!!

Q: Have you ever had the opportunity to read any of Rob Grant's work? He is a favourite author of mine and i can strongly recommend any of his books, but especially "Incompetence"
A: I havenít no, but I will keep my eyes open for him.

Q: Teaming with Gregory Helms as he first started out with the Hurricane gimmick, did he ever confide in you about his feelings portraying the superhero and what did you and he feel being given the gimmick?
A: He enjoyed the gimmick and found it fun. It also produced a lot of merchandise revenue for him.

Q: I was watching ECW One Night Stand 05 last night and saw your match with Jericho (great match by the way, wish it was given more time) did you have any issues about how the finish was booked? I mean at the time it was quite possibly going to be your last match ever. Did you want your last match to end in a victory where you cheated to win?
A: I am always amazed at how many times I get asked this question. I thought it was the appropriate finish. It led to the reunion of the Impact Players (very good for the show) and established us as heels and gave us heat going into the main event run in we did later in the night. I would have had to have been a real ďMARKĒ to want the finish any other way.

Q: Do you know how long your longest match was and how short your shortest match was?
A: Iím all but positive my longest singles match was a 45-minute draw I did with Johnny Smith here in Calgary. My shortest Iím not exactly sure. I think I did a 45 sec. DQ finish with Mark Henry once. I also have the infamous 1:08 match for the IC title with Edge at MSG in NY. I also beat the Wall in a Tables match in WCW to win Tylene Buck in about 1 minute or less.

Q: You seem a lot more connected to your fan base than most of the other wrestlers. You write your commentaries which some other wrestlers do but you also take time out of your life to do a Q&A almost every month (if not every month). What made you start doing a Q&A while most other wrestlers donít?
A: I guess I just enjoy discussing the business more than others do. I also never went out on the road so I had a lot more time to kill. (LOL)

Keep the questions coming,
Lance Storm