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Lance Storm (english)
CAGEMATCH: Lance, now that your career as a wrestler came to an end and you are able to look back – which was the greatest and most important point in your career?
LANCE STORM: This is hard to pin down. I think my greatest time was my time in ECW. It was so much fun. The most important time was likely my 3 title run in WCW. That forth week when I challenged Booker T for the World Title fans honestly believed I could win the World Title.
CAGEMATCH: And what was the worst situation you were in?
LANCE STORM: I think the biggest missed opportunity of my career was the week in WWE after I defeated Chris Jericho in a tag match with, me and RVD against Christian and Jericho. It was the turning point in the “Boring” angle which could have saved that whole thing. I turned face, stood up for Stone Cold Steve Austin and beat Jericho in an important match. It was a turning point, but the next week I was not even on the show. That was the point the ball was dropped and was the end of my productivity on RAW.
CAGEMATCH: The general opinion is that you never received the spot light you deserved in the WWE…
LANCE STORM: The funny thing is I did get it in WWE, I held the Intercontinental Title and the Tag Titles four times. It's such a shame that my last year overshadows that.
CAGEMATCH: Do you think the "Boring" angle hurt your career?
LANCE STORM: Yes, the Boring angle was horrible – my gimmick as the dancing guy with the large penis, too. You must know: Not everyone realised that was actually my gimmick for a while.
CAGEMATCH: What was going wrong at that point?
LANCE STORM: WWE had other priorities and unfortunately I was not one of them. I would have needed to actively campaign more for a push and attention from the writers to stay afloat but that is something I was not willing to do. There is a lot of politics involved in getting or keeping the spot light. I never wanted to do that.
CAGEMATCH: How did you keep up your motivation?
LANCE STORM: I never really had to worry about that. I always take pride in what I do, so I had to work hard, that is just who I am.
CAGEMATCH: Your last match was at the ECW One Night Stand-Pay Per View against Chris Jericho. Was Jericho a worthy opponent for your final bout?
LANCE STORM: Jericho was the perfect opponent. We broke in together and had our first match together, so I've bookended my career with Chris Jericho matches, which is pretty cool. I loved the match at ONS, and the only thing I would have changed was the length of the match. I would have liked to have about twice as much time.
CAGEMATCH: Speaking about One Night Stand: Did you think it was worthy to be called an ECW-Pay Per View?
LANCE STORM: It lived up to the ECW name. It felt like an ECW show to me, and the crowd was absolutely amazing. The ECW fans made ECW what it was and they were there in full force that night.
CAGEMATCH: After the Pay per view was done the WWE more or less dropped the ball on the whole ECW topic. Do you think this is a missed opportunity?
LANCE STORM: I do not think you can just start up the brand all over again and have it live up. We managed to do it the once but if it were to become a regular thing the magic would be lost.
CAGEMATCH: A side-effect of the ECW-hype was that some former ECW-workers like the Blue Meanie and Danny Doring finally get the opportunity to prove them in the WWE. Are there any ECW alumni who can really make an impact in the WWE?
LANCE STORM: There are guys who could do well if WWE got behind them, but no one can make a huge impact on their own either. Sabu for example is a unique individual that could grab people’s attention with the right push.
CAGEMATCH: What is your opinion on the incident between the Meanie and JBL and how it was used to build up a storyline on SmackDown?
LANCE STORM: Basing angles in reality always grabs people’s attention. There was a lot of bad press coming off that incident and it is all gone now and everyone is talking about SmackDown instead – it looks like it was a great plan.
CAGEMATCH: Talking about JBL: Do you think this massive push from was justified? Was he a good champion?
LANCE STORM: I think it was a tough spot for JBL to be in. It was a big jump up the card.
I think he was extremely good on promos, and has put the tag team image behind him. I am not a big fan of his work style but that is just more my personal taste in match styles. Buy rates and ratings do a better job of deciding if the push was justified, as there will be fans that think he did well and those who will not.
CAGEMATCH: What is your personal opinion about JBL?
LANCE STORM: Let’s just say we do not see eye to eye that often.
CAGEMATCH: It is said that you you had a confrontation with JBL because of the fact that you gave your OVW student Johnny Jeter not to accept the so-called "wrestlers court". Is that true?
LANCE STORM: There was a confrontation, but it is NOT true that I gave Johnny Jeter this advice. This is classic rumour BS. I told Jeter that I was no fan of wrestler’s court, but I also said that it was something he was going to have to do. This was then inaccurately reported back to people, and everyone gets hot, instead of checking out first hand what was actually said.
CAGEMATCH: Is there any guy in WWE who is totally underrated?
LANCE STORM: I still think Christian is the most entertaining thing on WWE television, and deserves a bigger spot. He is being used well but I think he is capable of even more.
CAGEMATCH: Your former tag team partner Chris Jericho also comes to mind when you talk about underrated wrestlers. Do you think he will sign a new contract with WWE?
LANCE STORM: Chris and I seldom talk business so I really don't know if he will re-sign or if he has already.
CAGEMATCH: Why did he never get the final push in the McMahon-Company?
LANCE STORM: Chris was Undisputed World Champ for 4 or 5 months and headlined Wrestlemania: He did get THE push. Right now, Chris is in that spot where he has done it all in WWE and it is hard to find fresh things for him. There are so many great 'top guys' keeping them all fresh and busy is a real challenge for the creatives. Unless Jericho is in the number one top spot he is not likely being used to his potential.
CAGEMATCH: So what can he do?
LANCE STORM: When guys have done so much in one place, a fresh landscape for them would be great. This is where the Industry really misses WCW. The Road Warriors and Ric Flair were in WCW/NWA for so long: Then they did the couple year run in WWF, went back and were fresh again. There are some other guys who would have needed that – the Dudleys are a good example.
CAGEMATCH: The Dudleys are gone from WWE - a lot of other talent were released by the company a few weeks ago. Was there any wrestler among them who could have made it to the top?
LANCE STORM: Anyone one of them could have made it to the top had WWE decided to get them there, yet the business will not drop off the map with the loss of anyone of them in particular. That is the thing with the industry, no one person is irreplaceable.
CAGEMATCH: Was there a release that surprised you particularly?
LANCE STORM: Maven's departure. I thought he was doing fairly well, and was being used on TV quite often.
CAGEMATCH: There is an interesting fact about the latest releases. From the wrestlers who joined WWE when WCW closed its doors, only Booker T, Shane “The Hurricane” Helms and Chavo Guerrero alias Kerwin White are left. Why was the rest unable to make it in the WWE?
LANCE STORM: I think a lot of the younger guys coming from WCW – the Natural Born Thrillers for example - had a largely free ride up until they got to WWE and they lacked either the drive, skill, or experience needed to succeed on the WWE Stage. But not everyone did, I do not want to generalize.
CAGEMATCH: Now that those rostercuts are done it's quite likely that some guys from OVW will make their way into the main roster. Who would you like to see on TV soon?
LANCE STORM: I would love to see Matt Capotelli brought up tomorrow. There are a few others but the office hates when people tip their hand so you will have to wait and see.
CAGEMATCH: Indy wrestler Joe E. Legend criticized the work of OVW in several interviews. He states that the only thing the students learn is to execute orders while they do not learn how to improve their skills for themselves. Would you agree with that?
LANCE STORM: Joe was never there during the 15 months I was there so his statements are outdated. It may have been the case before, I do not know, but it was not the case when I was there. OVW may not be the perfect system but it is a DAMN good one.
CAGEMATCH: When you mention OVW, many guys think of kind of generic Big Men with short hair who and unicolor short tights. Is this stereotype legitimate?
LANCE STORM: In fact, there are more guys in the developmental system weighing less than 230 pounds than more. Granted the bigger guys get the call first so you guys tend to see more of the bigger guys. A lot of the guys you are describing were brought up for a specific purpose and I don't think represent the entire system as a whole. MNM came from OVW, they are fantastic and not any of those things.
CAGEMATCH: Right now there is a sort of change going on in OVW. Jim Cornette was just released. What were your experiences with him?
LANCE STORM: I enjoyed working with Jimmy: He eats, sleeps, lives wrestling. He is a great guy and a lot of fun to be around - he has some of the greatest wrestling stories ever. However, I completely understand his release. Jimmy did not fit into the corporate structure that is this industry now.
CAGEMATCH: Paul Heyman is now the official headwriter. Do you think Heyman is the right man for the job and hat can we expect from him?
LANCE STORM: I think this is a perfect spot for Paul. He can motivate and create characters better than anyone. I think he can get more out of talent than any man alive. If they let him run free on developmental talent and then use his creations when they are brought up, he will be an invaluable asset to the company and the talent.
CAGEMATCH: When you have a look at the wrestling now: Do you think the way the WWE goes is the right one or do you prefer the more traditional way in Japan?
LANCE STORM: I would obviously like a little more focus on the Sport portion of Sports Entertainment: It is finding the balance of a Cena like personality in a Benoit level – or close to it - worker, and capitalizing on it before they get branded as mid card talent. But the days of the Traditional Japan style over here are long gone.
CAGEMATCH: As you may know the training in Japan is really hard. Are you familiar with that type of training or do you prefer the methods in the USA and Canada?
LANCE STORM: The training I went through in the Hart camp was modelled after the Japanese training methods, and I plan on using that as my foundation as well. The Japanese training is very skilled based which is important. You do not learn power bombs until you know all your basics. I'm amazing at how many guys today can do power bombs and Hurricanranas and can't do a proper back slide, or small package.
CAGEMATCH: Now that you are opening a wrestling school yourself: What is your training philosophy?
LANCE STORM: My training philosophy is to teach people what they need to know to succeed. I will train people so I would want to work with them. It is not about getting them in and getting them out to maximize profit, it is about turning people out I will be proud to have my name associated with. Storm Wrestling Academy can be best described as a Professional Wrestling done professionally.
CAGEMATCH: Shouldn’t you take that for granted from a wrestling trainer?
LANCE STORM: Unfortunately, I constantly hear about guys, who I would not even want to be in the ring with, training people to be wrestlers. This is killing this business. As a consequence, there are an increasing number of sloppy workers.
CAGEMATCH: Is there any possibility to see Lance Storm wrestle again?
LANCE STORM: I do not plan to wrestle again, but never say never in this business. My sole focus right now is Storm Wrestling Academy. At this point in my life I enjoy the teaching process more than I do the performing.
CAGEMATCH: The indy wrestling market seems to be in a booming period. There are many upcoming promotions like RoH or PWG. Which Federation has a big future in front of it?
LANCE STORM: I haven't had a chance to follow any Indy promotions, so I really can't say. I always hear great things about ROH, and wish them as well as everyone else the best. The industry needs more places to work. I hope to start looking at the rest of the industry more now that I am out of WWE.
CAGEMATCH: A long time ago, you competed in Germany for the CWA. How important was the time over here for your entire career?
LANCE STORM: I loved my experiences over there. I learned so much. I got to work with Fit Finlay while I was there and he is still to this day the most talented guy I have ever worked with. He is someone who could get me out of retirement.
CAGEMATCH: Do you miss the time on the road?
LANCE STORM: I loved it but it is a lot of work and my family waited it out long enough. I couldn't be happier about being home.
CAGEMATCH: Have you ever regretted that you became a wrestler?
LANCE STORM: I do not regret my career at all. I have had more success than I planned on when I set out. I have made a good living have a great family, and enjoyed the 15 years immensely. I wouldn't change it for anything.
Chris Jericho: true friend
Next Big Thing: Bobby Lashley
Germany: great memories and fans
Hart Family: tradition
Justin Credible: my best student to date, and friend
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