During a recent interview, Lance Storm gave his thoughts on the upcoming matches at WrestleMania, going to the Hall of Fame, the current developmental system and his thoughts on his WWE debut during the InVasion storyline. Here are some highlights:
On WWE’s current developmental system: “I think it’s a necessary evil. I don’t mean to label it ‘evil’, but I think a territory system would be far more beneficial in developing less cookie-cutter talent, but that system doesn’t exist anymore, so this is a necessity in the sense that WWE doe have to bring along new talent. When they all do come from the same place, they are going to have strong similarities, unfortunately.
“In the old territory system there was a Stampede Wrestling style or a World Class wrestling style. But in the heyday when the WWE went national, they would have four guys that came out of Stampede and four guys that came out of World Class and four guys that came out of the AWA, so there was more variety.
“I think when there is that one stage and people get brought up tot eh roster with only a couple of years of training, they haven’t had a chance to find themselves. Until they get the time to find themselves and adapt their own style a little bit you’re going to have that cookie cutter label, which in unfortunate. I think a little more seasoning and perhaps giving them a little bit more freedom in developmental would help.
“Jim Cornette and Danny Davis, when I was in OVW, really made the effort to do that. I think MNM was one of the best products that came out of OVW, and that was a case of John Morrison and Joey Matthews being given the chance to find themselves and created that product themselves. They were so natural. I don’t think they were every remotely considered cookie cutter.
“I didn’t find ‘Lance Storm’ almost until my ECW days. Up until that point I was a white meat babyface, just Lance Evers out there wrestling. I was really good at wrestling so I got by, and was lucky enough to work in Europe and Japan where the pure sport was far more appreciated.
“But it wasn’t until Paul Heyman started giving me the nudge and the creative freedom to find Lance Storm within me that I really became a full, rounded performer. That was a few years into my career. Take Alex Riley, if you will. He just needs a little more freedom and a little bit more time to find out who he is. And that’s when the company will really reap the rewards.”
On debuting as the first WCW Invader: “It was a permanent footnote in history, being the first ever WCW invader, and then obviously getting to do it in my hometown was a pretty cool bonus. Although I remember being very nervous, because without a ring entrance or an introduction, when you’re just hitting the ring quickly, hitting one kick and running away, I was terrified the audience wouldn’t know it was me and wouldn’t respond.
“I was just thinking ‘If I make this debut in my hometown and don’t get a big reaction I’m really going to be dead in the water. I was worried that I wouldn’t be there long enough for the crowd to realise who I was, and that I was a local guy. But thankfully Calgary came through for me, reacted really strongly and it ended up working out great.”
On seeing Edge at the Hall of Fame: “I am going to the Hall of Fame. That was one of the motivating factors in doing the Ring of Honor show in that I wanted to go down and be there that weekend for my buddy Edge. Edge and I have been quite close for a number of years. When I realized I could kill two birds with one stone, if you will, with a Ring of Honor appearance, I managed to put two and two together and come up with a win for everybody.”
On WrestleMania XXVIII: “I think it will be a pretty solid show. I think the Hell in a Cell is going to be the show stealer. I think that’s going to be spectacular. I think Jericho and Punk are really going to knock people’s socks off. Rock and Cena isn’t doing it for me as much as the other two, but it’s still going to be a spectacular performance. I think Rock is far better than people give him credit for as an in-ring performer, so I think that will be quite solid.
“And I have no doubt Daniel Bryan will step up to the plate and really out on a performance as well, so that’s four really big solid matches which are going to deliver. I think it’s going to be a really good show. Rock in Miami is going to be a just an amazing reaction. I’m thinking Hell in a Cell as the show stealer, with perhaps Punk and Jericho being technically the better match, but not quite having the drama.”