Lance Storm is arguably one of the best in-ring performers in Pro Wrestling history. Wrestling should be about telling a story. It is the art of telling a story with your body, and the ring is a blank piece of paper. Lance Storm knew that better than anyone. He may not have been the most electrifying man in sports entertainment like The Rock or a risk-taker like Jeff Hardy, but he was a Canadian wrestling machine. Let’s take a look at the career of an underrated technical icon.
The Calm Before The Storm…in Calgary, Alberta Canada
Lance Storm is a wrestling machine. He began his career training at Hart Bros Pro Wrestling School in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The Harts are world-famous when it comes to professional wrestling. When Stu Hart started The Dungeon, little did he know how many legends would have trained within those walls? The Dungeon has produced such greats as Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Brian Pillman, Jim Neidhardt, British Bulldog, Edge, Christian, Chris Jericho, Tyson Kidd, and Natalya.
Speaking of Chris Jericho, Storm and Jericho met in Calgary and formed a bond. As a matter of fact, when Lance T. Storm debuted in 1990, it was against Chris Jericho. Shortly after that, Storm and Jericho formed a tag team called the Thrillseekers. Together the duo headed to Smoky Mountain Wrestling. Unfortunately, after only a few matches, Chris Jericho was injured, and Storm had to be a singles competitor. Lance Storm stormed through the SMW wrestling roster and won the “Beat the Champ” title. After that, Lance Storm left SMW. He headed back to Canada and tagged with Chris Jericho again. He also spent some time in Japan holding several titles such as the WAR World Six-Man Championship and the Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships.
Lance Storm Became EXTREME
Extreme Championship Wrestling is the predecessor to the WWF Attitude era. ECW was about violence, violence, and more violence. Led by Paul Heyman, Ecw was home to a roster that wanted to make an extreme statement. Unfortunately, the first part of Lance Storm’s ECW run wasn’t what he expected. Hardcore ECW fans routinely booed Storm. That was until Lance Storm found his calling as an extreme heel.
Lance Storm began teaming with another wrestling machine, the late great Chris Candido. Together they became the ECW Tag Team Champions. However, that was short-lived. After losing the ECW tag team Championship to Rob Van Dam and Sabu, Storm turned on Candido. Later, Storm announced that he has a new manager by his side. Her name was Tammy Lynn Bytch, aka Dawn Marie. This was a direct taunt to Chris Candido because his girlfriend at the time was none other than Tammy Lynn Sytch, better known as Sunny.
Birth of The Impact Players
After feuding with Chris Candido, Storm decided to team Justin Credible. They were called The Impact Players. Storm, Credible, and Dawn Marie did just that. They made an impact. Now managed by Jason, the team brutalized the ECW roster. After leaving every ECW star in extreme medical condition, the impact players had their sights set on the ECW tag team Championship. At Guilty as Charged, the impact players became ECW tag team champions when they defeated Tommy Dreamer and Raven. The impact players did lose the titles later on but regained them at Living Dangerously when they won a three-way dance. Paul Heyman noticed that not only could Lance Storm perform, he also knew the business of wrestling. During this time, Lance Storm became a booker at ECW and helped gain national notoriety for the company.
Lance Storm Didn’t Come to Play.
The WCW Years Due to financial loss at ECW, Lance Storm looked for other opportunities. On June 19th, 2000, Lance Storm struck in World Championship Wrestling. He made his debut running through the crowd involving himself in a match with Three Count. Shortly after that debut, Lance Storm became one of the most focal parts of Monday Nitro. Lance Storm wasn’t here to play. He was here to collect championships. In Storm’s first year in WCW, he became United States Heavyweight Champion, WCW Cruiserweight Champion, and the WCW Hardcore Champion. Lance Storm was the first and only wrestler in WCW to hold three titles simultaneously.
True to his arrogant heel character, Lance Storm renamed each belt with a Canadian theme. The WCW Hardcore Championship was renamed the Saskatchewan Hardcore Championship. The WCW Cruiserweight Championship was renamed the 100 kg and under Championship, and WCW United States Championship was renamed the Canadian Heavyweight Championship. Lance Storm even went so far as to cover the logos on the belts with Canadian flag stickers.
A Wrestling Genius
At WCW New Blood Rising PPV, Lance Storm took his heat to a whole new level. He recruited Elix Skipper and Carl Oullette to form Team Canada. He even was endorsed by the Canadian hero himself, Bret Hart. Eventually, Storm recruited someone unthinkable to join Team Canada. Hacksaw Jim Duggan was known for years as a 100 percent USA supporter.
In WCW, Hacksaw did the unthinkable and helped Team Canada continue their reign over WCW. Team Canada started a feud with a new faction called MIA or Misfits in Action. Led by General Rection (Bill Demott), MIA bled the USA’s red, white and blue. Eventually, Lance Storm lost the Canadian Heavyweight Title to General Rection. After the loss, WCW changed the name of the title back to the WCW United States Championship.
WWF Invasion Started With a Serious Superkick
In 2001, WCW was losing financial stability. WWF, on the other hand, was excelling. In Panama City at WCWS last Monday Night Nitro, Vince McMahon himself announced that WWF had purchased WCW. It was later revealed that Vince McMahon did not buy WCW; Shane McMahon did. As a result, lance Storm and several other WCW contracts were now in WWF’s hands. Lance Storm was the very first WCW invader in WWF. On Monday Night Raw Storm sent a message heard around the world with a superkick to Saturn.
Lance Storm won the WWF Intercontinental Championship from Albert. However, at Summerslam, Storm lost the title to Edge. A war had begun between WWF and Team Alliance, which consisted of WCW/ECW. A traditional Survivor Series match was booked between WWF and the Alliance. It was a winner take all. If the Alliance won, all WWF employees would be fired. If the WWF won, all Alliance employees would be fired, including Storm. Needless to say, The Alliance lost, and Lance Storm was “fired.” Storm eventually returned to WWE. On Raw, Storm won his contract back when he defeated The Rock with help from Test.
Very similar to Team Canada in WCW, Lance Storm created a group called The Un-Americans. This faction consisted of; Storm, Christian, and Test. The Un-Americans became WWE tag team Champions when Storm and Christian defeated the unlikely team of Edge and Hulk Hogan. The Un-Americans destroyed every team they faced until they lost the WWE Tag Team Championship to Kane and The Hurricane. After this match, the Un-Americans imploded, and each member went their separate ways. For Lance Storm, the tag titles became an obsession. He and William Regal became WWE tag team champions two more times.
Unfortunately, Regal had an injury, and due to not being able to defend the titles WWE Raw Chief of Staff Chief Morley, aka Val Venis, made himself and Storm the WWE Tag Team Champions. The duo lost the tag titles to Kane and Rob Van Dam. After that, Lance Storm was involved in several storylines, including teaming with Goldust, who turned Storm into a babyface. He also eventually teamed with Morley again, this time as Val Venis. Dancing and playing to the crowd wasn’t a Lance Storm’s thing.
On the Draft Lottery episode on Monday Night Raw, Storm told the fans he is tired of dancing, and that dealing with WWE fans is a waste of his time. At that second, he was gored by Rhyno. That was the last WWE appearance for Lance Storm.
Lance Storm | Giving Back to the Business
In 2004, Lance Storm officially retired from in-ring competition. He accepted a position at Ohio Valley Wrestling in Louisville, Kentucky as a lead trainer. Storm liked training the business’s future so much that he resigned from OVW and moved home to Calgary, where he started his own wrestling school, Storm Wrestling Academy. It would be an honor for me to train with a technical machine like Lance Storm. Storm Wrestling Academy opened in 2005. It has a list of alumni that are making an impact. Past students include Rachael Ellering, Peyton Royce, Tyler Breeze, Taya Valkyrie, and Sly Lefort.
A Serious Honor
Lance Storm regularly has appeared on several independent cards. Most notably at Ring Of Honor. In 2006 Lance Storm faced Bryan Danielson for the ROH World Championship at Better than the Best in Chicago, IL. Even though Storm was defeated, the crowd in Chicago knew a wrestling machine when they saw it. Storm left Chicago that night with the chant of “You still got it “ringing in his ears. He returned to Ring of Honor in 2009 against Chris Hero. Unfortunately, Storm lost to Hero, but once again, the fans appreciated Lance Storm.
After the match, Storm gave the following promo;
“I shared this match with people who share my love and respect for this business, and I am now home being Lance Evers with the family I will share the rest of my life with. I still have my school, and I will always be a part of this business, but I truly believe I am now done as a performer. They say, never say never in this business, and because of that, I won’t, but I think I left it all in the ring that night, and I believe I wrote the final page in the 19-year long book that was the career of Lance Storm.”
Lance Storm also made appearances on the independent scene. Storm wrestled a match against Tommy Dreamer in Dreamers House of Hardcore promotion. This was followed by tagging with Xpac against Dreamer and the Legendary Terry Funk. He challenged Jay lethal for the ROH championship in 2016 but returned to Canada empty-handed. Also, in what would be Lance Storm’s last match, Storm was defeated by Matt Hardy at WrestleCon 2016.
In 2019, Storm started working as a producer for IMPACT! Wrestling. A year later, Storm returned to World Wrestling Entertainment as a producer on SmackDown. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 cutbacks, Storm was let go from WWE in 2020.
Lance Storm embodies what the wrestling business should be about. It’s passion, hard work, and respect. Lance Storm has worked for every major company. Lance Storm has had Championship after Championship. As a heel, he is on top of the world. He has passed on his knowledge to the future of the business. He is Canada’s unsung wrestling machine.