Former WWE producer and pro-wrestling legend Lance Storm was the latest guest on Tommy Dreamer’s House of Hardcore podcast to discuss a number of different topics, including Storm’s run in WCW and how it compared to his run in WWE. Highlights from the interview can be found below.
Says he enjoyed his time in WCW:
“WCW’s road schedule was so easy. We did a Sunday house show and TV on Monday. We recorded Nitro and Thunder on Monday. So, you flew in on Sunday morning and you flew home Tuesday morning. Guys were making really good deals. I wasn’t the top guy. I had a rental car and hotel covered. So I had no road expenses other than a meal or two at Cracker Barrel. I would leave on Sunday and home on Tuesday. My best year in WWE might have cracked my first year in WCW, maybe. My deal was going to be an escalating deal for the three years, so I would have stayed there. It’s funny because people talk about the creative was bad, but I was working with Billy Kidman, Rey Mysterio, Bill DeMott, Chavo Guerrero. I got to work with Booker and Sting. I got to work with a lot of really good people. Guys I liked and I knew that there was a ceiling. I wasn’t going to be working in the main events, at least not in the next three years, but I had no stress. Everything was booked for me and paid for and all I had to do was show up and work with my friends and have matches I like. It’s like, it’s not a bad gig.”
Feels like he was pushed very strongly in WCW:
“I had three of the four singles titles all at the same time. I won them all in a 13-day span. So yea, I definitely got a push, although it’s funny in that I think I only held all three titles for two weeks, where fan memory is that I had this year-long run in WCW with this big push, where it really was, again, I was consistently treated fairly well. But, the actual huge push with the three championships did last two weeks before I gave two of them away. But, it was primarily, I believe, Johnny Ace’s doing because Johnny Ace and I started on the same show. He was brought in from All Japan as an agent. He was going to be a finish guy. He needed to prove his worth. He needed someone who could do all of those All Japan finishes and was willing to work hard enough and could execute them and I think he saw me as that guy. So he agented my very first segment on Nitro and he agented that whole tournament where I won the U.S. Title. I think it was a case, and I had heard, and now it was from Johnny so it may not be 100% accurate, and that’s not an indictment of Johnny, it’s just an indictment of anytime you hear it from one person in the wrestling business, that it was a bet. There was a production meeting and Vince Russo said, ‘This guy’s got no personality. What the hell can I do with him?’ Johnny Ace said, ‘Give him to me for a month and he will be the hottest heel you have.’ Then Johnny called me at home and said, ‘We’re doing the U.S. Title tournament and we’re putting the title on you. You’re going to change it and make it The Canadian Heavyweight Title. We’re giving you a push kid.’ Johnny’s was my agent for the next couple of months and I was a very hot heel. I think that cemented Johnny’ position in the company as the top agent and someone that they had to listen to creatively and then he moved on to agenting bigger and better things and I settled into my feud with The M.I.A. and The Filthy Animals. I was still used and still pushed but that initial month of holy crap, this guy one three championships and is challenging for the heavyweight title was about one month of the ten months that I was there.”
On his time in WWE:
“When I got to WWE, I sensed early on, even at the last Nitro, Shane McMahon came up to me and I’m assuming he was trying to put me over because he used my catchphrase when he said hi to me, but he got it wrong. It really hit me that they sort of know what we are doing here, but they don’t fully. I think there is a labeling system in wrestling and there was the, ok, what’s his deal? They took the ‘he’s serious’ for ‘he doesn’t show emotions and he has no personality.’ I had a personality. I was a very mean, angry, son of a b**ch that had an attitude. It just wasn’t one that tolerated silly. It got translated and so Brian Gewirtz when I got to WWE, he takes that and goes, ‘We see you as Sam the Eagle from The Muppets. That’s what we see you as.’ Then for my backstage promos and in ring promos, I was constantly told, ‘More monotone. More dull. We see you as this monotone, emotionless robot.’ For backstage segments, a lot of times they would tell me to do four or five takes because they would say, ‘Dull it down. Dull it down. Dull it down.’ I’m like, ‘Ok, I’ll do what I’m told.’ Then after a few months of that, I have Jericho pull me aside and he said, ‘Yeah, I just sat in a production meeting. Do you know you’re getting buried in production meetings for not having enough emotion in your promos?’ I said, ‘They made me do retakes to make them more dull.’ He’s like, “Well, you’re getting buried for not having enough emotion in your promos.’ It was a lost in translation thing that not everyone knows.”
(H/T and transcribed by Wrestling News)