Well, it's been a while since I've done a wrestling review (or any review, for that matter), so I decided that today I'd watch a few matches and review them right here. So, here's a post about the pride and joy of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, none other than Lance Storm. Lance Storm is a wrestler that I always thought was better in theory than in execution. By that I mean Storm was a guy that knew all the holds, was very athletic, could cut a decent promo and was versatile in many different styles. But for whatever reason, when I watched Lance Storm, he didn't come across as a guy that was a top-notch talent, despite what his reputation on the internet might have been. I mean, it wasn't like he was terrible or anything, but he was rather forgettable. But maybe I'm wrong and I should have been on the Lance Storm bandwagon years ago, so let's begin this review with Storm getting a shot at the WCW Title.
Match 1: Lance Storm vs. The Rock, Monday Night Raw, August 20, 2001
This match took place the night after Summerslam and is the first WCW Title defense for The Rock, who had won the title the previous night. Earlier this episode, Lance Storm interrupted a Rock interview and kicked a little person impersonating Booker T in the face. Lance tries to attack early, but that doesn't work and Rock gets a two count after a Samoan Drop. The two do an exchange of missed clotheslines, then Storm hits a superkick that sends The Rock flying out of the ring. Storm moves quickly to roll The Rock back in and goes for the cover, but Rock kicks out at two. They exchange some blows, then Storm comes off the top with a clothesline that gets another two count. Storm stomps away on The Rock, then foolishly charges into a Rock spinebuster. Man, this match feels rushed. Rock hits his trademark punch combination, then follows with a DDT for a two count. The two brawl in the corner for a few seconds, then Rock hits the Rock Bottom for the three count. Post match, Rock brings the little Booker T impersonator out, who can barely climb up the stairs. Little Booker tries a People's Elbow, but he trips over Storm. So Storm gets back up, Rock spinebusts him back down, and on the second try Booker gets it as right as he was going to get it, which is still subpar even for a midget. Then Little Booker does a Spinarooni and everyone is happy. Well, not me. Match was way too short and the post-match stuff was embarrassing. I'd give it a 0.8 out of 5.
Match 2: The Unamericans (Lance Storm and Christian) vs. Booker T and Goldust, WWE Tag Team Title Match, Summerslam 2002
Storm and Christian are the champions at the time. Booker comes out to a huge reaction, while the Unamericans come out with the American flag upside down because, you see, they're Unamerican. Goldust and Christian start, and Goldust goes to work early, hitting a butt bump and then an uppercut from the ground to get a two count. Storm is tagged in, but takes an arm drag and atomic drop for his efforts, then Goldust tags in Booker T. Booker continues to run roughshod over Lance, with a sideslam and a knee drop that gets a two count. That great American patriot Goldust is tagged back in, but a cheapshot from Christian and a thumb to the eye by Storm gives the Unamericans the advantage. Storm throws Goldust over the top rope, which would have been a disqualification in the NWA. After Christian works him over, he rolls Goldust back in and Storm gets a two count. The crowd chants 'USA' to try and Goldust back into the match, but the Unamericans use quick tags and underhanded tactics to keep Goldust isolated. Storm misses a dropkick though, and Goldust gets a quick two count. He tries to get to Booker, but Christian cuts that off. Front facelock by Christian, but Goldust forces his away into the corner and backdrops Christian. Tag to Booker, but the ref didn't see it so it's not allowed. Meanwhile, he doesn't see the other team make a tag but allows it anyway. I don't know about you, but I hate that spot as it makes no sense and makes the ref look like an idiot.
Anyway, a clothesline gets two for Storm, and the Unamericans continue their isolationist tactics. But Goldust fights back, catapults Christian into Storm on the outside and then rolls Christian up for a two count. Double clothesline, and Goldust and Christian are down. Before Goldust can get over to tag Booker, Storm goes over and trips Booker off the apron, forcing Booker to lose his cool and give chase. That's the same tactic I would use while playing a tag match in any Smackdown game. Christian is able to get Goldust away from his corner, and Storm sneaks in a chair. Actually, two chairs, and Storm and Christian attempt a Conchairto on Goldust, but luckily the big golden patriot ducks, and follows with a double clothesline. Finally, Booker gets the tag, and he starts wailing away at The Unamericans. A missle dropkick on Christian almost gets a three count. Booker and Christian each try their finishers to no avail, and Booker ends up delivering a flapjack to Christian. Storm tries a leaping heel kick, but Booker ducks and the ref ends up taking the blow. Booker gets both Unamericans with the Scissors kick, then follows up with a Spinarooni and a Harlem Sidekick to Christian. But the ref is down so that's all for naught. Storm comes in with a belt, but he's quickly taken care of by Booker T and Goldust. With the ref still down, fellow Unamerican Test (and a former Tag Team champion with Booker T), comes in and flattens Booker with a big boot. Christian covers, and the ref recovers to administer the three count. Wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either, so I'll give it a 2.5 out of 5.
Match 3: Lance Storm w/Tammy Lynn Bytch vs. Rob Van Dam w/Bill Alfonso, ECW Television Title Match, Guilty as Charged 1999
Before the match begins, Storm says something about not having to compete in a previously scheduled match with Spike Dudley and Jerry Lynn, so he challenges RVD to a match for Van Dam's TV Title Out comes Van Dam, and after a two minute entrance, he's ready to go. The bell rings, and nobody does anything for a minute and a half before the two do a basic exchange of holds that ends with both men at a standstill. Storm backs Van Dam into the corner, firing away with shoulder blocks and chops, before whipping him into another corner. But Van Dam reverses it and eventually monkey flips Storm to the other side of the ring. Storm backs into the corner while Alfonso keeps Van Dam hydrated by handing him a water bottle. Quality managing there, Fonzie. A thumb to the eye by Storm, but after a few blows, Van Dam gets the advantage back with a dropkick and a two count, followed by a snap mare which also draws a two count. Storm reverses an Irish whip and rolls Van Dam up into a single leg crab. So Alfonso goes over to the other side of the ring and starts messing with Bytch (yes, that's what she was known as at the time, so that's what I'll call her here). That distracts Storm, who grabs at Alfonso. However, he's in perfect position to take an apron leg drop from Van Dam. RVD gets thrown into the guardrail, but rebounds and then sets Storm over the guardrail to deliver a corkscrew legdrop from the apron, which RVD connects on. Back in the ring, RVD hits a double-underhook lifting facebuster for a two count. He whips Storm to the ropes, but Storm does a leapfrog and then lands a superkick to Van Dam for two. Storm traps Van Dam in a corner and delivers a series of strikes, including a dropkick to a seated RVD. Out of the corner, Van Dam tries a springboard manuever, but gets dropkicked out of the ring into the guardrail. Van Dam oversells a baseball slide by flying over the guardrail and landing eight rows back. In the crowd, Storm is whipped into the guardrail, backdrops Van Dam over, but Van Dam catches himself and does a somersault dive off the railing onto Storm. Van Dam tries to slam Storm on the floor, but Storm counters with a inverted DDT, which is a stupid move to do on the floor since you land on your back before your opponent, causing both participants to take damage. But Storm ignores that, and while RVD attempts a springboard off the guardrail, he gets dropkicked back into the crowd by Storm. Storm then follows with a dive from the top rope, over the guardrail, and onto Van Dam. While Joey Styles tries to sell the notion that Storm is in control, Van Dam does his own brand of selling by joking with the crowd. Ok then.
Back in, RVD tries for a springboard move out of the corner, but Storm catches him again and crotches Van Dam. Back Suplex is attempted, but Van Dam flips over on his feet and catches Storm with a leg drop before he can get up. Van Dam follows up with a drop toe hold and a Surfboard. Instead of holding him up, Van Dam kicks him off and catches Storm with a rolling senton for a two count. Storm is whipped into the corner, but he catches Van Dam with a springboard back elbow and gets a two count. Storm then does a cartwheel clothesline which Van Dam just shrugs off to catch a chair tossed by Fonzie. RVD tries for the Van Daminator, but Storm dodges the blow and ends up tapping RVD in the head with it. Unfortunately, Storm picks the chair back up, and gets caught with a Vandaminator. Storm sells the heck out of the move, but he was playing possum as he caught Van Dam with a low blow and nearly got a three count from a small package. Van Dam catches Storm with a spinning heel kick which "almost cut Lance Storm clean in half", according to Joey Styles. Like hell it did. Van Dam goes for another Van Daminator, but Storm ducks and the chair goes into the ref's face. Storm follows with a Van Daminator of his own, but the ref is out. Fonzie brings in a chair, which Storm takes away, but all that does is allow Van Dam to come off the top for a Van Daminator into Storm's face. Storm kicks out at two. Back up, RVD hits a crappy looking clothesline and goes for the Five Star Frog Splash, but Storm moves. Storm goes for a powerbomb, but RVD reverses into a rollup. The two men do a nice exchange of holds before Van Dam hits a German Suplex with a bridge, which is enough to get the three count. Ten years ago, I probably would have told you that this was a great match and these two men are what wrestling is all about or whatever. However, while there were a few solid spots, the match was hurt by RVD's indifferent selling and Storm's weak chair shots. Still, it was rather decent, so I'll give it a 2.35 out of 5.
Match 4: Lance Storm vs. Triple H, WWE Smackdown, May 21, 2002
Before the match, Storm gets on the mic and says that, despite Triple-H's victory over Chris Jericho in Hell in a Cell, he's nothing but a barbaric animal, and Storm will teach him a lesson like only a true technical wizard can do. Storm sets out to teach Triple-H a lesson by taking two hard clothesline and a high knee lift. But Triple-H's knee is all bandaged up from his last match, so the big dummy ended up hurting it after the move. Storm hits a jawjacker and some punches, but Triple-H follows up with a driving knee to the face, this time using his good leg. Storm reverses an Irish whip and dropkicks HHH down to the mat. Storm shows off his technical wizardry by attacking Triple-H with a series of punches, kicks, and other various blows. Even Tazz, on commentary, notices how Storm's actions differ from his words and calls him a hypocrite. It's effective, though, as Storm has re-opened Triple-H's headwound and nearly gets a three count. Storm lands a clothesline from the top and gets another two count. Storm continues to pound away, but Triple-H has had all he can take so he starts firing back with blows of his own. Storm misses a Stinger Splash, and HHH then lands a neckbreaker, followed by a spinebuster that gets a two count. Storm ducks a clothesline and lands a superkick, following up with a Canadian Mapleleaf on Triple-H's bum leg. But Triple-H gets to the ropes. Storm hits another superkick, and climbs to the top rope while the ref checks on Triple-H. HHH, ever the ring general, pushes the ref into the ropes, knocking Storm off. A Pedigree follows, and Triple-H holds Storm down for the three count. All in all, not a bad TV match and probably my favorite of the four. I'll give it a three out of 5.
So, what did I learn from all this Storm watching. That Lance Storm should never pick up a chair in a wrestling ring again. Other than that, I stand by my previous statement, Storm's a decent to good wrestler who got about as far in wrestling as he should have been. He had a nice career of producing matches that were neither bad nor great, just in the middle. Well, thanks for reading, and if you have any thoughts about this post or about Lance Storm in general, or you have ideas for future post, then please feel free to send them to me either by leaving a comment or by sending me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.