Appearing on the It’s My House Podcast, former WCW, ECW and WWE star Lance Storm talked about his time wrestling for Jim Cornette’s Smokey Mountain Wrestling. A fan of NWA and WCW, Storm was excited to work for the promotion and learned a lot about becoming a complete wrestler during his time there.
“I really enjoyed it because I was a big fan of the Midnight Express,” Storm said. “I was a big NWA/WCW fan. So Jim Cornette and the Midnight Express was someone that I was a big fan of, so then getting to come in and work a tag team program with Jim, he was managing the Heavenly Bodies at the time, not the Midnight Express, but it was still really cool in that regard. It was the only real traditional wrestling territory that I worked. It was like an old school territory where you did, you know, TV once a month that was primarily squash matches and angles to hype the live events, and then you would do the 15 shows a month where you hit all the regular house show towns.
“And it was a very traditional old school territory, so it was nice to experience that because when I broke in was really the start of the death of the territories. So I really enjoyed that, and I learned a lot. I think the biggest thing that I learned there was you’re not doing the wrestling match for you, you’re doing it for the audience. Both Chris Candido and I, you know he was working in Mexico, we both done a trip to Japan, I had just got back from Europe. We were trying to be that, you know, cutting edge, new ‘we got to do all this new stuff we got to do all this.’ And it’s like ‘that’s all great’, but we were working Harlem and Kentuck and they weren’t seeing new Japan Junior Heavyweight style, they weren’t seeing Lucha Libre. So us just trying to do these great matches that we were marks for wasn’t what the audience wanted.”
One of the knocks against Storm, notably by current WWE executive Bruce Prichard, is that Storm wasn’t a charismatic performer. Storm took offense to that and called Prichard out for his view.
“I honestly believe this is the misnomer of people getting worked or believing their own s--t,” Storm said. “If you go back and watch my ECW stuff, no one’s gonna say I had a lack of personality or a lack of character. And in WCW, the particular character that I was doing was getting me very over in a very short period of time. When I got to WWE I was specifically told and instructed to have no emotion, no personality, and be a robot. I was specifically told that their vision for me was Sam the Eagle from The Muppets. And when I did promos in WWE I was constantly told to do retakes because ‘you’re not flat enough, you’re not monotone enough. We want you duller.’ And they would make me do. It’s possible that Bruce was never part of the conversations where they said I need to be flat. In which case then it’s Bruce is just not realizing that that was by design. And if he was part of those conversations, he either forgets it or just decides it’s a better narrative to deliver it this way.”
Finally Storm, a Canadian, was asked who he would put on his Mt. Rushmore of Canadian wrestlers. Storm’s picks are among some of wrestling’s greats, hailing from provinces such as Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec.
“I think you have to have Bret Hart,” Storm said. “I wouldn’t have initially thought Pat Patterson, because I don’t associate him with as a Canadian wrestler, but when you mentioned that name and how important he was both as a wrestler but more importantly as just a backbone genius in the success of WWF and WWE for so many years. I’m definitely gonna put Pat Patterson on there. I’ll throw Jericho on there, especially for the longevity period which leaves one spot, which makes me want to go further back, but I don’t know enough of my history to name further back. So I’m thinking a little bit more and you know I’m gonna go with and again it’s more my timeframe, but I’m going to go with Rick Martel.”
You can watch the full interview below.