84. LANCE STORM
Real Name – Lance Evers
Debuted – 2nd October 1990
Titles Held – WWE Intercontinental; WCW United
States; WCW Cruiserweight; WCW Hardcore; ECW Tag Team
Other Accomplishments – worked as a trainer in OVW; now runs Storm Wrestling Academy in Calgary; writes for UK combat sport magazine Fighting Spirit; Ranked 322 of 500 best single wrestlers during the PWI years (2003); Wrestling Observer’s Most Underrated Wrestler (2001); the only man to hold three titles at once in WCW; the first WCW wrestler to invade the WWE on May 28th, 2001.
Underrated. That’s for sure.
CRMW (Canadian Rocky Mountain Wrestling) International/North American Champion,
5x CRMW Commenwealth Mid-Heaebyweight Champion,
2x CRMW North American Tag Team Championship w/Chris Jericho,
2x CWA (Catch Wrestling Association) Junior championship,
3x ECW Tag Tam Champion – w/Chris Candido (1) and Justin Credible (2),
SMW Beat the Champ TV Champion,
2x WAR Junior Heavyweight Tag Champion w/Yuji Yasuraoka,
2x WCWA (West Coast Wrestling Association) w/Chris Jericho,
WCW Cruiserweight Champion,
WCW Hardcore Champion,
3x WCW US Champion,
WWE Intercontinental Champion,
4x WWE Tag Team Champion – w/Christian (1), William Regal (2) & Chief Morley (1)
I voted Lance Storm as the #9 greatest wrestler of the modern era and I stand firmly behind it. On top of being one of the most technically sound wrestlers anyone has had the pleasure of watching perform his art, Lance Storm is one of the most stand up guys in the business. To me, aside from Bret Hart, Lance Storm is Canadian wrestling.
Lance started by training at the Hart Brothers Pro-Wrestling Camp in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Training alongside Lance was one Chris Jericho. The two would have their first professional matches against each other. Soon after, the two would go to FMW and CRMW, known as “Sudden Impact.” As a singles wrestler, Lance was also wrestling globally in singles matches winning singles titles in Europe and Japan.
They would change their name once they came to Smokey Mountain Wrestling in 1994. Most people know the pair as “The Thrill Seekers,” as they were known in SMW. By 1995, he was back to splitting time between Canada and Japan. Storm would do this until he came to the states in a big way in 1997.
Storm debuted in ECW in 1997 beating Balls Mahoney at Crossing the Line Again. His next marquee match was with Rob Van Dam at Barely Legal. You might remember his weak chair shots which drew some heavy heat from the crowd from that match. By the end of the year, we would start to see the beginnings of the Triple Threat with Candido, who started teaming with Storm after they fought at “As Good As It Gets” in September, and Shane Douglas. By the end of the year, Candido and Storm were the tag team champions of ECW. Just in time for the Triple Threat to form with Bam Bam Bigelow and kicking out Storm.
Storm had his revenge on the Triple Threat, beating Candido in a singles match and Bam Bam and Shane in a tag team match, which saw him partner with Al Snow, who was on lend from the WWF at the time. By the middle of 1998, Lance was teaming with Candido again in time for the two to have another match against each other at Heatwave 1998.
The match between Candido and Storm was, in my mind, one of the finest of the night, which was no small feat. Heatwave 1998 stands out in my mind as one of the greatest PPV events that was ever held, and having a standout match amongst the rest of those matches is a real sign of greatness. Greatness that deserves to be in the top ten, despite what all the other writers for the site might think. Bastards.
Following his loss to Candido at Heatwave, a partnership was formed between Lance Storm and Tammy Lynn Bitch, better known as Dawn Marie. Storm feuded with Candido, Jerry Lynn and Tommy Dreamer until late 1999, when a new tag team was formed.
The Impact Players, while only having a short lifespan in ECW, was one of those tag teams that you knew never saw its full potential. This was because the team lasted from the fall of 1999 until Storm left ECW in May of 2000.
In WCW, Lance Storm became the US Champion within three months of being in the company, beating Buff Bagwell, Shane Douglas and Mike Awesome in one night. Then, the Canadian magic started. Storm beat Big Vito to become the Hardcore Champion, holding two belts at once. Then, he went on to beat Chavo Guerrero for the Cruiserweight title. All three of the belts were branded Canadian and all was well with the universe. Storm made a play for the Heavyweight Championship, but he could not best Booker T and he fell short of being the answer to yet another wrestling trivia question.
Storm gave the Cruiserweight title to Elix Skipper and the Hardcore title to Carl Oulette, both members of the newly formed Team Canada. Team Canada was lead by Storm against the Misfits in Action, lead by Hugh Morris (who was going by General Rection at the time). The Team got the rub from Bret Hart at New Blood Rising in 2000, and Storm led Jacques Rougeau, Elix Skipper, Mike Awesome, Carl Oulette and even Hacksaw Jim Duggan for a little while. After their feud with the Misfits, they went to feud with the Filthy Animals.
Storm even had a go at being the WCW Commissioner for a few days, beating Ernest “the Cat” Miller for the honors. Someone called his mama, and six days later, Storm lost the title back to Miller. Towards the end of WCW, Storm teamed with Mike Awesome to pursue the tag team titles, but the company would be sold to the WWF before they could capture the gold.
At a RAW in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Lance Storm was the first WCW wrestler to begin the first “Invasion” angle. In July of 2001, Storm would reunite with his ECW buddies and within three months of being in the WWF, he would be capture the Intercontinental title from Albert. When Team Alliance lost the 2001 Survivor Series match, Storm was “fired,” but would be hired back after defeating the Rock in a one on one match. The fact that he did it with some help from Test is not of note. Let’s focus on Lance Storm besting the Rock.
2002 saw the emergence of the “un-Americans,” who would not use the Team Canada name, but might as well have. The group was Storm, Christian and Test. Later, William Regal would join the party. With Christian, Storm became a tag team champion beating Hulk Hogan and Edge at Vengeance 2002. Within the month of January in 2003, Storm and Regal won the tag titles twice, once from Booker T and Goldust and once from the Dudley Boyz. The titles transitioned to Storm and Chief Morley (Val Venis) because of Regal’s “health problems” and that was the last title Storm would hold.
It went downhill after that with the infamous “boring” angle and the Val Venis team up/kiss of death. After the 2004 draft lottery, Storm lost a match to Rhyno and wasn’t see again on WWE TV. He accepted a job as a trainer in OVW and wrestled a match there as well. He went on to open his own wrestling school and came out of retirement once more to wrestle at One Night Stand 2006, defeating the guy he fought his first match against, Chris Jericho.
The most recent Lance Storm matches seen were an ROH title match against Bryan Danielson in April of 2006 and a match against Christian in Ontario in December of 2006. He wrestled at a Blood, Sweat and Ears (BSE) show in Timmins, Ontario, Canada this past weekend, beating Christopher Daniels, and plans to wrestle his final match at a BSE show on August 11 against Bobby Roode (although, never say never). He’s always updating www.stormwrestling.com with insightful commentaries on the business, stories from the road, and more.
If I can be serious for a minute, Lance Storm is close to the top of my list. I can still remember marking out seeing Storm put on the rolling half crab on Disco Inferno in WCW for the first time. When Lance Storm wrestled, it was art that is rarely seen anymore. #84, ha! I voted for him as #9.
The entire Top 100 Wrestlers Feature can be found here.