Lance Storm Clarifies Statement on WWE Wellness Program, Writes about UFC, RAW & More


Following up to a previous commentary we previously reported, Lance Storm has written a new piece to clarify his past statements. Here’s an excerpt:

Suspensions are a punishment, and anytime talent is punished for using or purchasing drugs (even if it is minor punishment) there will be a little more incentive to clean up than there was before. I was also not attempting to imply that all current pushed talent are drug free, or all drug using talent have been banished, but I think a case can be made, especially with C.M. Punk that a drug free wrestler has directly benefited from one of these suspensions, and that supporting him as Champ is crucial. If ratings and crowd response to Punk are strong, now that he has his opportunity, there will be additional incentive for WWE to continue pushing him, especially considering he is one of the least likely guys to face Wellness suspensions in the future.

I guess the point I wanted to stress with my commentary, which I still believe in, is that things are a little bit better than they were a couple weeks ago, and any progress at this point needs to be looked at as a positive. While these suspensions did expose that WWE’s Wellness policy was either extremely flawed, or poorly enforced, perhaps even both (a lot of guys were on a lot of drugs and passing tests after all), they did show that WWE is being put in a position where things are having to be done and they are at least being done. With a 3-Strike rule still in effect, and WWE announcing that names of talent failing Wellness and facing suspensions will be publicly released as of November 1, there is going to be a lot more pressure on talent and WWE to clean up. Even if talent can circumnavigate Wellness, fear of exposure through other investigations into doctors and suppliers, should make everyone rethink the risk of steroid and drug use … The two next steps that should be taken are: the removal of the prescription loophole in the policy, and the lowering of the positive test thresh-hold on testosterone to match that of the negative test mark. I’m not sure why below a 4:1 is a negative yet you aren’t an outright positive till 10:1.

Storm has also re-published an article he originally wrote in Fighting Spirit magazine in March. It’s a great read, but here is an important excerpt:

The majority of deaths in wrestling are drug related or from drug related heart attacks. Does this then mean that wrestlers are just way bigger drug users than other athletes or entertainers? I don’t think so, because drug use is prevalent in all walks of life. It seems every celebrity biography you read includes drug addiction and a stint or two in rehab. I’m not sure there is a successful rock band or musical group that hasn’t had at least one member forced into detox or rehab, and I read about pro athletes getting busted for drug possession all the time. I think the problem lies in the lack of checks and balances in our industry, and the fringe celebrity status wrestlers receive.

As huge and successful as pro-wrestling has become we are still viewed by the vast majority as second-class celebrities. Most major sports coverage be it newspaper or television ignore pro-wrestling. None of the entertainment programs ever cover pro-wrestling. Can you imagine the coverage Entertainment Tonight or Sports Illustrated would have given the Matt Hardy, Lita, and Edge love affair 2 years ago if it had happened in any industry other than pro-wrestling? This was the equivalent of the Pitt, Jolie, Aniston affair yet received maybe 1 billionth the press.

What does press coverage and respect in the media have to do with wrestlers dying? It has to do with accountability and checks and balances. I am in no way blaming the media for the deaths just explaining how public scrutiny is likely making the difference and saving the lives of those with drug issues in other fields. When Britney Spears appeared to go off the deep end and shaved her head, it was all over the news and there was public outcry for her to go to rehab. When Lindsey Lohan was discovered to be an alcoholic before she was legally old enough to drink, there were all kinds of pressures and media exposure forcing her to clean up her image and head to rehab. Pro-wrestling still slides under the radar for the most part so problems don’t get exposed and thus go unchecked until its far too late.

In another commentary, Storm shares his thoughts about UFC 75, saying his favorite fight of the night was Marcus Davis and Paul Taylor. “I’ve heard so much about Crocop over the years,” he writes. “I’ve always heard how deadly the guy is and of course how much we look alike.” On the controversial judging from the show, he writes, “If there is one thing I would change, and perhaps there are logical reasons behind it being the way it is, I would make all the fights 5 rounds. The two extra round likely would have resulted in clearer winners in both the Crocop and the Bisping fights. Fewer fights would go the distance and with only 3-round to base a decision on if there is a close round at all, the fight becomes a coin toss.”

Finally, Storm has been posting regular thoughts on televised wrestling, including this line about Monday’s RAW: “Hornswaggle (I guess he is a ‘Little Bastard’ after all) is a complete waste. It was a one time funny laugh at McMahon’s expense, and I don’t see where this can go at all. Maybe I’m wrong but what a crap ending.”

Matthew Michaels is editor emeritus of Pulse Wrestling, and has been since the site launched.