COMMENTARY | During one of the most creative eras in professional wrestling history, Canadian grappler Lance Storm had a reputation of being the most boring wrestler in the industry.
I first noticed Lance Storm in the late 1990s when he worked in ECW with Dawn Marie. Although many fans remember ECW for blood, tables, and barbed wire, the promotion also showcased outstanding technical wrestling. Storm had a vast repertoire of holds and moves, as well as good speed and a good physique. Not surprisingly, Lance Storm left ECW for WCW when financial problems began plaguing the promotion.
In WCW, Lance Storm played up his "boring" character as a heel. While the creative team was in chaos backstage, Storm was one of WCW's top wrestlers. In fact, he held the United States Championship, Cruiserweight Championship, and Hardcore Championship at the same time. He then renamed the titles the Canadian Championship, 100 kg and Under Championship, and the Saskatchewan Hardcore International Title.
Oddly enough, Lance Storm reminded me of Bret Hart's heel run late in his WWF career. Like Hart, Storm was from Canada and he focused on wrestling as opposed to some of the over-the-top antics that characterized most of the other top performers of the era. Ironically, he was in WCW at the same time that Bret Hart was and in my opinion, Lance Storm was a better "Bret Hart" in WCW than Bret Hart was.
After WCW folded, Lance Storm began wrestling for the WWF. Storm had a nice run there, but I wasn't a big fan of how the WWF utilized him. Of course, his "boring" gimmick made its way to the WWF, but its packaging did nothing to help him get over. Steve Austin and the announcers mocked Storm for being boring, which incited the fans to follow suit. The difference was that in WCW, Lance Storm was in control of his "boring" character from a position of power, whereas the WWF made him look like a victim of the "boring" chants.
From my perspective, Lance Storm was anything but boring as a performer. While Scott Hall was getting fans riled up with his "Hey yo!" catchphrase and The Rock was getting cheap pops with his "Finally, The Rock has come back to…" mic work, I absolutely loved the opening statement to each of Lance Storm's promos. "If I could be serious for a minute" has to rank among the greatest wrestling catchphrases of the early 2000s.
Lance Storm even had a boring image. He had an old school, military buzz cut that was in stark contrast to the look sported by most of his contemporaries. Some wrestlers still had mullets at that time, while others shaved their heads and grew goatees. All of this was intentional on Lance Storm's part to draw heat from wrestling fans, which is exactly what heels are supposed to do. That fact that he was successful proves he was actually not boring at all.
Although Lance Storm was an outstanding technical wrestler, his character has led wrestling fans to think he was boring. But there is a big difference between a wrestler who intentionally acts boring to get over as a heel and a wrestler who tries to be exciting but puts fans to sleep because he is boring. Lance Storm was a master of his gimmick and he was one of my favorite wrestlers at a time when dozens of wrestlers were at the top of their games.
Without question, Lance Storm was definitely not a boring wrestler.
Patrick Michael lives in New Orleans and has always been a big fan of pro wrestling. Patrick's favorite wrestling promotion was Mid-South Wrestling back in the 1980s. Patrick's favorite wrestling angle of all-time was the NWO and his favorite wrestler is Roddy Piper. Follow Patrick Michael on Twitter at patmichael84.
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