Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Performer Analysis: Lance Storm

He's the innovator of the rat tail, the only failing student of the Masato Tanaka's School for Swinging Chairs and the awesome creator of the best website ran by a wrestler, Stormwrestling.com, He's your favorite stoic Canuck, Lance Storm!

1) Innovation- 5/10
While a very skilled competitor, Storm's contributions to the overall progression of wrestling can't be measured very high. He was a big part of ECW as it broke through to the mainstream and was recognized as one of the company's most solid performers. He was part of the contingent that got some very valuable experience in Japan before making his foray into the US indy scene. Other than that, I'd say one of Storm's biggest contributions is his website, even though it came online years after the Internet had blown up and become a major part of the wrestling world. And he was the first guy to strike a blow for the Alliance, or the Allegiance or whatever the hell that shitty faction was when WCW invaded.

2) Conditioning- 10/10
Storm has always been in excellent shape, not bulky or super muscular but trim and cut. His body frame isn't built to hold mounds of muscle, but his cardio is peak condition, even though i'd say he rarely wrestled long matches in most of his US stints. His cardio workout (published, again on Stormwrestling.com) is pretty comprehensive and intense. One thing you'll notice in Lance's matches is his ring pace and that comes from good stamina, he rarely ever works a slow pace, even if the match is taking place on the ground. Another factor to consider is the ever increasing steroids and drug abuse factor, to which Storm is not known for taking any other than prescribed and it shows in his work. His best category.

3) Skill- 8/10
Storm is an excellent ring technician. His move set has been fine tuned over the years, including his superb superkick and his rolling boston crab. His athleticism is pretty high grade too, with his leaps to the top turnbuckle and planchas to the outside with showing a lot of grace. Storm is also quite a bumper and makes guys look pretty good, no matter the skill level or lack there of of his opponent. Most importantly, he's a ring leader and perfectly comfortable being one. The only gripe I have is his sometimes robotic bumping method, where he blankly looks straight ahead, throws his feet out and falls to the mat and quickly gets up again several times without showing any damage.

4) Psychology- 10/10
Storm knows his ring psych, a less is more kind of school of thought. Storm is a high risk taker but he's never been that flashy one. He has a great facial expression on his sells that really show the pain and he knows how to work an armbar. In WWE style, he was a perfect mid card guy because he knew how to make his opponent appear like a great worker without overshadowing him, and in many cases, he clearly could have. Storm's timing is also impeccible, a great asset to him in the ring; it helps moves come off looking great and good timing makes the audience react positively.

5) Interviews- 7/10
Storm was presented as a guy who was pretty boring, but he was very adept at speaking in front of crowds. He did some great stuff in ECW, where his presence seemed as if he were a professor and had something intelligent to say to the crowd. He was often the mouthpiece for factions he was involved in, ex. Team Canada, Impact Players, Anti-Americans and he did well in the role. His famous catchphrase "If I could be serious for a minute, " was pretty smart and worked wonders for him, when he was actually given the chance to speak. His mic time was severely diminished during his WWE stint, but hey, who's wasn't?

6) Character- 7/10
Typically, young, technical wrestlers are always portrayed as a heel, and Storm was no different, rarely ever straying to the face side of this large equation we call wrestling. But, he was a pretty effective one. He received great heel heat, using a cocky side to himself without being over the top with it. You knew he was a great wrestler, probably a better one than the guy he was facing, but that made you want him to lose all the more. His characters have generally been a version of Bret Hart's heel in '97, a proud Canadian who likes to rub his country's positives in any American's face who will listen. It's garnered him a lot of success and he has been a great wrestling heel. He's only shortly played a face in his career, and it was nothing to write home about, but man, did i have a good laugh at seeing him do the Cabbage Patch and the White Man's Overbite with Goldust on Raw.

7) Fans- 6/10
While Storm has been a great heel wrestler over the years and a well known name in one of wrestling's biggest boom periods, I'd say he still doesn't have that superstar quality that the average fan will pick him out of a crowd and really be excited or the name that a huge crowd would pop big for should he return, although he got a great reception at the ROH show he competed at. I think more smart fans and older fans appreciate Storm more than the average fan and those would probably be the ones that would cheer him. But, he's definitley not a person that would go unnoticed.

8) Basics- 10/10
Storm got his training in the Dungeon of Stu Hart, a wrestling legend known for stretching young students and teaching them the fundamentals of the wrestling business, which is wrestling holds. Storm is an expert on his ground game and can hold his own with anybody, i'd say, in the business today besides maybe Angle or Lashley. His punches are nothing you'd use in a real fight, but their sharpness is perfect for pro wrestling. His reversal and counter wrestling are also very good and he can work sequences with anyone.

9) Feuds/ Opponents- 6/10
Storm has traveled the globe and fought many of Japan's top stars in WAR, like Liger, Samurai, U. Dragon and more. He worked probably every top guy that came through ECW, like Dreamer, Sabu, RVD, Taz, at least got in the ring with every top guy in WCW during his short tenure there , like Sting, Goldberg, DDP, and gotten to work a variety of people in WWE, like the Rock, HHH, Hulk Hogan and Edge, but as far as feuds, Storm's been pretty light on them. He had a lengthy feud with Tommy Dreamer in ECW and a lengthy feud with Hugh Morrus in WCW, but that's been about it. Storm was deserving of more money programs and could have even been a bigger star than he was.

10) Gutcheck- 7/10
In the wrestling business, guys work till they die. That's just a fact. Lance Storm was smart and saved his money and can work when he wants to or when there's a great opportunity. In a business that heralds you when you're on top and walks on your face when you're down, Storm managed to avoid most of the pitfalls that hit superstars of yester-year. It's a sad time in the industry for me, personally right now because all the great performers i saw when i was a kid and loved are dying, or in bad shape, or looking for that next big break and the industry that made them who they are doesn't have a bit of compassion for them. A lot of guys, i think, have a hard time letting go of their career, maybe they didn't accomplish all they wanted to, but Storm bowed away gracefully, even though he may not have made that Wrestlemania stage like he should have or become a World Champion like he should have. He'll join names like Brian Pillman, Owen Hart and Arn Anderson who never won World Titles when they so richly deserved them, but he still stuck it out in the business that mostly forgets it's fallen sons and that takes guts and heart. Another aspect of this category is Character, which Storm has a lot of, never having been arrested or caught with pills in his gymbag, so i give him extra points for that as well.

Final Score: 76
Ranking: Superstar
PO: Thumbs Up

1 comment:

Didge said...

I sent Lance the email now we just wait and see. Personally I think he will like it!