Where Are They Now? Lance Storm

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June 26, 2012

Lance Storm locks The Cat in the single-leg Boston Crab.

It’s hard to imagine that someone who won the Intercontinental Championship, United States Title and multiple tag team championships didn’t have the same childhood that many Superstars talk about, where they were mesmerized by the larger-than-life heroes of the ring at a young age. In fact, Lance Storm wasn’t allowed to watch wrestling at all. (CLASSIC PHOTOS | CURRENT PHOTOS)

“My dad was very critical of wrestling and didn’t like it,” Lance Evers, the man behind the Storm, told WWEClassics.com.

It wasn’t until he was a teenager that he became a fan of sports-entertainment. A random channel flip landed him in the middle of AWA, where announcer Ken Resnick was hyping up The Road Warriors’ upcoming match. Evers stuck through the commercial break to see the massive Hawk and Animal, decked out in spiked shoulder pads and face paint. He was hooked.

Though he dove headfirst into the wild world of sports-entertainment through the AWA and Montreal’s International Wrestling promotion, it was the very first edition of WWE Saturday Night’s Main Event on Mother’s Day 1985 that stood out to Evers.

“I was home alone on a Saturday night and came across it and thought ‘Wow, this is so big and bright and colorful!’ ”

Though Evers had become a huge fan of wrestling, the thought of making his living inside the ring never crossed his mind at first.

“I always assumed that people got normal jobs, you went to university, you get a degree, get a job, that’s what I was going to do,” he said.

So Evers headed off to university in pursuit of a career in accounting. He soon found that school wasn’t for him. Unhappy with the prospects of the financial world, he looked for other avenues to make a living. The light bulb soon went on. He decided that wrestling was the line of work for him. He just needed a foot in the door. Luckily, he had family willing to give him a hand.

Lance Storm

Lance and his stepfather called every wrestling school they could to find information on, including WWE’s Canadian office, where then-WWE President Jack Tunney attempted to give them the run-around.

“He eventually said ‘Look, sir, I’d really just rather not bother,’ ” Lance said of Tunney’s conversation with his stepfather.

After getting the cold shoulder from the WWE President, Lance had narrowed down his choices to two schools: WCW’s Power Plant in Atlanta and The Hart Brothers’ Wrestling Camp in Calgary, Alberta. For him, the decision came down to where someone his size would fit in better.

“Stampede [Wrestling] had a rep for producing some good smaller wrestlers: Beef Wellington, Brian Pillman, Dynamite Kid,” Evers said. “Going to a place that produced guys my size and not having to leave the country seemed like an easier step.”

Just eight months after deciding to pursue a career in sports-entertainment, Evers was headed west to Calgary to embark on a new journey. When he got to Alberta in summer 1990, it wasn’t exactly what he expected. The 21-year-old was surprised by some of the other trainees he met.

“When the first person I met was a 104-pound skinny kid, I was like ‘There’s no wrestlers here,’ ” he said.

Disillusioned by some of his fellow trainees, he considered packing up and heading home, until a chance meeting with another student convinced him he was in the right place.

“I met Chris Jericho a day or two before we started camp,” Evers said. “He was really a beacon of light sent from the heavens. We were the only two athletic-looking guys that showed up, so we gravitated to each other really quickly.”

With a new friendship formed, the pair headed to the Hart camp, only to find that the legendary family’s involvement was pretty much in name only.

“Keith Hart was the one who showed up and collected the money,” Evers explained. “I think he taught me how to do a victory roll.”

Outside of the victory roll, his training was handled by Ed Langley and Brad Young, a previous graduate of the Hart camp. For eight weeks, they showed Lance the ins and outs of the ring, preparing him for his first match that October against Jericho. As he explained, Storm has nothing but fond memories of his first foray into the squared circle.

“I remember it being so much fun and thinking Jericho had more charisma than Hulk Hogan had on his best day,” he recalled. “It’s an absurd statement, but he was much more charismatic and relaxed than I was. [The match] was the coolest thing in the world.”

After that, both Jericho and Storm traveled the world gaining experience, competing in Japan, Mexico and Europe. The friends would be reunited in 1994 by Jim Cornette in Smoky Mountain Wrestling. Initially, Storm was going to debut as a singles competitor, but when Cornette got a hold of Jericho’s highlight reel, plans changed.

“The majority of our early career was together. I was on [Chris’] reel, he was on mine,” Storm explained. “So [Cornette] called Jericho and said ‘I’d love to bring you in, but would you team with Lance Storm?’”

Jericho made sure he wasn’t throwing a wrench in his friend’s plans first, and then agreed to head down south. The Thrillseekers were born.

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