Where Are They Now? Lance Storm

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June 26, 2012

Lance Storm working with students at his Storm Wrestling Academy

Toward the end of his WWE tenure, fans might remember “Stone Cold” Steve Austin deriding Storm for being “boring,” which turned into the typically stoic, serious Superstar becoming an overly excited dancing machine.

“It’s certainly not my favorite part of my career,” Storm said. “It just sort of lost direction along the way."

He explained, "You don’t have to be in the main event to have a great time in WWE. For every ‘boring’ promo or [moment] having to dance, there were at least five memories of really great matches on really good shows with really great people. It was really fantastic,” Storm said, fondly recollecting his time in WWE.

By 2004, back injuries and an urge to be home with his family led Storm to decide it was time to retire from in-ring competition. At the advice of WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross, he took up a position as a trainer with Ohio Valley Wrestling, WWE’s developmental territory at the time – a gratifying experience.

“I really enjoy the artwork of the job, so being able to be the creative force behind other people and train them and watch them improve is as rewarding as being out there myself,” he told WWEClassics.com.

One of Storm’s trainees from that time has found great success on WWE’s main roster: former World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler.

“[Storm is] a no-nonsense guy, he tells you what works and what doesn’t,” Ziggler said of his trainer. “If you suck, he tells you. He calls it down the line.”

It was his aptitude for teaching students like Ziggler along with the encouragement of OVW staff to try and get a WWE developmental system in Calgary that led Storm to head back to the Great White North and found his own school, the Storm Wrestling Academy, which opened in September 2005. Though it’s not a WWE-affiliated training center, Storm’s reputation as a sound technical wrestler and a mentor has made his school into one of the best in the world, yielding several students who've joined WWE’s developmental program.

“I like the system that Jericho and I went through,” Storm said, explaining the similarities between his school and the Hart camp. “Everybody starts together and learns together. I think you learn the basics and foundations better [that way]. It prepares them to be a proper high-end performer so when they get out there, they can do the job well and hopefully achieve their dream of making it to WWE.”

Storm doesn’t judge his success as a trainer by how many of his students make it to WWE. Instead, he takes pride in the feedback he’s received from promoters and competitors that have worked with his students. Knowing that he’s taught his trainees to be professionals at all times is more than enough for him.

Even current WWE Superstars have taken notice of the quality competitors the one-time Intercontinental Champion produces. Storm's received messages from the likes of former World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan, complimenting one of Lance's past pupils. He said the praise of people like Bryan make the job more rewarding than seeing students get signed by WWE.

In between cooking breakfast for his daughters, Rachel and Rebecca, and spending time with his wife, Tina, his focus is on making the Storm Wrestling Academy one of the top training schools in the world. If he had his way, an affiliation with WWE would be in the cards.

“In the back of my mind, if [Storm Wrestling Academy] ever could somehow tie in with a developmental system of some kind with WWE, I think that would be awesome,” he said.

However, that isn’t the end-all, be-all for him.

“As long as I can keep filling up my classes and produce people that represent this industry well, then I’ll be happy.”

For more information on the Storm Wrestling Academy,click here. Follow Lance Storm on Twitter @Storm_Wrestling.

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