December 31, 2005
Aussie lands in eye of Storm
By TJ MADIGAN - Calgary Sun
In May 2005, Carlo Dumrigue left his native Australia to do what countless wannabe wrestlers aspire to do: He moved to Calgary to train with the legendary Hart family.
But when the 19-year old arrived in the Stampede City, he got his first taste of a good old-fashioned pro-wrestling screw job.
"A couple of weeks after I arrived, the Harts told me they weren't training anymore," Dumrigue told the Calgary Sun. "I had moved my whole life across the world on the promise that I could train here and would be taken care of. But it turned out I made the sacrifice for nothing. There was no wrestling school."
Luckily for Dumrigue, another Calgary wrestling legend was launching his own training camp and was willing to take in a young Aussie upstart.
"When I heard Lance Storm was opening a school, I sent him a resume straight away," Dumrigue said. "I grew up watching Lance, I even have a picture with him from when he came to Australia years ago. Getting accepted into the school meant I was finally on the right track."
When Storm Wrestling Academy opened its doors in September, Dumrigue was front and centre in the inaugural class. He was joined by four other students -- one from France, one from Puerto Rico and a pair of Canadians.
The Academy, a converted warehouse in an industrial area of south-east Calgary, allowed the students to learn the ropes in an actual WWE ring -- Undertaker's blood stains from Wrestlemania XV are still visible on the apron -- under the tutelage of one of the best in-ring workers in the world.
"If you want to be a part of the wrestling business, Lance is the guy to go to," Dumrigue said. "Why not be trained by the guy who has not only been successful in WWE but also knows what they are looking for?"
Storm's training style is different from the traditional wrestling school mentality of beating up newcomers to test their dedication to the business. Instead, he teaches students the basics and allows them to develop and discover their abilities through coaching.
"I expected to be beat up, since that's what you hear about wrestling schools," Dumrigue said. "But when I got in there and realized I'd actually be learning abut wrestling, that's when I knew I could do this. "
For Dumrigue, the Storm method was a success. He became the standout pupil in the academy's first graduating class and even got to fight on a couple of Stampede Wrestling cards (under his ring name of Carlo Cannon) in December.
After months of wrestling four hours a day, five days a week, on top of working a regular 40-hour a week job to make ends meet, Dumrigue can now return to Australia to physically (and financially) recuperate.
While being trained by his idol was an unforgettable experience, becoming friends with him -- not to mention having Christmas dinner at the Storm household -- was the icing on the cake.
"I was a huge Lance fan when I was a kid," Dumrigue said. "I'd watched him be serious on TV for so many years that I was surprised he was so funny. It took a while to get used to being around him every day.
"But he's such a good teacher and such a great guy, it was an experience I'll never forget."
Storm Wrestling Academy resumes classes in January.