Storm gets emotional after ROH loss to Hero
GREG OLIVER - Producer, SLAM! Wrestling
|Lance Storm reacts after losing to Chris Hero, and later salutes the fans, at Saturday's Ring of Honor show in Toronto. Photo by Andrea Kellaway
TORONTO - An emotional Lance Storm took to the microphone last night after a loss to Chris Hero in the main event of Ring of Honor's Death Before Dishonor VII: Night 2. And while he started off serious for a minute, his demeanour soon changed, and he tearfully thanked the crowd for their support over the years.
"I mean this from my heart, thank you," Storm said at the end of the evening's show at the Ted Reeve Arena in Toronto's east end. "Thank you for supporting me, thank you for supporting a great wrestling company."
Storm said he didn't know if this was, indeed, his last-ever match in pro wrestling, which has been "my life for 18 years."
The enthusiastic and loyally Canadian crowd showered Storm with "Please don't go" and "Thank you, Lance" chants.
Certainly judging by his performance in the finale, Storm can still go. His bout with Hero, more than a year in the making, started and ended with a handshake. The match was more grounded and less stuffed with highspots than most of the card. At times there was chain wrestling, or a slap fest.
When Storm caught Hero in the Canadian Maple Leaf single leg sharpshooter as Hero slid through his foe's legs, the crowd went wild, sensing a dramatic ending. Instead, Hero fought his way to the ropes, eliciting boos.
Thinking he had things under control, Storm went to the rope turnbuckle and lept, only to miss Hero. A Rolling Elbow (with a loaded elbow pad?) knocked Storm out and gave Hero, who was seconded by Shane Hagadorn, the win.
"Just another night where I feel like I'm sitting on top of the world," Hero posted on Twitter after his match on Saturday. "The positivity and progression continues."
At the end of the evening, Ring of Honor owner Cary Silkin was also very positive following two straight nights of action in Toronto -- and optimistic about Storm.
"I asked [Storm] if he might do another one for us, but he wouldn't commit. It's wrestling, you never know," Silkin admitted.
He raved about Storm's participation in ROH. "To have a guy who was such a good name, also a guy who had quote/unquote
retired gracefully, so when he does an occasional appearance, chooses to come with our company because he
sincerely believes in our type of product and the quality of the product we're putting out is very special."
Also very special was an autograph signing prior to the show by "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair. The line for Naitch lasted more than three hours, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. for a 7:30 p.m. start for the live show.
This is expected to be Flair's final appearance with ROH -- at least for awhile. In the ring, he addressed his history in the city.
"I love Toronto," said Flair, joking about past marriages in Niagara Falls, and recalling the fights coming out the back of Maple Leaf Gardens, just trying to make his way to the nearby hotel. Once there, he bragged about rocking all night long, and that "Canadian women can go." He also made mention of WrestleMania 18 at SkyDome (now the Rogers Centre), where he fought Undertaker, and acknowledged that, "I didn't know I could still go."
In Ring of Honor, Flair said he had "met a lot of wonderful young men" who were always "respectful."
He refused to say goodbye, and instead said he would see us all soon.
Flair's stories from the past intrigued Silkin. "Toronto's great. The crowds are enthusiastic, they're knowledgeable," he said, referencing "the very rich wrestling history that has gone on for many, many years. Our crowd is younger, for the most part, but it seems to be more historically aware crowd. There's just a different level of fan here. I love coming here. We're looking forward to November." (ROH returns to the Greater Toronto Area on November 14 for a show in Mississauga.)
- Pre-show: Rip Impact beat James Snow
- Pre-show: Alex "Sugarfoot" Payne, Bobby Dempsey and Andy Ridge defeated The Flatliners (Matt Burns and Asylum) and Ethan Page
- Super Smash Brothers defeated Kevin Steen and El Generico in a huge upset
- Frankie the Mobster defeated Bison Smith, with Prince Nana, by DQ after Smith manhandled the referee
- Davey Richards made Jimmy Rave submit at the end of a Toronto Gauntlet match to claim a future ROH World title shot. In order, Jerry Lynn pinned D-Lo Brown; Lynn piledrive Sonjay Dutt for the pin; Jimmy Rave pinned Lynn; Necro the Butcher was counted out, allowing Rave to stay alive.
- In an European Rules Match, Claudio Castagnoli defeated Brent Albright following Jimmy Rave's interference and a chunk of tights. Following the bout, the Embassy jumped Albright, and he was saved by Necro Butcher, Grizzly Redwood and Colt Cabana
- Tyler Black defeated Tyson Dux in a very competitive bout for the newcomer Dux to the ROH scene
- Colt Cabana defeated Joey Ryan, with Prince Nana. Cabana proposed early to make it a No Rules match, but then during the bout, chose not to use weapons on many occasions. At the end, Cabana popped the crowd large by attacking Ryan with two bags of garbage, an homage to the ongoing strike by Toronto civic employees, including garbage workers
- ROH World Champion Austin Aries came out to cut a promo, addressing Kenny Omega's desire for a World title shot. He refused to give Omega a bout Saturday night. Instead, Kenny King and Rhett Titus came to beat up Omega on Aries' behalf, which led to the Briscoe brothers coming out. What followed was Kenny Omega and Jay & Mark Briscoe beating Austin Aries, Kenny King & Rhett Titus.
- Chris Hero beat Lance Storm
Death before Dishonour VII: Night 1 -- Aries backs up trash talk in Toronto
Photo gallery from Death before Dishonour VII: Night 1
- Nigel McGuinness was injured Friday night in Toronto, and was not medically cleared to wrestle.
- Jerry Lynn, who was involved in the McGuinness injury Friday, explained after his bout about how hot and sweaty the arena was (no air conditioning), and therefore how hard it was to hold on to anybody.
- Getting the bump up the card because of McGuinness' injury was Windsor's Tyson Dux, who was overjoyed after the show with the opportunity to work two Ring of Honor shows.
- D'Lo Brown was upset about his role in the Gauntlet match and how short his appearance was -- and wasn't worried about who he complained to about it.
- A large contingent from the local promotion, BSE Pro, were in attendance, including wrestlers and office workers,
Greg Oliver survived a car ride with "Bloodthirsty" Bob Kapur. No more need be said. Greg can be emailed at email@example.com.