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  Dec. 15, 2000



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The Cat clawing for Storm at Starrcade
By GREG OLIVER -- SLAM! Wrestling

Somebody better call Lance Storm's mama, because Ernest 'The Cat' Miller has him in his targets this Sunday at Starrcade.

The Cat with Ms. Jones. -- courtesy WCW
Miller will take his karate and football background into the ring against Storm, along with his ever-improving in-ring skills, and attempt to derail the leader of Team Canada. The Cat is really looking forward to the match.

"For me to have a match on Starrcade, that right there is something that you can never imagine. It's a feeling just like Christmas coming up early," Miller told SLAM! Wrestling down the line from his Atlanta home.

He's preparing for the match the same way he usually does. "I do my everyday thing for a chump. I get up, go run, come back, do karate. I'm just going to treat it like another match."

Preparing for the expected interference from Team Canada -- Storm, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Elix Skipper and Major Gunns -- is a different story. Miller admitted to being concerned about the outside influence. "Those guys are dirty guys, and I know they're going to be up to something, they're going to try something."

Yet the three-time karate champ is confident enough to know that he doesn't need a gang of his own. "I am like a one man gang, man. I can kick, I can punch, when I get on your ass, it feels like about ten guys on you."

When he drops the bravado, Miller is more than willing to give props to his opponent this Sunday.

"[Storm is] one of the great ones right now. I can see it coming. He's going to be one of the great ones, another maybe [Bret] Hart. He's going to be another superstar in this business and I'm just glad to get to work with him."

In fact, Miller considers Storm almost too easy to work with. "You get people sometimes that irritate you -- everything just goes right off his back. He's so easy going. Then when he gets out there, he puts this little mean, serious look on his face. You think he's just trying to form into a demon."

Backstage, it's a different Lance Storm altogether. "He's easy to work with, he's fun-loving, and most people don't see it, but he's really a funny guy too. He's a practical joker."

More than once, The Cat has confronted Storm on his ability to change, transform into the pro-Canada heel. "Standing in the ring, 'Can we be serious for a second?' with that look on [his] face that just makes me want to come out there and make me want to punch [him] in the nose!"

Miller is enjoying a more relaxed life now that he is no longer the Commissioner of WCW. Turns out the commissionership was more than just a title -- it was a lot of work. "The talking, the pre-taping. I got there, man, like at one o'clock and they sent me a whole script list, with about 10 pre-taped, then two interfering in a match later on that night," he said. "Man, after awhile, I was headed for a burnout."

He even offers praise of the current Commissioner, 'Above Average' Mike Sanders. "Mike is doing a helluva job. When Mike first started, he was a little nervous, but you have to understand that he was all geared for it. He came to me the other day, and said, Cat, thank you for all of your help. You know, I was there before him, so I was giving him a little bit of advice on how to make it work."

Yes, Miller admitted, it is strange for a man who has only been in wrestling for three years to be offering advice to the youngsters in WCW, but that's the way the business in the company is these days.

"It's no surprise to me [to be offering advice] because I talk a lot, I brag a lot, but I work very hard at what I do. Anything I involve myself in, I dedicate myself 110%. I'm always working to better myself," Miller said. "Where other people are working a half-day, I'm working a full day"

We'll have more from Ernest 'The Cat' Miller in the upcoming weeks, including his thoughts on Eric Bischoff, Scott Hall, the WCW ownership situation, James Brown and his red shoes.

Starrcade ends Y2K on a positive note




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