The other week, I reviewed JTG's new eBook. While it was funny, entertaining and served as a cautionary tale for up and coming wrestlers, the book was probably thrown together in a day or two and reads as such. But if I can be serious for a minute.... it's time to look at an eBook that satisfies those criteria, plus you can tell that the author put some real work into it.
Storm Warning is a collection of commentaries Lance Storm did for his website and for WCW Magazine. Because his site underwent a change at one point, most of the commentaries weren't re-posted until the publication of this eBook. It's a rare opportunity to look at someone's career while competing in ECW, jumping to WCW and becoming a huge success in a short period of time, and finally, learning that WCW has closed its doors and that he faces an uncertain future.
The thing about Lance Storm the author is, well, he's exactly the same as Lance Storm the wrestler. I mean this in the best possible way - he's not saddled with the typical wrestler ego, he calls things as he sees them, and the guy is polite and cautious to a fault (exactly how many people stereotype us Canadians, in fact).
So what you're left with is honest and brief blog-type entries from someone who was near the forefront during a very interesting period in wrestling history. As a result, you hear his take on the state of the industry (circa 1999-2001), legendary wrestlers within the business and developments such as the Montreal screwjob and Mike Awesome suddenly jumping ship to WCW.
As well, you also get insight into Storm's dislike for travel (or at least, the frustrating travel schedules that professional wrestlers often have to endure), where to get a good meal on the road after most restaurants have closed down for the night and some of the ribs that "the boys in the back" like to play on each other.
One of my favorite parts of the book were Storm's recollections of working for promoter Tony Condello on his "Death Tours" of aboriginal reservations in Manitoba that one has to spend hours driving on frozen lakes just to get to. Sure, some of the stories in Edge and Chris Jericho's books are similar to Storm's, but it's always interesting to hear what upstart wrestlers were willing to do just to get a break in the business.
On top of this, Storm introduces virtually every commentary in the book with a generous note from the present day (well, at the time of publication) that puts things in proper context. Plus, he keeps a "Fanny Pack Counter" throughout the book, keeping track of how many people are wearing the 90's wrestler fashion accessory in photos before each commentary - a nice, funny touch.
If I had one minor complaint, it's that there are a handful of grammatical and spelling errors in the book, but that's probably just the ex-journalist in me nitpicking. Storm has also written a follow-up eBook called "Storm Front" that discusses his WWF/E career and retirement, which I will be reviewing for this site down the road.
Overall rating: OH HELL YEAH! This is a fun, light read from someone who is well-spoken, articulate and just happens to be telling his stories from Calgary.... Alberta.... Canada.