RealSport recently sat down with TNA original “Cowboy” James Storm, ahead of TNA’s Maximum Impact UK tour.
RealSport: You’re back in in TNA after a short period in NXT. What was behind your decision to return and leave the WWE behind?
James Storm: I’ve been with TNA since the very beginning and I want to see them succeed. I feel like I have a lot to give not just to TNA but the wrestling business as a whole, I just felt that right now I can help TNA out a lot.
RS: Many people were shocked to see you return to TNA and once again work alongside Bobby Roode. Where did that decision come from?
JS: It was one of the things that a lot of the fans wrote into TNA and said that one of the things that they missed was Beer Money [Inc., Storm’s tagteam with Roode], so TNA came to me and Bobby and asked if we wanted to do it. We talked it over and it was really one of the things that helped me make my decision to come back. Me and Bobby have always had a chemistry, whether it’s against each other or tagging together.
RS: When it comes to chemistry, it’s clear to see that you have that with many of the wrestlers on the roster. Is that something that emanates from you, or is it just an easy locker room to work with?
JS: I pride myself on being able to wrestle and adapt to any style there is, whether it’s wrestling a big man, brawls, hardcore matches or high-flying… not that I do the high-flying. It’s one of those things where I’m able to work with anyone, and I think NXT kind of saw that too, that I could help out the guys there with my knowledge of the wrestling business.
RS: Having the experience of wrestlers such as yourself involved with NXT is often reported as one of the best ways NXT helps develop the next generation of superstars. Is that one of the things that made you excited to get involved in the first place?
JS: Oh yeah, it kind of reminded me of when TNA was first starting out, all the guys are hungry and had a chip on their shoulders looking to prove they have what it takes.
RS: You’ve come through from the start of TNA with other guys who are now household names – Bobby Roode, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe. If you had had those type of people around you at NXT, would you had possibly stayed or was it always going to be a decision to come back to TNA?
JS: No, it was never an all-out decision to come back to TNA. Me and Hunter (Triple H) had a talk and, as far as I’m aware, left the door open. Hunter has done some great things for NXT. No matter what people may think of his on screen character, behind the scenes he’s one of the most passionate guys in the business.
RS: In wrestling, the on-screen character is so often completely different to the real person – however your character, particularly in Beer Money Inc., really seems to resonate. Do you find it easier to play a character that’s closer to your real life personality?
JS: Yeah, I find it really easy to do the Beer Money stuff, but even the stuff I was doing down at NXT, I spoke to Hunter and he said, “I just want you to be you”, and I was like “okay cool”. I just love going out there and having fun, because people want to see a great wrestling match but they also want to be involved and entertained at the same time, so it can be tricky to combine all those things in the short time that you get while you’re out there.
Beer Money reunited
RS: Fans watching throughout the years will have seen many sides of you. You’ve been face, you’ve been a heel, and you’ve been somewhere in between. It’s one of those things as a fan we never know what to expect. For example, with Beer Money, you can be best friends one second and breaking beer bottles over each other’s heads the next.
JS: If you think it’s crazy as a fan, try being my partner! Last show we did on TV, Bobby looked at me and was like, “where the hell are you going?” I just jumped out the ring, grabbed some Beer Money signs and did the Beer Money chant. He’s the same way, I have no clue what that guy is going to do every night.
RS: For me, that’s why Beer Money are one of the best tag teams in recent memory. Some of the greatest tag team matches I have ever seen was yourself and Bobby vs the Motor City Machine Guns in your best-of-five series. Do you ever see a scenario where you could see the four of you working together again?
JS: Yeah, I’m not sure if you’ll see Beer Money vs Motor City Machine Guns, but I have always prided myself in whatever division I’ve been in, making it the best. And now that I am doing Beer Money again, we want to bring tag team wrestling back to the forefront of IMPACT Wrestling. A lot of fans right now are bidding for a Beer Money vs The Wolves best-of-five match.
RS: Right now, the tag scene isn’t as strong as it previously has been. Do you think with the revival of Beer Money, you think you can bring tag team wrestling back to where it once was?
JS: Yeah me and Bobby definitely feel like we can get the tag division back to where it was, or we wouldn’t be doing this. It’ll take a little bit of time but we are hoping to get there sooner rather than later.
RS: If you could put together a team together to go into a Lethal Lockdown match, who would you pick?
JS: I would probably say me, Bobby, and the Harris brothers. Ron and Don [Harris] are two guys that you probably don’t want to be locked into a cage, with because they are some bad boys. I can remember a time I told Ron Harris I was going to body slam him and come off the top rope with an elbow; he said “you try it and I’m going to punch you in your face”, and I said “sounds good, sir!”
RS: Triple H has once again became WWE Champion. Do you feel that WWE are guilty of “same old, same old” programming where the obvious choice wins the title?
JS: Yeah, a lot of people have asked me this question, and I always say wait to see how the story plays out, because it can help to build a bigger star – especially now that you want to see Triple H get beat. It’s genuine, real heat. You’re there thinking “this SOB, I really want this guy to get beat now”.
RS: Do you see yourself back in the World title picture, or is that part of your career behind you now?
JS: At this point in my career titles don’t really mean that much to me, simply because when I go to the bank they don’t ask me if I’m a world champion or not. On the other side, people realize being the best as holding a title, so for me I’d like to be back in the world title picture, but right now I’m going to focus on making the tag division great again.
RS: As TNA tour the UK this week, are there any British sports or teams that you follow?
JS: I think it was on the 4th or 5th UK tour, myself and Bully Ray actually went to a Manchester United game. It reminded me of a wrestling show, where the fans all game long were chanting stuff. I didn’t know what they were chanting, but I pretended I did!
RS: You say that the door is open with NXT. Do you see another move, or do you see TNA as the final home for James Storm?
JS: We have a saying in the wrestling business, that is “never say never”. You never know what tomorrow might bring, so for me, I just take it one day at a time.
TNA’s Maximum Impact UK tour starts this Friday in Manchester, where James and all the TNA roster will be bidding farewell to one of wrestling’s biggest icons in Kurt Angle.
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