James Storm On His Time With TNA, Learning From Ric Flair And More
Photo Credit: Bill Pritchard
James Storm, who just unsuccessfully challenged for the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship at NWA Into The Fire, recently appeared on Talk Is Jericho. He discussed several topics, including his departure from IMPACT! Wrestling, his work with the NWA and more. Here are some highlights.
On why he left IMPACT! Wrestling:
Storm: “You know, there was stuff happening at the end of the IMPACT/TNA stuff, that stuff had to take a backseat to my family life. You know, I was on the road so much and I really didn’t get to spend time with my family, my daughter and my sons and stuff. I kinda wanted to just take time and watch them grow up and just be around them, you know, as they start finding themselves as well.
“18 years into TNA, I think I kinda just lost track of myself, really, and just became that guy that I didn’t want to be, that I said I would never be. You know, I had my certain friends and groups that I hung around with but then everybody else, I really didn’t care about. You know, I can say it about myself, I was kinda a dick. The last little bit of TNA, I just kinda felt like I was just there, you know, not really going through the motions but I was just there. They wasn’t [sic] really doing anything with me, they were paying me a lot of money but they wouldn’t really do anything with me. It wasn’t until the last contract that I had with IMPACT, into the second year, I contacted the office and sent them an email, saying I really don’t think I want to renew my third year on my contract, I kinda just want to go and do my own thing for a while.”
On watching the highs and lows of TNA/IMPACT Wrestling:
Storm: “You know, it was fun to watch, especially at the beginning when, every year or every couple of months, somebody would come out, saying, ‘Well, TNA’s not gonna last that long, it’s not gonna last this year’ and blah blah blah and then when we finally got the Spike deal and we started doing stuff on Spike, that’s really when stuff started booming and taking shape ’cause then we started traveling over to the UK where, to us, we felt like actually bigger than WWE over in the UK because the WWE was more on a paid channel whereas we were on a free channel, so more people were actually watching us than the WWE and we’d go into these big areas for the first time and they’d be sold out and we just felt like rockstars.”
On why the downfall of TNA/IMPACT Wrestling beginning when the Spike deal ended:
Storm: “Yeah, you know, you lose all that viewership on Spike at the time and then you go to a different channel, you know, like Destination America, where not a lot of people have that channel at all and there has to be a certain package or cable system to get it and to me, that was the start of the downfall.”