Earlier this year longtime TNA / Impact talent James Storm had conversations with WWE about possibly coming in. They discussed him working with some of their younger talent to get them over and possibly Storm himself having a run.
He was asked which brands WWE wanted him to work with when Storm joined Busted Open.
“I think they wanted me to come in and work with the younger talent on RAW and SmackDown. They were basically saying with your personality and stuff like that, I know I would have gotten over, no matter what. I can work with anybody and still make myself get over. As you say, you can go over, you can get over as well,” said Storm who was also asked if Triple H was involved with him possibly joining WWE.
“Yeah, it could be that. I mean, I don’t really know. I was just dealing with Heyman and Canyon [Ceman] on that front. So, I don’t know how much Triple H had to play in, but I’m sure somehow, it’s got to fall through him as well just like everything falls through Vince. I think somehow, Hunter has some kind of say in it as well.”
“That was one of the things that I kind of wanted to do. I wanted to go to NXT because I know a lot of guys on all the brands. But just to be able to go down there and work with those guys, I know the first time I went down there, those guys were so appreciative and they would just listen to anything you say,” recalled Storm. “And they’re not the kind of people that would say, ‘Hey, would you watch my match?’, but when they come back, they would be like, ‘Well, I wanted to do this’ and they would be like, ‘Oh, thank you very much.’ And I would always tell people, Hunter, he’s got that thing running all cylinders.”
Working with younger talents while they’re still developing their skills is the best time to work with any wrestler as they’re amenable to learning from veterans. Storm was asked about the NXT talents being prone to listen to the vets in the ring.
“Yeah, I would think so just because I told people that when I went there before, it kind of reminded me of a young TNA group when we were at the Nashville Fairgrounds. You would have guys like Mr. Perfect and Dusty Rhodes and all of these guys coming in – and I’m not comparing myself to them at all – but you would take every chance you could just to sit and listen to those guys. And that’s what I always tell these younger guys, ‘If you could share a locker room with someone that’s been in the business for a long time, they’ve been in the business for a reason,” said Storm.
Storm is considered an old-school guy and he’s been around so long that he made several WCW appearances back in 2000. Lots in wrestling has changed since then including what many fans consider to be entertaining. Storm was asked what’s most entertaining to him in pro wrestling today.
“It’s hard. I watch the products today and they always say, ‘Well, it’s because you’re older. It’s different than what it was.’ I always tell people that I think wrestling has changed too much really fast for my liking as well, because Bully [Ray], I’m sure you were kind of the same way when I was coming up,” said Storm. “There was tiers of wrestlers: you had undercard guys, you had the mid-cards, the upper cards. And you guys were talking earlier, I always liked the guys who were wrestling for the Intercontinental Championship. You had the Mr. Perfect’s and the Bret Hart’s and those were the workhorses. Then, you had the Hogan’s on top and then, when they left, you had these other guys and I told somebody the other day that I don’t think that X-Pac – the reaction that he got when he was The 1-2-3 Kid and beat Razor [Ramon] – would really work today because you got everybody that’s all together now. So, you have this guy that can wrestle the champion any day of the week.
“To me, if I was in the company, I would want to work my way to that. If you just go in there, it doesn’t really matter, but I’m really enjoying The New Day storyline and hopefully, they do something with all three of those guys, because they all definitely deserve it.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Busted Open with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Mehdy Labriny contributed to this article.