James Storm On Why He Left NXT For Impact, Changes With Jeff Jarrett In Charge, Bobby Roode, More

I recently interviewed James Storm during the Impact Wrestling television tapings in India. Below is the full interview in its entirety:

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His journey with Impact Wrestling:

"You know, it was 2002 when I first started with Impact Wrestling. I was one of the first guys that he (Jeff Jarrett) signed. So I've been here since the beginning. Just to see the company grow over the last 15 years – you know it had its bumps on the road and stuff, but it still has managed to just keep growing – even if it's a little bit.


"From the time we started out – our first show was in Huntsville, Alabama, and then we went to Nashville Fair Grounds and started doing Pay – Per – Views there, and started being on channels. Just seeing it go from that small building in Nashville, Tennessee, to this global scale now – it's just amazing. Never in a million years would I think, me being from a small town anyway in Tennessee, that 15 years later, I'd be sitting here in India, ready to perform a wrestling show for the people in India. To me, like, I'm blessed to ever be doing this still 20 years later.

Winning the Impact Wrestling Championship:

"Yeah, it was one of those things where, me and Bobby said no matter what, whoever wins the title, we'll be happy for them, because both of us deserved it. You know what I mean? But I wanted one of us to win it. Unfortunately, he had the match with Kurt (Angle) on the Pay – Per – View before, and the very next week, I had the match with Kurt, and I beat him for the world title.


"And for me just, from the beginning to winning the world title for the first time that night, against someone like Kurt Angle, it was a dream come true. And Bobby knew how important that was to me. So, AJ Styles and Frankie Kazarian, who came out also noticed that it was just one of those moments that – people can say what I'll do in that moment, but until you're really in that moment, you don't know.

"I've always said, if I'm going to do this, then I'm going to do this. But I didn't – you know, my daddy died when I was young, so to me, winning that match – I didn't even think of that (winning the title), but all that emotion just rushed to me, and you know, I looked up and I thanked my dad for just watching over me. And I went into the crowd, and just throwing beer away, It was one of those moments you don't know what you're going to do, until that moment happens."

Being a country music fan and how it influenced him:

"Yeah, it's pretty cool because I can still play really myself on TV. You talk about country stuff and all that – it keeps me grounded. It keeps me humble, to know where I came from. That I came from nothing, and one day I could go back to nothing, just like that. That it could all go away. So for me, I always like to say, 'Be nice to everyone'. Because you never know who someone is, and who someone is going to be."


Impact Wrestling going through a transition:

"I think it's – as I talked about earlier, there were bumps on the road and this was one of those bumps on the road, but the company is going to keep moving forward. And now, with the new management and the overhaul of the company, all the guys in the locker room are excited. You have Jeff Jarrett coming back, who to me; I always thought Impact was the best when you had him, as one of the writers because he came from a wrestling family, and he knows wrestling.

"He's a guy who will get onto you. If you get out of line, he's going to straighten you up and that's what Impact needs too. Just because for so long, guys started doing whatever they wanted and wherever they wanted, and no one said anything to them. Jeff's now, 'No, you do it this way, plain and simple'. I always say that wrestling is kind of like a movie. I didn't hire to be the writer, I was hired to be the actor. So I can't go to the director and say, 'No, I don't want to die in this scene.' You can't do that. So that's why he'd say, 'You're hired to play this character. Play it the best way you can.'"

Familiarity in working with Jeff:

"A little fun fact – he's one of the guys who helped train me at the very beginning, when I started training to be a wrestler. I trained out at his dad's farm, in Hendersonville, Tennessee, under Jerry Jarrett and under this guy named Eddie Marlin, and this other guy named Wolfie D who was a part of the same PG – 13 at the time."


Competing in NXT and returning to Impact Wrestling. What was the factor that contributed to him coming back?

"You know, I think it was just timing. To me, I think timing has to be right and everything. I talked to people I was working with at the time, and they completely understood, where I stood, and they wished me luck. And they said, hopefully, if things don't work out, we can do business in the future."

Differences in his dynamic with Bobby Roode and Chris Harris:

"With me and Chris, I think it was more – we were kind of like brothers. Because we started at a time when no one knew who we were, so we basically had that bond where we had to stick together no matter what, and just make it work. So – just to get our name out there, and establish ourselves, because there were so many other stars that were coming to Impact Wrestling, and we didn't want to lose our spot, so to say.

"With me and Bobby, at the time, they didn't know what to do with either one of us, because we're both singles wrestlers. So they put us together. I think it was a more business thing – we were never really the greatest friends, but we had the camaraderie to make it work. Once we get to the building, we were professional, and we made everything work. Every now and then we'd go have beers together, celebrate and party.


"So it was just one of those things where it was just two different tag teams, but at the same time, once we got to the building, it was on – we were connected, and we just worked off each other, and it worked."