Eagle: You’ve developed through the years into unquestionably one of the most unique, standout characters in TNA. How did you find the persona of “Cowboy” James Storm, and how similar are you outside the ring to the guy we see every Thursday night?
Storm: That’s me. They tell me to go out and be me. I mean, I don’t drink 24/7. I’m not that guy sitting on the couch telling the kids to get me a beer from the refrigerator. What a lot of people don’t realize, I never drink when I’m at home. When im at home with my kids, I don’t drink or anything, I hang out with my kids. Having lost my dad at an early age, I want to be there much as I can.
Eagle: You’ve spent most of the last year in a tag team with Gunner. How was that experience?
Storm: It’s always cool being put in a tag team with someone (new). Bobby and Chris, they had about as much experience as I did. With Gunner, seeing him evolve into who he is now — the guy’s a beast in the ring, that’s for sure. But seeing him start to catch on to things, improve on the mic and in the ring, it’s pretty cool.
Eagle: One of the things I’ve noticed on Impact in recent months has been a reduced focus on the tag teams. What needs to be done to bring the division back to prominence?
Storm: To me, it’s just giving them a chance. We proved that with the Motor City Machine Guns, Team 3D, Beer Money and teams like Ink Inc. They gave the tag team division the ball, and we made the best of it. They need to believe in the guys they put out there. To me, there needs to be more teams, not guys just thrown together, but guys you can relate to. Me and Bobby were thrown together, but we made it work as a tag team. It just takes time, and with the new format of professional wrestling, it’s kind of hard to give that much time to a specific area.
Eagle: You’re a TNA original. What is it that’s kept you dedicated to the company for nearly 12 years, through thick and thin?
Storm: The people. Jeff Jarrett was here a long time, and also (TNA President) Dixie Carter. She’s a great boss, very family oriented, and she listens to the wrestlers. We can go to her and talk if we have a problem, which is very cool. TNA was very loyal to me when I had the opportunity to do other things.
Eagle: There have been plenty of rumors about TNA’s status over the past year. What is the state of the company right now, and what do you see on the horizon?
Storm: Honestly, that’s above my pay grade, but Dixie Carter always looks after her wrestlers and does what’s best for the company. It’s not just wrestlers’ job, it’s hers too.