Wrestler James Storm, one-half of the tag-team Beer Money with Robert Roode, comes to Oklahoma City on Thursday Night with TNA Wrestling. The show begins at 7:30 at the Bricktown Events Center, 429 E. California.
Storm, formerly part of the America’s Most Wanted tag-team with Chris Harris, talked about wrestling, video games, and Elisabeth Shue in an interview with The Oklahoman.
Matt Price: Tell me about your current tag team, Beer Money.
James Storm: Me and Robert started out, I was wrestling Sting and I think he was wrestling Booker T at the time. TNA didn’t really know what to do with us after our feud with those guys. So, they asked us about teaming up. It just happened, me and Robert had wrestled each other a lot, as he was part of Team Canada and I was part of America’s Most Wanted.
But when they asked us to team up, we said, well, we’ll give it a shot. We said, if we’re going to be a team, we need to at least have a tag-team name, and I was just sitting around, and I overheard somebody say they needed some beer money, and it just fit. And I said, ‘That’s our name, right there. Because I drink all the beer, and your character makes all the money.’
And we went to Vince Russo and pitched him the name. He loved it, and off we went.
MP: Did you also come up with the America’s Most Wanted name?
MP: What makes somebody a good tag-team wrestler?
JS: Determination. When me and Chris split up, I did the singles thing for a while, and then I teamed up. And I was determined to make this tag team as good or even better than America’s Most Wanted. And I also wanted to make it different. I didn’t want everybody to compare me to what I was when I was in America’s Most Wanted. So if you see the teams, I’m a totally different character for each team. And that’s what I wanted to do is bring something different to each team. And so has Robert. And Chris brought something different from Robert.
It’s all about the drive. You’ve gotta have the drive to be the best that you can, and if that’s in a tag team,
MP: I’ve read that your favorite wrestlers growing up were Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart. What is it you liked about those guys?
JS: Shawn Michaels, he’s one of the best storytellers in the business, bar none. Even now when you watch his matches, they’re put together so great. Bret Hart, he’s one of my favorites. He’s just so technically sound, so good in the ring. It’s hard to explain. Growing up, I liked watching him wrestle, but now knowing the other side of the wrestling business, and knowing a lot of the B.S. that goes on, I respect him even more.
MP: What do you do to prepare yourself before a match?
JS: I drink beer. I’m actually at the Jack Daniels distillery right now. This is how I enjoy my time off.
MP: Have you played the TNA video game with your character?
JS: Of course! I beat it with my character.
MP: Were they pretty fair to you in the game?
JS: To be fair to the game company, I think it was a good first game for TNA. I don’t think it was the best overall wrestling game that’s been out, but as far as the first TNA game, I thought it was fairly a good game.
JS: Elisabeth Shue from “Cocktail”? Yeah. You done got all the scoops. Something about her. I think she’s attractively hot.
MP: What are the top three Elisabeth Shue movies for people to watch?
JS: You just have to go and watch “Cocktail.” That’s by far my favorite.
MP: Just “Cocktail” three times?
JS: There you go. Just rewind it and watch it again.
MP: Who are you wrestling on Thursday?
JS: Rhino and Abyss.
MP: Those are some big guys.
JS: Yeah, but it don’t matter, bigger they are, the harder they fall. I’ll have to bring about a six-pack, it’s going to be an all-day a – whuppin’, as big as those guys are.
MP: What’s your favorite match of your career?
JS: Right now, I’d have to say it’s my match with my old partner Chris Harris two years ago at Sacrifice.
MP: Is it more satisfying to work with somebody you know that well?
JS: Yeah. It’s funny, because that’s basically how we got our job at TNA, we wrestled each other one night when the TNA scouts were in the crowd, before TNA started up. And they enjoyed our match so much that they hired us that night.
MP: Is there something special that people aren’t aware of that they should watch for when watching wrestling matches?
JS: I think it’s basically self-explanatory. We hit a lot harder than what people think. A lot of people think it’s quote-unquote-fake. But what they don’t see is, we get hurt a lot. What we’re told is, we’re not hurt until we get to the back. Because they don’t want the people or the crowd to know that we’re hurt. They want them to think that we’re like superhuman, you know? All the wrestlers, no matter who they are, what level they’re at, wake up with some injury, a nagging injury or something. And as you get older and older, it’s harder to get out of bed. Your back’s hurting, your neck’s hurting. It’s just like that movie, ‘The Wrestler.’ Guys put their bodies on the line and we do get hurt a lot just for the people’s enjoyment.
MP: Do you have a long-term plan for when you can’t do it anymore?
JS: I think if I can’t reach my bedside and reach my bottle of Jack Daniels, that’s when I’ll be in trouble. That’s when I’m just gonna stop. (laughter) I want one way or another to be involved in the wrestling world, whether it be an agent, or some kind of onscreen character that’s not wrestling. I love wrestling and want to see it grow, and want to be around for a long time.