The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

Local News

February 12, 2014

Storm, TNA Wrestling tour blowing into town for show on Sunday

HUNTSVILLE — James Storm is a tough guy. A professional wrestler for the past 17 years, the guy nicknamed “The Cowboy” outdueled Kurt Angle in 2011 to capture the world heavyweight wrestling title.

Twelve times, Storm has been a world tag team champion, too.

Storm is tough all right, but he also has a soft spot in his heart for young people.

After hundreds of matches and thousands of miles on the road, he still tries his best every night to deliver a show that’s memorable for wrestling fans young and old.

“To me, the best part is the looks on kids’ faces. It’s incredible sometimes,” Storm said Wednesday from his home in Tennessee. “Seeing that takes me back to when I was young. I remember being a kid and being in awe of what was going on in that ring.”

The looks and the reactions from the young people make all of the aches and pains go away, Storm says.

“I saw a Tweet where a little girl told her mom about going to watch wrestling for the first time,” Storm said. “She told her, ‘That was the best day of my life.’ Yes, she’s only 6, but for her to say that was really touching.”

Storm loves the life of a professional wrestler. He travels all over the world and performs in front of rowdy sold-out crowds.

He’ll be in Huntsville on Sunday for a stop on Impact Wrestling’s Road to Lockdown World Tour. He’ll be brawling with Ethan Carter III, the nephew of his boss, Dixie Carter.

“Ethan Carter the third is a newcomer. I don’t know a lot about him, just that his name sounds like he’s an accountant,” Storm said. “After beating him up, I may make him do my taxes.”

A standout basketball player in high school, Storm started wrestling after seeing a commercial for a professional grappling school on TV.

“Three months into that wrestling school, I suffered a compound fracture of my right shoulder, so I had to make a career change. It took about a year before I could get back in the ring, but after that I never looked back. Fifteen years later, here I am.”

Storm started his wrestling career bouncing around the Southern states. He had brief stints in the old WCW and WWF. When Total Nonstop Action Wrestling was founded in 2002, Storm joined Jeff Jarrett, Jerry Jarrett and the Carter family in the world’s second-largest privately held wrestling organizations.

Storm loves being a member of the TNA Wrestling family.

“TNA is the best group going,” he said. “Everybody’s trying to make each other better. Sometimes, it’s tough brotherly love and some guys want to hear it and some guys don’t, but we’re all trying to put on a good show.

“After 17 years of doing this, I really believe I have the greatest job in the world. I travel around the world, wrestle in my underwear and drink beer. Who wouldn’t want to do that?”

There is plenty of action on Sunday’s card, which gets underway at Sam Houston State’s Johnson Coliseum at 5 p.m.

Magnus puts his world heavyweight championship on the line against “The Samoan Submission Machine, Samoe Joe, in a steel cage match. The BroMans — Robbie E and Jessie Godderz, wrestle the Wolves, Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards in a world tag-team title match.

Austin Aries and Chris Sabin tangle in an X Division title match. Madison Rayne and Gail Kim battle in a Knockouts title match.

“It’s going to be crazy,” Storm said of Sunday’s action-packed event. “Anytime we wrestle inside a steel cage, there’s a 90 percent chance that there will be blood. I don’t know why people like to see blood so much, but they do. I don’t like to see it coming out of my head, but fans sure like it.”

Tickets start at $15.  Fans who purchase a $65 ticket will meet select Impact Wrestling superstars at an early-entry autograph session at 3 p.m.

Tickets are on sale at www.centralticketoffice.com or by phone at the Johnson Coliseum Box Office, (936) 294-3021, or toll free at (800) 462-7979.

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