Canadian Wrestling’s Elite (CWE) is returning to Prince Albert on March 9.
The featured performer for the event at a new venue Plaza 88 is multi-time champion in Impact/TNA Wrestling Cowboy James Storm.
Storm said it is his first time in Saskatchewan in his 26 years of wrestling.
“It’s definitely something new that I’m looking forward to and it’s exciting,” Storm said.
He enjoys doing shows with independents like CWE because it’s a chance to work with different wrestlers.
“It’s kind of my way of giving back and helping out the younger talent,” Storm said. “When I was coming up we really didn’t have those guys that were there to help younger talent out and would come in and work with these guys.”
Storm said he’s grateful to CWE owner Danny Warren for bringing him in. He’s looking forward to working with younger wrestlers who want an opportunity to learn and get better.
“It’s always good to be in there with someone who has been there and done it, who you can learn from, instead of somebody who never has. That’s how I look at it,” Storm said.
Storm has won several tag team championships, including the NWA World Tag Team Championship with Chris Harris as America’s Most Wanted, and seven TNA/Impact Tag Team Championships including five with Robert “Bobby” Roode as Beer Money Inc.
Storm said the team came together after he and Harris ended their run, and Roode left the Team Canada stable. Backstage employee Dutch Mantel came up with the idea to put the two together.
“They didn’t have anything really for either one of us to do and they were just throwing us in meaningless singles matches and stuff,” Storm remembered. “I think they were actually talking about releasing us and Dutch (said), ‘well let’s just put them together until their contracts run out.’ They put us together and me and Bobby, we just made it work.
“I remember us talking about us doing our Beer Money suplex, when we would do it, and do the Beer Money (chant). It was just one of those things where we have got to do something so dumb that people boo us, but then it started getting over. We were supposed to be heels and Dutch came to us and said, ‘that might turn you guys babyface.’”
He said they knew they had something special on a tour overseas.
“It hadn’t been too long we were tagging as Beer Money and we did a tour over in England and we were working with Doug Williams and Nick Aldis as the British Invasion. You would think based on being in Britain that they would get cheered, but they actually wound up booing those guys and cheering us, so we were like, okay, we are on to something here,” he explained.
Storm got into the business because he watched the USWA territory in Memphis, which was co-owned by Jerry Jarrett who recently passed away. He said that Jarrett and his father-in-law, legendary Tennesse wrestler Eddie Marlin, began training him at Jarrett’s farm. Initially, his efforts caused more harm than good.
“I broke my shoulder training to wrestle,” Storm said. “I had a compound fracture in my right shoulder and had to have emergency surgery on and I was out for a whole year. I had a basketball scholarship and I lost that because I broke my shoulder.”
Despite the setback, Storm continued to train after the shoulder injury and met a person in Columbia, Tennessee who helped him start to get bookings in the area.
“It just kind of took off,” Storm remembered. “I met a guy in Nashville, Tennessee by the name of Bert Prentice and he was good friends with Terry Taylor who was doing stuff at WCW. It was me and AJ Styles and Abyss and Chris Harris and some other guys, (and) they started sending us to WCW to do R & B Security. Then it shut down and then TNA started up and Jeff (Jarrett) called me and asked me if I wanted to come and wrestle for TNA wrestling.”
Initially, Harris said TNA booker Vince Russo didn’t want to use him, but that slowly started to change.
“A guy named Bob Ryder that was with TNA is like ‘I’m telling you I sit out in the crowd and I watch the reaction that these guys are getting, you definitely should use them,’” Storm remembered. “Then finally Vince agreed to use us one time and that’s all it took. It was ‘alright, we will start using these guys more often now.’”
Storm had a long run in TNA/Impact. He appeared in their first show and had runs as tag team and world champion.
“It was definitely fun,” Storm said. “Seeing different changing of the guards along the way and everything but just the friendships and the miles of road that you travel with different guys and stuff, it’s hard to put a price tag on that.”
Storm said that 26 years was a long career.
“I feel it every day,” he said laughing.
Storm is still an active wrestler but has made a transition to acting in recent years. He explained that he knows he cannot wrestle forever, and is using his name and fanbase to help transition over to acting.
“I love it. It’s one of those things that you hear wrestlers say all of the time that it’s hard to replace that adrenaline that you get when you come out of the curtain when you are in front of thousands of people, but to me, acting kind of fills that void. I get that same adrenaline rush being in front of a camera right before the director hollers action and then as soon as he says action it’s just like I kind of go right into character and do my job.”
Storm’s wrestling background helped turn him into a dual threat: an actor who can do his own stunts. However, there were a few areas where his wrestling persona had to change.
“I’m used to being Cowboy James Storm,” he said. “That’s pretty easy. I have been that guy, really, my whole life. When I was taking acting classes at the Fourth Wall in Nashville, my coach was telling me to dummy it down because with wrestling you are used to projecting in front of all of these people. You want the people in the back row to understand what you are doing, whereas in acting, you don’t have to do that. You have a mic on you and the camera is right there so you don’t have to be over the top. That was kind of the hard part for me: learning how to dummy it down.
“My acting coach he was telling me ‘you are a big guy and you’re a lot scarier when you talk low than when you are yelling. He videotaped me and he was like ‘I just want you to say that you are just going to kill somebody’. I was like, alright and I yelled like a wrestler. He said, ‘now I want to hear you say it like this and say it really low in tone’ and it just kind of connected with me. I said, ‘now I understand.’”
On March 9, Storm will be facing four time CWE Tag Team Champion “The Boston Bruiser” Kevin O’Doyle in a special attraction match. Also on the card is a CWE Championship Match between
CWE Champion “Hotshot” Danny Duggan and former two-time CWE Champion “The Zombie Killer’ MENTALLO.
Also featured are singles matches between “Big” Mike Miller and EZ Ryder and “The Crazed Cowboy” Jacob Creed and “The Headline” Shaun Martens. Also on the card is a non-title match between. CWE Canadian Unified Jr. Heavyweight Champion “Chiseled” Chad Daniels and Chris Summers.
The VIP/Meet & Greet is at 6 p.m., doors open 6:30 p.m. and Bell time is 7 p.m.
Tickets: VIP First Priority Access & Meet & Greet $28, General Admission $23 in advance, $26 at the door
Advance Tickets Available at: Colette Portamedic Services (#3-496 Marquis Rd.) Tickets are also available online at cwetickets.com