James Storm Has Praise For IMPACT Leadership, Talks His Time Working With Vince Russo

James Storm spoke with Josh Barnett for an interview with USA Today about

Storm feels like IMPACT Wrestling is headed in the right direction.

"I think it’s very good and I’m not just saying that because of the new ownership. I always felt Impact Wrestling was the best when you had Dutch and Jeff. Even when had the crazy ideas of Vince Russo there, you always had Jeff and Dutch to pull him back from certain ideas that he was trying to throw out.

“They weren’t afraid to think outside of the bubble. People might label them as Southern wrestling stuff, but they were willing to listen to guys’ ideas and use them a lot of times. A lot of times people get in that position who wouldn’t use the guys’ ideas because it’s not their ideas. Because if it works then it might make look bad in certain people’s eyes. Jeff and Dutch aren’t afraid to listen to guys and that makes them feel good and try harder.”

Wait, what was that about Vince Russo coming up with crazy ideas?

“My experience with him was always good. There were some things that we didn’t see eye-to-eye on with the creative stuff, but I’m not the writer, I’m the wrestler. At the end of the day, I have to do what the writer tells me to do. But I give Russo a lot of credit because he was the one who let me start talking freely with my character in my promos.

“They were writing everything for me and I would say to them, ‘Man, I wouldn’t say this like this.’ If you want me to be me and be an authentic cowboy character you need me to speak the way I would speak. Russo said, ‘Go ahead. If it doesn’t work, we’ll go back to my way.' I said, ‘Sounds good.’ And ever since then I’ve been able to speak freely and go out and do my thing.”

Doing his thing usually means swilling beer and kicking dudes in the mush, but he understands the need to keep things from getting stale in this business, even--as with the short-lived DCC Stable--it might not be as good as the original idea.

“Everything needs to evolve. Whether it works or it don’t, I can always go back to the ‘Cowboy’ character because that is what’s drawn money for Impact Wrestling. They’ve given me the freedom to do other things. This will be my 20th year in wrestling, 15 with Impact Wrestling. For me to be in the company that long, I must be doing something right and they believe in me enough to let me sway my character one way or the other to keep it fresh.”

His longevity in the company led a lot of fans to believe that he was going to be inducted into the IMPACT Wrestling Hall of Fame this year, but Storm says those fans need to pump the brakes a little on that one.

"I think everybody jumped the gun on it. … I really wouldn't want to go into the Hall of Fame because I'm still wrestling. To me, if you go into the Hall of Fame, it means you're winding down or out of the business and I don't plan on doing either one. It was giving my point of view on the Hall of Fame, not saying that I'm being inducted into it. It would be a slap in the face if they announced it on Facebook and not on their TV program like they have everyone else."

Storm also talked about his brief time in NXT and where he got the idea for his popular catchphrase.

Storm takes on EC3 in a Strap Match at Slammiversary XV, and Fightful will have full coverage.

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