Toni Storm joined WWE in 2017 when she competed in the Mae Young Classic. She signed with the company in 2018 and competed in the NXT UK Women's Title tournament and had been regularly featured in NXT UK and NXT before joining the main roster in 2021.
Storm was in the middle of a feud with SmackDown Women's Champion Charlotte Flair when she decided to leave WWE in December, requesting her release.
Storm would sign with AEW once her 90-day non-compete clause was up, making her AEW debut on March 30.
"I felt really overwhelmed in that moment," Storm told Busted Open Radio regarding her AEW debut. "I was really excited and really happy. I feel like I've been given a second chance in my career and it's not all over. When I left WWE, I wasn't banking on going anywhere else. Without getting too much into it, I kind of left suddenly and wasn't prepared for life outside of that at all. I'm thankful Tony Khan reached out and has given me a job, a second chance, an opportunity to really do what I love, which is pro wrestling."
When asked if she missed home during her time in WWE, Storm said, "I did. I went two and a half years without going home at all. That's after a life, about seven years of being on the road, I left for England, about seven or eight years had passed. Then, take into account the amount of negativity you hear about WWE and add that on top of it. I'm not saying I have a problem with WWE, at all. I'm actually really grateful for the time I had there. I learned so much. It was so cool. It was real, it was cool, but in the end it wasn't real cool. Something just happened and I left. I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience. Have you ever just lost your mind? That's kind of what happened. The stress of not seeing family in years and so many overwhelming things all at once. I've been happier ever since."
When discussing what happened regarding leaving WWE, Storm said, "I just freaked out and went home."
Storm competed at a WWE live event on December 28 and was scheduled to wrestle at a live event on December 29 before leaving.
"There was a moment where I realized it wasn't for me. As much as I might have romanticized it as a child and thought it was my dream and what I have to accomplish, I just realized, maybe it's not and maybe it's not the place for me. Who am I to take someone else's spot that actually wants to be here? That's not fair. I'm still going to be a wrestler. I spent years wrestling before WWE and I loved it. All there is to go back to is something that I love, how bad can it be? There was really no point in going further. I didn't leave on bad terms, it just became abundantly clear that it wasn't the place for me. I love and respect all the women there, they are amazing, hard-working, and inspire me. That wasn't my place," she said.
She said that there were other reasons for her departure, but there wasn't enough time to get into everything. Storm said she's now happier and excited to be part of AEW.
Storm was successful in her AEW debut, defeating The Bunny and qualifying for Women's Owen Hart Tournament. She will face Jamie Hayter in the first round.
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