WWE NXT clearly has become one of the top places to be in the world of professional wrestling. People want to be there now more than ever. When the likes of Jushin “Thunder” Liger comes in for a match, you know there is a lot of legitimacy with the brand. It should come as no surprise then that TNA star James Storm wanted to come and work for WWE and get an opportunity to show WWE what he could do.
Storm wanted to work with WWE as a player/coach of sorts where he would obviously wrestle but help train talent as well. TNA wanted to keep Storm and was willing to pay him a bit more to keep him. Storm felt WWE was the place to be and with interest on his side, it seemed like the Cowboy was WWE bound. However, he ended up showing up on TNA programming this past week. Why?
According to Pro Wrestling Sheet, WWE reportedly offered Storm a low-ball contract. WWE apparently offered a deal under $100,000, which didn’t seem to work for Storm. TNA desperately wanted to keep him and was willing to pay two-and-a-half times more to get him back. Also, TNA was willing to sign him for two years and give him a good portion of his merchandise sales.
The TNA offer was simply higher for Storm, so he chose it. Storm can say he competed for WWE however, which is a pretty big deal that no one can ever take from him. He basically used WWE as a way to leverage a better deal with TNA in the end. Clearly TNA saw that WWE was interested and regardless of how low the deal was that WWE offered, they could have lost James Storm.
That meant that TNA had to lock Storm down. Unlike with WWE, Storm would be an instant main event talent with TNA Wrestling. They still need stars. While Storm is not the kind of star that rivals the likes of WWE’s John Cena, Storm is still a big part of TNA’s history and the company would like to keep the Cowboy going forward.
TNA also offered Storm a guaranteed deal, which is rare. That means that if TNA closed shop tomorrow, they will pay him the rest of his deal. If he gets hurt, he also gets paid. This also enticed Storm, it seems.
The WWE door is not truly closed either, as the company reportedly understood why Storm did not sign with them and were willing to talk in the future about another working relationship. That means Storm still has that to fall back on, which he could use in his next contract negotiation with TNA if they are still around in a couple years.
The fact that James Storm does have a guaranteed money deal that is worth a good bit of money is huge for a talent of his age. Storm is 38-years-old, so the big deal that TNA offered him was too good to pass up. With WWE still open to working with him in the future, it made all the sense in the world for James Storm to return. TNA can use him a lot more than WWE. With NXT bringing in a lot of new talent, Storm would not get to work as much as he would probably like to.
That being said, TNA needs James Storm far more than WWE does. They were also willing to overpay to get him. Storm made a good business decision at the end of the day, and in wrestling, the bottom line is always what’s best for business.
[Image via WWE Network]