James Storm — who rose to fame as one of Impact Wrestling’s top stars when it was still known as TNA — revealed in a recent interview that he was supposed to make his official WWE debut earlier this year, only for his signing to get indefinitely postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Monday, Pro Wrestling Sheet shared some excerpts from its interview with Storm, including the part where he talked about how he was so close to signing with WWE earlier this year. He recalled that the company reached out to him via email in January, telling him that it was interested in his services and that Paul Heyman, who was then working as executive director of Monday Night Raw, wanted him to debut straight away on the red brand.
According to Storm, this was an “interesting” proposal, as he believed that his former Impact tag team partner, Robert Roode, was about to move to Raw.
Storm went on to explain that while he was still under contract with the National Wrestling Alliance when WWE made the offer, though company officials Billy Corgan and Dave Lagana were supposedly willing to grant him an early release and help him sign a deal with Vince McMahon’s promotion. However, with the coronavirus crisis leading to the cancellation of sporting events around the world, he dealt with multiple hitches that prevented him from making the move.
“I told them I would work the weekend of WrestleMania shows with Eli [Drake] to drop the NWA belts to whoever they wanted to drop it to. Just go out on good terms. Good business, ya know? Then that show got canceled for the NWA, and then it kept snowballing.”
Storm claimed that he and WWE “agreed on all of the terms,” adding that he had spent several months preparing for his pre-signing physical and even bought new ring gear on his own dime. However, as Pro Wrestling Sheet detailed, the veteran grappler was eventually informed that the sports-entertainment giant had to “put things on hold” because of the pandemic. This was the same thing he was purportedly told until July, which was the last time he had been in contact with company officials.
As noted by the publication, Storm wrestled in two matches on NXT in October 2015 but decided against inking a full-time contract with WWE, instead electing to re-sign with TNA for “significantly more money.”
Although the status of his WWE deal remains up in the air, Storm emphasized that he hasn’t given up on his hopes of officially joining the promotion, especially if this would mean teaming up once again with Roode. He also said that he doesn’t blame WWE for how things turned out, as the COVID-19 crisis has affected numerous businesses and the pro-wrestling industry in general.