The following article is from Sportsvibe:
Together, Storm and Roode helped define one of the best eras of tag team wrestling along with Team 3D, and The Motor City Machine Guns in TNA with Beer Money winning the tag team titles on four occasions.
However, towards the end of 2011 Roode and Storm began competing as singles wrestlers and both were involved in the World Title picture. Storm beat Kurt Angle for the sport’s most coveted prize and then offered his former partner a shot at the gold. Roode was then crowned champion after nailing his former friend with a beer bottle before earning the 1,2,3.
Sportsvibe.co.uk caught up with the new TNA World Champion for an exclusive chat as he discussed the current state of the tag team division, Hulk Hogan and wrestling over in the UK.
How did you first get into the sport of wrestling?
Growing up in Canada my first passion was always ice hockey, but I’d always been a wrestling fan growing up. I stopped playing hockey when I was 19 and then decided to start training in wrestling to see how I would do.
I was trained by Sean Morley (Val Venis) and Shane Sewell, then had my first match in 1998 and here I am 13 and a half years later as World Champion.
Who were some of the wrestlers that inspired you when growing up?
Being Canadian I was always a big fan of Bret Hart. I also like Mr. Perfect (Curt Henning) and guys like Ric Flair. Once I actually got into the business I started to look at wrestling in a different way and started to study a lot of tapes and one of the guys I watched a lot was Curt Henning.
You have worked quite closely with Ric Flair. What was it like working with one of the guys you grew up watching on TV?
It was a real pleasure getting to work with Ric. He was with us during the Fortune times and last year when we toured over in the UK he managed James (Storm) and I. He taught us a lot, not just about wrestling but outside of wrestling as well. We really became friends; he has lots of great stories and it was great spending time with him away from the ring. It was definitely a big moment in my career.
For most of your career, you’ve been involved in tag team wrestling, forming a very successful duo with James Storm as Beer Money and experiencing great matches with the likes of Team 3D and The Motor City Machine Guns. What are your thoughts on the current state of the tag team division?
There are always changes in wrestling. At the time when James and I became a tag team we just kind of took off straight away and basically became an overnight success. At the time, Team 3D were still going strong and Motor City Machine Guns were a young team, but a really good team as well.
All three teams were given a lot of television time and the people in the offices were taken aback. We really made them write for us - which gave us TV time - and the tag team division had more of a focus on it then.
Things have changed a little bit now, but we still have an opportunity to have some great tag team matches here in TNA and when the time is right the focus will be put back on the tag team division.
You’re the current TNA World Champion. Does that achievement top the lot?
Absolutely, my dream when I got into this business was to become World Champion and that I am. I’m at the pinnacle of my career and it’s a moment I’ve waited for and worked for, for a long time so I’m going to make the most of it, take advantage of this opportunity and hopefully the gold will be around my waist for a long time.
I’m enjoying being the bad guy again and really like the way my character is being portrayed right now; I feel right at home with it. For the most part I well and truly enjoy being on this side of the fence.
Hulk Hogan commented in October that you weren’t ready to be World Champion. Did you take much notice of his remarks?
The comments that Hogan made didn’t bother me in the slightest. People in this industry say a lot of things and you learn to take it with a pinch of salt. Honestly, I think what Hogan said has worked in my favour, it gave the little extra fire I needed and look where I am now, I’m the face of TNA.
A couple of weeks ago on IMPACT! you spat in the face of TNA President and your boss Dixie Carter. What was that like?
It was a great feeling! Anytime you get an opportunity to stand up to your boss and get away with it feels good. There was a lot of built up aggression inside and a lot of feelings that I wanted to get out and I did that. I guess you could say my emotions got the better of me, but at the end of the day when I look back, I wouldn’t change a thing.
At the Genesis PPV you’re going to be defending your title against Jeff Hardy. What have you made of his return to TNA?
It has been well documented that Jeff has come back to TNA and has turned his life around. His passion for wrestling and the business is back stronger than ever before and his matches over the past couple of months have proven that. There are still going to be some doubters, but I think that now Jeff is back to being the old Jeff Hardy and where my character is at - and with the top prize in the company at stake - I think the story we are going to tell and the match we are going to have will be great.
2011 was a great year for you having been crowned world champion. We’re couple of weeks into 2012 now; what are some of your News Years resolutions?
Obviously being world champion I’m on top so I just want to continue going out there each and every night proving why I deserve to have the belt around my waist. I want to continue on my so-called ‘path of destruction’ by having some great matches and the main goal is to create more of a buzz. I hope... (Continues on next page)