James Storm is, fairly undeniably, one of many biggest tag staff wrestlers of the final twenty years. Between America’s Most Wished (AMW) and Beer Cash, he has delivered memorable classics which have stood the check of time among the many perfect matches within the historical past of TNA Wrestling. Lately, nonetheless, a kind of groups appears to be remembered extra fondly whereas the opposite has pale considerably into the background.
Beer Cash is the staff extra individuals consider after they consider James Storm. That’s doubtless as a result of Beer Cash was round in the course of the peak of TNA’s viewership on Spike, their collection with The Motor Metropolis Machine Weapons helped immortalize them and so they each went on to have memorable singles careers (with Roode getting the sign enhance of a WWE run). Stuffed with character with a banger theme song and memorable rivalries in opposition to Staff 3D, LAX, The Weapons, The British Invasion and extra—there’s actually no disgrace within the staff being individuals’s prevailing reminiscence of Storm. You can not write the historical past of TNA with out closely discussing AMW although. They had been foundational to the corporate in a means that Beer Cash by no means fairly was.
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AMW was by no means meant to be a staff. They had been removed from a longtime tag staff, in reality, that they had by no means teamed earlier than previous to TNA. On a June 1, 2002, USA Championship Wrestling present headlined by Jerry Lawler vs. Dusty Rhodes, James Storm and Chris Harris stole the present on the undercard. Because it occurred, many TNA executives and announcers had been within the constructing that night time testing their arrange and figuring out some early asserting chemistry between Mike Tenay, Don West and Ed Ferrara. Harris and Storm impressed a lot that they earned themselves a spot on the first-ever NWA-TNA present. Storm fashioned an unlikely staff with Psicosis that night time teaming in opposition to the short-lived Johnsons (sure, the boys in massive penis costumes managed by Mortimer Plumtree) whereas Harris had a forgettable effort within the Gauntlet for the Gold. On the second present, Harris and Storm had been thrown collectively and the remainder was historical past.
Initially skeptical of his cowboy pal, Harris would ultimately study to love and belief Storm and so they developed speedy chemistry. AMW was a throwback staff with none of the pretenses. No sermons concerning the tag rope or pretentious grandstanding about flips, Harris and Storm evoked recollections of the masters of the southern tag staff model whereas standing as their very own distinctive act. Their early rivalries with Slash and Brian Lee of The Disciples of The New Church, Simon Diamond and Johnny Swinger, and The Naturals confirmed their potential however their matches with Triple X really fulfilled that promise.
On the June 25, 2003 weekly PPV AMW and Triple X settled their rating within the first Metal Cage match in TNA historical past. After months of Low Ki being the difference-maker via outdoors interference, AMW lastly defeated the Triple X combo of Elix Skipper and Christopher Daniels in the very best match in TNA historical past as much as that time. Bodily and violent with crossbodies and Dying Sentences off of the cage, it was the whole lot you can hope for from a feud ending match. Besides it didn’t finish the feud, 18 months later they’d finish their rivalry as soon as and for all inside Six Sides of Steel at Turning Point 2004.
Whereas most notable for Elix Skipper’s daring, unbelievable cage stroll – this was the conclusion to the best rivalry within the early years of TNA. The 2 groups had confronted eleven occasions over the prior two years and this was their remaining encounter; the dropping staff needed to disband. An ultra-heated struggle managing even to vastly exceed the standard of their wonderful 2003 cage match, you merely couldn’t assist however be sucked inside that metal cage with them. The primary occasion of TNA’s second-ever month-to-month PPV, fundamental eventing over Randy Savage’s remaining professional wrestling match – this was brutal, violent, disturbingly bloody and emotionally charged, showcasing the perfect of TNA Wrestling; younger proficient professional wrestlers merely given a platform to be the perfect they could possibly be and delivering in spades. Triple X disbanded and AMW had been made males.
AMW would go on to seek out even higher foils than Triple X—the dastardly Staff Canada led by Scott D’Amore. The foes from the north had been the proper counterpoint to the heroes of Nashville – delivering some of the heated tag staff matches in firm historical past at Ultimate Decision 2005 as AMW grew to become champions as soon as once more. After three years as a babyface tag staff although, AMW was starting to lose steam. It got here time to both break them up or flip them heel. Fortunately they opted for the latter as Harris and Storm helped Jeff Jarrett develop into NWA World Heavyweight Champion and Planet Jarrett was fashioned, with the profitable addition of Gail Kim as their valet.
It was throughout this era that James Storm started to come back into his personal. For his or her first three years as a staff, it was very clear that Harris was seen because the star of the staff. Storm was certainly not dangerous, removed from it, however Harris was tall, jacked and an awesome wrestler. He screamed the way forward for the corporate. The heel flip introduced out character in Storm that wasn’t seen earlier than. He was humorous, charming and completely entertaining – most notably proven in his scene-stealing efficiency within the Staff 3D funeral.
AMW grew to become the pure first opponents for the debuting former Dudleys and delivered one other collection of genre-defining matches in opposition to the newly fashioned X-Division dream staff of AJ Types and Christopher Daniels.
After a babyface flip and a flat feud with LAX, it was clear that AMW had run their course. After 4 and a half years, it was lastly time for Harris and Storm to unfold their wings and attempt to fly as singles stars. Their singles careers acquired off to a disastrous begin in a Metal Cage Blindfold match at Lockdown 2007 that stands among the many worst matches in firm historical past, a match stipulation so dangerous it bordered on deliberate sabotage. They rapidly redeemed themselves the next month in a gory Texas Deathmatch that needs to be studied in wrestling faculties as a textbook instance of methods to settle a blood feud – the picture of James Storm coated in blood trying to redefine the Muta scale will stick with you. After a TV rematch, AMW would go their separate methods.
Harris left the corporate six months later for a failed run in WWE that tragically defines his legacy. Chris Harris is a lot greater than Braden Walker and if my phrases right here haven’t satisfied you of that, return and watch the matches I’ve talked about and so they actually will. He was an awesome professional wrestler and needs to be remembered as such. Storm went on to Beer Cash with Roode, that staff exploded too giving Storm a World Title run on his solution to 1000 matches in IMPACT historical past, greater than some other wrestler that has graced a TNA or IMPACT ring.
AMW was a foundational pillar of TNA’s early years. Together with AJ Types, they had been what made TNA completely different from each different indie crammed to the brim with the WCW and ECW leftovers that WWE didn’t need. They had been the anchor of the tag staff division for 4 years, the younger wrestlers that outlined the promise of TNA’s future. As a lot round them modified, as random names like Lex Luger or Perry Saturn got here and went, they had been the fixed – there each single week delivering stable performances, studying and rising till they grew to become probably the greatest groups on this planet. The outpouring of affection following their reunion after 15 years final night time reveals the impression they left on these watching on the time.
The historical past of TNA could be significantly completely different and the standard of these early Asylum reveals an entire lot worse had Harris and Storm not occurred to be booked collectively on a random Nashville indie in early June 2002. That was a stroke of rattling luck no person needs to be sorry about.