During a recent interview with The Ringer, AEW Interim Women’s Champion Toni Storm commented on which wrestlers she looked up to growing up, her time in WWE NXT UK, and more.
You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On which wrestlers she looked up to growing up: “Mickie James was a big part of that [fandom] … and I wanted to be like Jeff Hardy. I still want to be like Jeff Hardy. It’s always good when someone you grow up watching, you’re able to share the same locker room with [them], it’s always a good thing, right? That just means that I’ve gotten to where I’ve always wanted to be.”
On her time in NXT UK: “NXT UK was honestly something so special. The experience I gained from that was unbelievable. The coaches that I got to work with in the [NXT UK Performance Center were] amazing and it was a really good and unique introduction to WWE for me … I got to train with Johnny Saint, I got to train with Robbie Brookside and Johnny Moss and James Mason, and it was really wonderful. Those are all very highly skilled guys that really know what they’re doing, and I was really blessed to be able to learn from them. The training was unbelievable and I’m really lucky I got to experience that. It was a really wonderful thing, NXT UK. And I got to learn from William Regal a lot as well. I got the chance to spend a lot of time with him and that was just another great learning experience for me.”
On if she regrets not working with more people in WWE: “I don’t really think about that at all, to be honest. I don’t operate that way. It’s just a job, to be honest. I could be like, ‘Oh, yeah, it would have been nice to face everyone.’ I’m a fan of everyone there, but I’m not, like, mad about it.”
On being an interim champion: “There’s so much added pressure because I defend the title like a real, true fighting champion. But if I lose the interim championship, then that basically means I never was champion, really. And it was all for nothing. Essentially doesn’t go down in the record books as the actual champion. So there’s just so much more pressure involved with that because it’s not just like losing a championship. You lose and then it’s all for nothing, basically. So I have to get through all these defenses before I even become the undisputed champion, and there’s just so much pressure with that. What do I do if I lose? The embarrassment, the humiliation if I was to lose the interim championship, it just feels [like] so much work. Personally, I think [Thunder Rosa] should just come to work and defend her championship like she’s supposed to, like a champion should. But if the injury lingers too long, I believe she should probably be stripped. And then I should be the AEW undisputed Women’s World Champion like I was supposed to be at All Out. That’s verbatim. I think she should defend her title. I think all champions should defend that championship. That doesn’t just go for Thunder Rosa. That goes for everybody.”