Beer Money, James Storm and Bobby Roode collectively, are one of wrestling's most successful tag-teams of all time. In the UK on the eve of TNA's Maximum Impact tour (details on the poster below), we took the pair on a visit to Parliament to give them a little bit of history. In return, they shared their views on TNA's future and more. Read on and make sure to get yourself along to the tour by getting one of the last remaining tickets here.
You're in the UK, what do you enjoy about Britain and how do you rate the three British stars that TNA has picked to star on the tour - Big Damo, Jimmy Havoc and Will Ospreay?
JS: All three of them are amazing. I've been on shows with them and seen them work. I'm really looking forward to seeing Jimmy Havoc, maybe matched up against guys like Abyss - that would be really cool. As for the UK, being able to see parliament - I told my wife what I was doing today and she was so jealous. You really don't know about the history of a place until you get to go through it.
BR: I only get over here once a year but I always look forward to coming back to the UK, Not just for the wrestling but to get to see a bit of the country. I try not to take too much of the stuff I do for granted because when you get to go home and tell people about it, it can be pretty special.
With Beer Money, you're Doing something you already did successfully, what benefit is there in doing so?
BR: Well obviously the fans recognise us, so were not really starting from scratch. We became one of the most popular tag-teams in all of professional wrestling so I think after five years, it was inevitable that at one point we were going to get back together. I think the timings right, I think the fans were ready for it. No matter where we were over the last five years, whether we were wrestling singles, we always got Beer Money chants. It's a well-known and popular act and I think people are excited.
At one time, TNA's tag division had Team 3D, Bad Influence and many more. Now there's the Wolves and some other newer pairings. How do you view the depth of the division?
JS: You've got the wolves, Abyss and Crazzy Steve, Jessie Godderz and Eli Drake and Eric Young and Bram. It'll take a little bit but I think we can get Tag team wrestling to where it used to be here in TNA.
BR: I think it'd be good to bring in teams from outside of TNA too. Theres a lot of good tag-teams in the world and I think let's give them an opportunity to see what they can do. We're open to any challenge. We've got some unfinished business but obviously our goal is to get a shot at the tag-team titles.
You mention other companies, you've work with GFW - the invasion angle is done but will the relationship continue?
BR: You never know and you never say never in this business. I never thought it would happen in the first place, to be honest with you. I mean it would be great if TNA could work alongside other independent promotions and talents, it just makes us bigger and better
James, you've said you talked business with Triple H. AJ Styles debuted in WWE with no mention of TNA. If his advice to you was to go back to TNA does that indicate a higher degree of respect for TNA than some interpret to be the case?
JS: You know, we talked. It's really hard for any company in the world to compete with WWE. It's so big and it's been around for a long time. TNA is still really a new company, it's only been around 13-14 years. He understood that I have a family to provide for. For me it was the right decision both for my career and for my family
Big Dick from Lucha Underground suggested WWE was trying to buy up the whole roster there. With Samoa Joe, Austin Aries, AJ Styles etc going over to NXT do you think WWE is pursuing the same strategy with TNA?
JS: For me, it only makes smart business. If they're able to do it because they have the financial backing then so be it. However, it's also big props to the guys that don't go. A lot of people are always hating on the guys that don't go or leave or something. It's like you don't have to wrestle in WWE to be successful. A lot of people can't live with that.
BR: the one thing that you learn in this business is that perception is reality. What you see on TV or what you read about the business isn't always true. As James said, you don't have to go to WWe to make money or to be happy. I've been in TNA for nearly fifteen years. I'm very happy, financially I'm doing well and it's been very successful. In this business were all one big happy dysfunctional family. It doesn't matter which company you work for, everyone wishes everyone else the best. Nobody ever wants to see a company fold. I don't know why some fans want to see the company do badly. On social media, people are bashing TNA. Why? If you don't like it, don't watch it. When I was a kid, I would have wanted wrestling on every singly night. It didn't matter what it was.
JS: If the company does go out of business, WWE might not pick up your favourite wrestler you were watching on the other company. Now you don't get to see the guy you wanted to see.
With TNA on an upswing what's your advice to the creative team to keep viewers?
JS: Just consistent storylines. There's been a lot of times here in TNA where things have been hot-shotted or just rushed. When I was growing up watching wrestling, story's took a while. In this day and age, with TV and TNA not running as many Pay-Per-Views as other companies, storylines are kind of rushed. I think when they're really good and drawn out that keeps the audience involved.
BR: the storylines are really important. Wrestling has changed so much with TV - its wrestling for the ratings now. So it's hard not to hot-shot an angle sometimes but it would be nice for a story to evolve. James and I, our story lasted over a year and it was an intriguing one. If it lasts over a year and a half people can sink their teeth into something. Already people are saying they want to see us wrestle the wolves but that's something you can build up to and get to that point.
Does taping shows before theyre broadcast put TNA at a disadvantage?
JS: Growing up, there wasnt social media and things weren't taped months in advance and that was a great thing. I think if social media was around then, I wouldn't go online to read the sports because I wanted to be surprised. If you read the spoilers it's like you're ready to go see the new Star Wars movie but you know the ending! Its not as good! Me, as a wrestling fan, I don't want to know what happens.
BR: These days you're used to spoilers - that's fine to go read it. I read about the Royal Rumble and saw AJ was in it, so I'm going to go watch it. AJ's a friend and I'm interested. I know what happened but I still want to see it. If I read that Beer Money is facing the Wolves on TV, I'm still going to want to watch it because I know it's going to be a good match. Same with Matt Hardy beating EC3. If you're a real wrestling fan, you're going to watch it.
TNA has new contracts with different independent bookings systems - are you happy with them?
JS: I think it's a good thing. It helps to get the name of the wrestler out but also helps the company out. I think it would be good if they had more TNA championship matches outside the company. Back in the day, I grew up with USWA - the territories - and the NWA champion would come to the territories and I think TNA could do that too. Matt Hardy defending, the Wolves- it elevates their importance.
BR: Yeah, TNA going to a show, it helps promote the brand. The brand has been damaged in the last couple of years so if we start going out on the road and making good television like we are, I think the brand will take care of itself.
With Beer Money around, TNA will no doubt continue to do great things. Check them out on Impact, 9pm on Challenge TV every Sunday.
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