“I’ve kept my shirt on for the last few TV tapings, and that’s because I’ve had liver and kidney surgery – I’ve had a bruise on the outside of my liver. Not from drinking,” he adds quickly, “because that would be a bruise on the inside of my liver. But everything’s fine and dandy now.”
Well, you’d hope, because Storm is going to have to be in tip-top condition to face his former Beer Money partner in the Lockdown steel cage on Sunday.
“You know you’re going to get beat up,” he admits. “The metal doesnt feel too well against your flesh. You’re going to get hurt one way or another.”
But Storm is a devoted family man, who takes his ethics and responsibilities seriously – we’ve seen as much on TNA Impact, with his newborn baby son featuring in recent VTs.
“What you see isn’t a character. It’s who I am in real life,” he says.
So does he ever hold back from taking risks in the ring because of his family?
“I have a six-year-old daughter as well, and yes, I want to be able to come home, teach my daughter to ride her bike,” he admits. “I definitely don’t want to play it safe in the ring, but there’s a motivation at home, I have to take care of that too.”
Preparing for a cage match, in that case, especially knowing the amount of pain in store, must be tough.
“Before I go out for a match, I always call home, and I tell my wife I’m going to work, and my daughter tells me not to get hurt,” he says.
Storm is excited about the Lockdown show in Nashville, Tennessee this weekend – out of the Impact Zone. “I think we need to get out of the Impact Zone and get in front of a fresh audience – it gives more energy to the wrestlers,” he says. “It’s great being out on the road – the crowd pay their money and they want to have fun.”
We saw some of that atmosphere with the TV tapings in London, when Storm got a huge, rousing reception from the Wembley crowd whenever he made an appearance. The reaction didn’t surprise him.
“No, it didn’t surprise me, because I went out and got drunk with them all the night before!” he laughs. “Just because I’m from the States doesn’t mean anything. They know I’m a guy like them – and that was the right crowd that night.”
Cowboy James Storm faces Bobby Roode in the World Title Match at Lockdown this Sunday (15th April), which will be broadcast in the UK on Challenge at 10pm on Wednesday (18th April).