|"Mad Dog" Matt Storm|
Q&A with Matt Storm
NEI: Where did you get your start in Wrestling and who was your first match?
Mad Dog: Unfortunately, in the NEWA in summer of 1992 against "The Comic".
NEI: What are your obvious fond memories of this encounter?
Mad Dog: Well, in retrospect, neither of us had sufficient training to be in the ring. I broke his nose with an elbow to the face that he tried to move on. He turned out to be a real douchebag. So that ended up being a FOND memory. Other than that, the match was so bad it would be a compliment to call it the "Drizzlins."
NEI: Where did you begin your training and at what age?
Mad Dog: Well, I started out at age 17 at the NEWA, which as many of you know stood for "No One Works at All" at that time. Kyle Storm and I worked hard to try and get our stuff together, but didn't really clean our work up officially until a little while later when we started under Gino "The Falcon" Caruso, who was one of Tony Rumble's big cruiserweights in CWA at the time. With him and Mike Edwards working with us, we cleaned up the bad habits we had learned along the way.
NEI: How would you say the face of New England Wrestling has changed since you got your start?
Mad Dog: When I started, there were basically like 6 "games in town". You worked for either Kowalski, Eugenio, Renegade, Coastal Pro, Ringside, or NEWA. PLW was around at the time, but a different thing entirely. Now there are like 20 promotions running. While NEWA was the only one at the time using guys with little to no training, it seems to be way more prevalent these days. Joe Promoter rents a ring and runs a show. It wasn't like that then. Although now-a-days you don't have a 400 pound Portuguese guy dressed in black and white pajamas claiming to be the wrestling "Orca"... so I guess that is an improvement?!?!
NEI: You were recently on the loosing end of a retirement match with "Bad Boy" Billy Black. Angle or not, what goals do you have remaining as a Wrestler?
Mad Dog: Well, to be honest, my desire to really get in there and perform has been waning as of late. I think I have a lot to teach others and hope to do so in the near future at the Squared Circle Academy of Wrestling (Cheap Plug). There are a few guys I'd like to get in there and work one more time for the fun of it. Guys like Kid Krazy who I am extremely proud of being involved in training. I mean, sure I'd love to be able to work a dark match or taping but to be honest, I don't have the time it takes to get myself in the shape I'd need to for "the show". Right now, this retirement looks to be a permanent thing, with all of my outside responsibilities. So I don't forsee getting in the ring again on any upcoming shows. I'll be around at future PWF Northeast (and other) shows... basically to see my friends and help out the occasional youngster who asks for advice.
NEI: When and where did you and Draven first get together as the Damned?
Mad Dog: The Damned first got together at a benefit show for Draven's ailing parents. Josh Shea, the booker for EWA in Maine at the time, liked Draven, but had no real immediate plans for him. I sent him a tape and he asked us how we felt about tagging. Draven and I had been part of a stable gimmick in RI/MA called The Outcasts. Teaming wasn't something entirely out of what we were looking at in the future anyhow. I think it was one night that Draven, my wife and I were in a bar and she brought up the name "The Damned"... it stuck and we went with it. From that point, we started working all over the place as the Damned.
NEI: You are associated with PWF-NE as well as The Squared Circle Wrestling Academy who are sponsoring a special weekend in early 2004 featuring some of the greatest Wrestlers of all time. How did this weekend come about and what do you think fans/workers will get out of it?
Mad Dog: The "Learning with Legends" seminar features "Handsome" Harley Race, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, and Les Thatcher. All are masters of psychology and are synonymous with pro wrestling excellence. The weekend came about as Kyle, Nate Durette, and I were bantering about what would make a big main event at an Indy show. Steamboat's name got brought up and we started to dig up contact information. Through that we got in touch with Les Thatcher and things began to take shape as he told us about the seminars the three of them were starting to run. We talked about it and what we came up with is the following: There are a ton of "dojos" and clinics being run in the area. It would be amazing to bring the "mother of all seminars" to New England. With all the back-biting that goes on, whether on the web or whatever, it is nice to be able to contribute something that could be so positive for the New England wrestling community as a whole.
NEI: What is your experience with training prior to becoming a part of the Squared Circle Academy?
Mad Dog: That goes back to the YPW days. Once Kyle & I started working, we began helping Mike Baker train a number of guys at the time, Andy Jaxx & Tim Towers being a few. We then made our own first attempt at running a school, BYA University. Of all the big guys who tried to come through, a 13-year-old Tornado Kid would be the only one to not quit. Five years later, he is one of the best in the area... Kid Krazy. Kyle and I went our separate ways for a while. Draven and I, even before tagging, began to train guys through UCW's school in Cranston and at the SCW "Karoba" in New Bedford. At the "Karoba" is where I met a number of guys that ended up being the foundation of the "Damned School" trainees: Chris Venom, KL Murphy, Ruy Batello, and Triplelicious. The Elements of Suicide (a name I gave them) trained with us as well in New Bedford before our move to Plainfield, CT. A number of guys would come and work out with us. Zachary Richards started with us and learned a lot of his basics, before scheduling conflicts made him leave. Along the way, I have tried to learn as much as I could from the guys I have had the opportunity to work with/for, including Sylvano Sousa (who trained Draven), Steve Corino (who in turn did the same with guys the way Dusty Rhodes did, and passed on the info), and many more. Once SCA is ready for its grand opening, I look forward to having a local place to apply what I know and try and help train the next wave of quality workers in the area.
NEI: What is the strangest match you have been involved in?
Mad Dog: Well, at the final Mayhem show, I won the "King of Blood" match. It basically was an elimination match where all the corners had big spongey things wrapped in tons of barbed wire and 10,000 thumbtacks on the ring. Even the referees got involved...very weird. Kyle and I tagged against Headshrinker Samu and Miguel Vega (Savio's legit brother) in a fans supply the weapons match and someone brought a frozen 18 pound turkey as a weapon. There was this other time when we got some kid that Kowalski had trained, but sucked... and put him in a ninja-gimmick and then had him get thrown into the Mousetrap filled fridge...it was hilarious!
NEI: In your 11-year career, who are some of the more notable names in Wrestling that you have worked with?
Mad Dog: The Sandman, Steve Corino, New Jack, Anthony "Pitbull #2" Durante, The Bushwhackers, and Charlie Haas... who Kyle and I hold a pin fall victory over. Oh... and lets not forget Jack-O Victory. High spot!
NEI: What would you consider the biggest disaster you encountered in the ring, be it event or a particular worker?
Mad Dog: As far as events go: There was a shot we did in State College, PA that was bad. Draven had a back injury from a show in Maine and couldn't make it. I tagged with Don Juan Desanto against Kid Krazy and Joe Rules. That wasn't bad... what WAS bad was the fact that we were on a show one-hour before WWE RAW taped at the State College Arena. The only good thing was Krazy, Draven and I getting to briefly be in a vignette with Kurt Angle (we were walking through like college kids as he was doing his morality speech. As far as a WORKER, there was one guy who didn't know what a hot tag was and insisted that he had an amazing dropkick. It came time for his big moment in the match and what does he blow right out of the water... world's worst dropkick!!!
NEI: What is your proudest Professional Wrestling moment?
Mad Dog: Probably finding out that two matches that Draven and I tagged in were aired on Japan's Samurai Television, maybe we didn't get to Japan, but the Japanese saw us! (The Damned vs. The Amazing Red & Naohiro Hoshikawa/ The Damned vs. The Maximo Brothers). That and seeing Bill Apter at the MLW show in New York and having him remember me and tell me "You guys had a great match last month in PA".
The Final Word
|A veteran of New England Wrestling, Matt Storm
is a true Tag Team Specialist in an era of Wrestling where tag teams are a hodge podge of
solo workers thrown together. Few teams stand out as truly great and Storm has had the
fortune of striking gold a number of times with both title and partners. Teaming early in
his career with "Kick Ass" Kyle Storm, they feuded with the likes of The
Bushwhackers and The Power Company. Later, Storm teamed with Draven as the single most
dominating team in New England, The Damned. Storm and Draven had some of the biggest tag
team feuds on the East Coast, including an 8 month feud with the Maximo Brothers and later
regional feuds with the Elements of Suicide and the Egomaniacs. After an 11-year career in
New England Wrestling, Matt Storm leaves behind a legacy of tag team specialty and the
coolest Damned Indy T-shirt in New England.
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