Donnie Storms

Donnie is the co-founder and writer for The Two Man Booth. He covers old PPV cards in his column “The Chrono Crossbody Block.” Donnie, as The Iron Sheik would say, is a “good man” and not a “jabroni”. To get to know him more, take a look at the questionnaire he filled out:

1. How long have you been watching wrestling? What is your earliest memory of it?   Who got you into it?

I don’t know my EXACT age, but it was around 4 years old.  I lived in South Carolina, so it was definitely NWA stuff.  The first thing I can vividly remember was going to a house show in Charlotte, NC and seeing Dusty Rhodes vs. Ric Flair.  One of them got busted open, and at 4 years old, I didn’t understand that this was all part of the show, and I started screaming bloody murder because I thought someone was getting killed.  I had to be taken to the bathroom to be calmed down (Fun fact: A “Dusty Finish” was originally referred to making a 4 year old cry so scared that they ran from the arena crying.  Then they changed it.  True story.)  Once time travel is invented, my first order of business is traveling back to 1985 and beating the crap out of my 4 year old self for not appreciating Dusty/Flair.

2. Which promotion did you watch first?

NWA, though I was really too young to remember much of anything I saw.  Then, when my parents got divorced at age 7, my mom didn’t approve of wrestling, so I wasn’t allowed to watch it again until I was 9. That’s when I stumbled upon WWF Superstars and remember seeing Demolition destroy some jobbers, and I decided “Screw you, mom, this is awesome”.  Then my grandmother walked in a ratted me out, and I had to plead my case to mom why it wasn’t so bad, and promise that I wouldn’t duplicate anything I saw on screen.  WWF became my brand of choice from that point on.

3. Which promotions did you watch during your time as a fan? Which was your favorite?

I have watched almost EVERYTHING over the years.  I remember that during 1992 or so, there was a channel that ran a different show every night at 6 PM.  Mondays and Tuesdays were NWA/WCW shows, Wednesdays were WWF Wrestling Challenge, Thursdays were GLOW, and Fridays were GWF.  And while I enjoyed all of them, I was most interested in the Macho Man/Ric Flair angle WWF was running at the time, where Ric doctored pics of Randy and Liz to make it look like he was with Liz.  Just great stuff, and cemented Macho as one of my favorite guys of all time.

4. Which promotion(s) do you watch now?

Just WWE.  I keep up with TNA through spoilers, but I cannot be bothered to waste even a minute of my Thursday night WATCHING that garbage.  Also, if you watch and enjoy Hulk Hogan’s Midget Wrestling, or whatever it’s called, we aren’t friends, and never will be.

5. Favorite wrestler?

Top 3 of all time, in no particular order: Macho Man, Chris Jericho, and Steve Austin

6. Favorite current wrestler?

Ask most any wrestling fan in the world this question, a there are probably two answers to this question right now: CM Punk or John Cena.  And if you, even for a second, think my answer here is “John Cena”, you are bad and should feel bad.

7. Favorite tag team of all-time?

The Hollywood Blondes are the first time I can really remember rooting for heels, so they have a special place in my memory, but I have to go with The Rockers.  When I was little, and would wrestle against a giant stuffed bear in the den of my house, I always ran an angle where Shawn was jealous of Marty and turned heel, and Marty selected me as his new tag team partner.  See, at the time, I thought Marty was the better of the two.  In conclusion, little kids are stupid.

8. Favorite current tag team?

Unless you are a huge fan of the indies (and I don’t have the money or time to be a really big fan of the indies), your options are pretty limited.  I’ll have to go with R-Truth and Miz here.  I hear good things about Beer Money and the Motor City Machineguns, but until they’re able to leave the cesspool that is TNA, I’ll never know if these things are validated.

9. Favorite stable of all-time?

The Union is highly underrated!

But seriously, I would be lying if I said anything other than DX here.  While I recognize that Billy Gunn sucks, Road Dogg is the least talented member of his family, and X-Pac was running out some of the worst and/or boring matches of his (or anyone’s) career, I enjoyed where it started, with Shawn and Hunter laying the groundwork for every smart-ass heel for the next 15 years.  Then when Shawn took his ball and went home, and Hunter took over, and the other guys joined in, I still enjoyed their hijinx, but realized that it had almost become a parody of the original group, and the guys involved were only over because they had sing along catchphrases.

I also can’t say the Horsemen here because, while I have a great deal of respect to what they mean to wrestling and its history, and while I have their DVD and everything, the core group was before my time.  When I finally made my way back to WCW, the Horsemen consisted of Flair, Arn, Ole, and Paul fucking Roma.

10. Favorite manager?

Paul E. Dangerously.  While I was still a little kid, and don’t VIVIDLY remember the Dangerous Alliance, or any specific promos or angles, I DO remember Paul E. and his Zack Morris phone being a total prick to anyone that crossed his path.  Paul always did a GREAT job of selling a match, and making you root for the face, and that’s a heel manager’s first and foremost job.  Paul was, and is, the master of it.  I maintain that if he were interested, he would still have a place in WWE, and would draw money.

Also, Sweet Sapphire.

11. Favorite play-by-play announcer? Favorite color commentator? Favorite   announce team? Favorite ring announcer?

Play-by-play: Jim Ross, easily.  Since he’s been back on RAW recently, I generally find myself waiting for him to chime in with an interesting fact, or explain possible logic behind a wrestler doing something.  It’s been sorely missed since he went away, and I’m glad he’s back, because good God, are the other two clowns just murder on my ears.

Color man: Jesse Ventura.  He had his favorites (usually heels), and guys he wanted to see lose (usually faces), but he generally played right down the middle, and called the match the way he saw it.  He also is the only guy to my knowledge that called faces on their bullshit.  When Hogan brought in a chair and started wailing on people, and the crowd went ballistic for it, I always pumped my fist as Jesse said “Well, wait a minute…You boo when his opponent did it, but you’re cheering him?”  Jesse was the picture of logic, and incredibly snarky about it.  He broke that fourth wall on a regular basis, and I love him for it.  Also, he did not have time to bleed.

Announce team: Toss-up between Gorilla and the Brain, and Gorilla and the Body.

Ring announcer: I’ll go with anyone who isn’t Christy Hemme.  And that’s not just hating on TNA.  She really is terrible at announcing things.  If she worked in a grocery store, she’d find a way to screw up “Clean-up on aisle five”.

12. Favorite match of all-time?

The one with Melina and Alicia Fox!

I would probably have to go with the Bret Hart/Steve Austin “I Quit” match from WrestleMania 13.  Great story, great visuals, great ending.

13. Favorite gimmick match?

It’s a three-way tie between War Games, the Royal Rumble, and the Survivor Series matches.  That last one might seem a little mundane, but when watching them, it’s a lot of fun to see how pacing is altered, and to “fantasy book” the order of eliminations, and try to figure out some kind of logic.  Of course, if John Cena is involved, the enjoyment plummets, and you know the outcome is just going to be Cena’s whole team being eliminated, leaving him alone against five guys, and then Cena growing 3 arms, just so he can deliver Five-Knuckle Shuffles to them all simultaneously.

14. Favorite finisher?

I miss Scott Steiner’s Screwdriver.  If he’d delivered 54 of THOSE consecutively to Triple H at the Royal Rumble in 2003, I don’t think as many people would’ve complained about that match.

I give points to the Burning Hammer and the Liontamer, though.  I remember my CAW on the classic N64 game No Mercy using a Burning Hammer as a finisher, and the original Liontamer was my favorite move to put on my friends until they screamed “Ow fuck get your knee off my neck this really hurts” when we were screwing around in the basement.

15. Favorite promo?

This one has become a much harder call, now that a good 40% or more of weekly programming is promos.  It’s harder to vividly remember promos, because we see so many of them.  That said, “The Punk Promo” is the first that comes to mind from the modern era.  Behind that, I was always a huge fan of Mick Foley’s original Mankind promos.  Deranged, strange, and unlike anything either major company had done before.  A close third goes to Chris Jericho’s “1002 Holds” promo.

16. Favorite storyline of all-time?

Sting quitting WCW, and then stalking the nWo.  I was a huge fan of the original Crow Sting character, that said nothing and carried a bat.  He’d just show up every week in the rafters, hanging out with his pet vulture, and Hogan and his cronies would lose their shit.  People complain that it got stupid, with Nash dressing up as Sting, and the Schiavone selling it as if it were really Sting, and being shocked when it wasn’t.  I think the problem is that Schiavone sold it (or was told to sell it) completely wrong.  The entire thing was sold as, “OH MY GOD, STING IS HERE, WHY IS HE HITTING LEX LUGER!?  Oh.  Wait.  That’s just Nash.  Again.  Like last week.  And the three weeks before that.”, when it should’ve been sold as, “Oh, the nWo is mocking Sting again.  These guys are dicks.  I can’t wait until the real life Steve Borden shows up and lets his vulture peck their Goddamn eyes out”.  Being indignant instead of shocked would’ve done that whole thing wonders.  Also, an ending that wasn’t totally shitty would’ve helped.  All that aside, though, I remember being glued to Nitro for that run.

17. Favorite entrance theme of all-time?

To this day, I still use “Break the Walls Down” as an entrance theme for all my CAWs on video games.

18. Favorite first appearance?

Chris Jericho.  Hands down.  I was just getting in to the internet at that point, because I’d finally bought a computer, and so I knew far ahead of time that the Millennium Countdown was for Jericho.  I had become a big fan of his work in WCW, and he had pretty much ascended to being my favorite wrestler when he was written off WCW TV.  After finding out that it was because he was joining the WWF, I immediately became excited, and relished in watching the countdown get ever closer to zero.  Then, when it did, and he showed up and went toe to toe on the mic with the Rock, it was magical.

19. Favorite surprise?

It had very little bearing over the landscape of the product in the long run, but for a while, it looked like WWE was going to push Shelton Benjamin as a star.  I can clearly remember chatting with a friend while watching his match with Triple H on RAW in March 2004.  The match ended with Benjamin getting a flurry of offense before giving Triple H a schoolboy, and getting a three count.  The conversation went something like, “This is the part where Triple H makes his comeback.  Wait, he’s not coming back.  Um…What just happened?”  The ovation the crowd gave him was awesome, and it should’ve lead to bigger things.  However, then he broke his hand, and came back with his Momma, and he never regained any semblance of momentum.

20. Favorite single moment?

Hands down, “Bed Pan McMahon”.  The way Austin looks at the bedpan, as if to say, “Should I use this,” followed by the almost unnoticeable “Why the hell not” shrug he gives, and then his follow through, and the look on Vince’s face…all of it is the best visual gag any wrestling company anywhere has ever done, or will ever do.

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