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HeadLocker — Jay Shannon

Wrestlers of the Week: Beer Money! Storm

The makeshift duo completed their mission on Sunday at Hard Justice when they took the tag belts from LAX. Storm and Roode share this week’s OWW Wrestler of the Week award.

James Storm

The “Cowboy” had a bit of a rough start in wrestling. He began his training with Wolfie D in 1995, but had to shelve wrestling for some time after suffering a broken shoulder. Storm made a few appearance with WCW towards the end of its existence. It was there that he became acquainted with Jeff Jarrett.

When Jeff Jarrett began to gather talent for his new wrestling organization, Storm was one of the first men that he called. Storm was partnered with Chris Harris as the duo known as America’s Most Wanted. AMW were the most successful team to ever work in TNA. The team was split in December, 2006, after a Title v Unity match against LAX. The losing team had to disband. Storm and Harris would feud after Storm smashed a beer bottle into Harris’ face, almost blinding him. Their battles would be some of the bloodiest and most brutal matches in TNA’s history.

After the Storm/Harris feud wound down, Storm moved on to feud with NFL player Frank Wycheck and TNA newcomer, Rhino. Their feud came to a head with an Elevation X match. Storm was afraid of heights and only the encouragement of Jacqueline could make him scale the metal structure. Storm would lose the match and then move on to his next big “feud”.

In one of the worst booked angles in TNA history, Storm got into a drinking war with Eric Young. A World Drinking Championship was established with a belt that had a beer bottle as the belt’s center medallion. The two men traded the belt, back and forth, for a few weeks. Finally, the angle was abandoned.

After Chris Harris left TNA for WWE, Storm needed a new direction. TNA Creative decided to unite him with another former tag specialist, Robert Roode, to form a new unit. The unit drew it’s name from Storm’s love of alcohol and Roode’s business character. Beer Money instatntly focused on LAX, the tag champs. Beer Money came up short on their first few attempts at the tag belts, but finally claimed the gold at Hard Justice.

Robert Roode

WWF=World Wrestling Flop

Bobby Roode started wrestling in his native Canada. He was trained by WWE star, Val Venis. Venis used his position in the company to get Roode a try-out. Roode lost just about every match that he wrestled in WWE, including a loss to Al Snow. Venis felt Roode had the potential to be a superstar and brokered a deal where Roode could head to HWA for more training. Roode worked well in HWA, but eventually decided to leave.

Border City Breakout

Bobby Roode was trained further by Scott D’Amore in D’Amore’s Border City Wrestling. Roode won his first gold in BCW. D’Amore had a great working relationship with TNA, so Roode was tapped to join D’Amore’s Team Canada faction. Roode actually worked for both WWE and TNA at the same time. Eventually, Roode had to choose between TNA and WWE. Since WWE seemed determined to keep Roode in the jobber role, Roode decided to join Team Canada in TNA

Team Canada

Robert Roode joined Petey Williams, Eric Young and Johnny Devine to create the original Team Canada in 2004. All four men are still top stars in TNA, which is quite unusual in the wrestling industry. Team Canada would go through a few member changes, but Roode always remained a key player. On July 13, 2006, Team Canada lost a match against Team 3D, Rhino and Jay Lethal. They were forced to disband as a team.

The “new” Robert Roode

After his team was forced to split, Roode wanted to reinvent himself. He started calling himself “the top free agent in TNA”. He was looking for a new manager to replace Scott D’Amore. This was very similar to the Randy Savage Managerial Wars of the mid-80s. Several managers, including Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and “Colonel” Robert Parker, made bids to become Roode’s new manager. Just like Savage had done 20 years earlier, Roode chose a lovely young woman to stand by his side. Traci Brooks was brought out under the name Ms. Brooks, Chief Executive Offender of Robert Roode, Inc.

Roode created a character that was basically a cross between Ted DiBiase’s Million Dollar Man and John Layfield’s JBL, Financial Wizard character. Roode began to mistreat Brooks as his valet. Roode was also put Eric Young, his former Team Canada teammate through Hell by purchasing his contract. Roode made Eric jump through hoops to avoid being fired. Jim Cornette would eventually step in and nullify the agreement between Roode and Young, thus freeing Eric.

After his feud with Eric came to an end, Roode went after Samoa Joe and others. Roode’s next big feud would be against Booker T. Roode took exception to Booker being “handed a top spot” after Roode had to work for years to reach the top tier. The feud reached a new low when Roode accidently punched Booker’s wife, Sharmell, and fractured (storywise) her jaw. Booker then went on a rampage to destroy Roode for attacking his wife. Their feud fizzled out without a dominant winner.

Roode eventually dumped Brooks for a new valet, Payton Banks. Banks lasted only a few weeks before disappearing without comment. Roode then looked for a new avenue for his talent. Roode was teamed with James Storm to form the new team known as Beer Money. The two ex-tag team specialists had a run against LAX and other lesser teams before finally capturing the tag belts at Hard Justice.

In Conclusion

While James Storm and Robert Roode come from completely different backgrounds, their careers ran in parallel lines. Both began as singles stars that were placed in amazing teams. Storm and Roode parted from their teams to become successful solo acts. Being brought together seemed like a natural. Both men are excellent Stick Men and both are talented wrestlers. They may well become the most successful team to ever walk into the Impact Zone. Only their egos can beat them. It is my pleasure to award Beer Money the Online World of Wrestling: Wrestler(s) of the Week award. I tip my (root) beer to both gentlemen.

–Jay Shannon
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