Toni Storm is a pro wrestling sensation. At just 26 years of age, the New Zealander has travelled the globe, notching up more than a decade of success inside the squared circle, but in an exclusive chat with M&F, the fan favorite reveals that her very best is yet to come.
In an open and honest chat, Storm talks about her renewed passion for fitness, why the former WWE UK Women’s Champion feels that she’s in her best shape ever, and who is on her list of dream opponents.
On this past Wednesday night’s episode of “AEW Dynamite” on TBS, Storm was cheated out of her place in the final of the Owen Hart Cup Tournament due to Britt Baker getting an illegal assist from Jamie Hayter. The Owen Hart Cup final takes place live on the “AEW Double of Nothing” pay-per-view from Las Vegas on Sunday, May 29. It was introduced this year in honor of the man that fans knew as “The King of Harts,” a wrestler that was revered for his charisma and wrestling prowess, both as a technical master and as a high-flyer.
Owen Hart was a ‘wrestlers’ wrestler’ and his matches are still studied to this day by the future stars of the mat. While Storm’s chance to lift the cup were stolen this time, reaching the semi-finals was no mean feat. “I would say that my favorite Owen Hart match was him versus Bret Hart at WrestleMania X,” says Storm. “In my opinion, Owen Hart is ‘wrestling done correctly,’ he was phenomenal, just one of the greatest that our industry has ever had.”
Being the greatest is a notion that Storm has chased feverishly since making her debut in Australia, in 2009. Since then, the exciting performer has travelled the world, making a name for herself in promotions such as Japan’s Stardom, and of course WWE where she became the United Kingdom Women’s Champion in 2019, ten years after her debut. After living in England to wrestle in WWE NXT UK, Storm was later drafted to WWE NXT stateside, where she settled down in Florida, leading to a call up to WWE’s SmackDown brand. Grapple fans will recall that Storm was competing at the highest level of WWE before she departed the company last year, touring the United States and sharing a ring with the likes of Sasha Banks and Charlotte Flair, but after asking for her release from WWE in December of 2021, Storm began to concentrate on her health and wellbeing, and drew an incredibly positive reaction during her surprise AEW debut on an episode of Dynamite back in March.
“I’m feeling more ready than ever,” says Storm, who’s enthusiasm is infectious as she talks of her journey thus far. “I’ve always trained, I’ve always stayed consistent, but it’s really in the last year that I’ve really started to see myself developing as an athlete. For example, when I was in NXT, you can even see in the footage, I’m not in the greatest physical condition that I ever was, but with moving to America from the UK, huge lifestyle changes, Covid, life just in general can really be harder at times than it is in others, and during my time in NXT I didn’t feel like I was perfect with my training and my nutrition, but really in the last year I’ve been kicking it into gear and taking it up a notch. I’m training the most consistently than I’ve ever been, and I’m starting to see some really good results.”
Toni Storm Is Making the Right Choices
The life of a pro wrestler is very much like that of an international rockstar. These performers are in a different town every night and find it hard to sleep due to the late shows and the adrenaline rush of the crowd. For Storm, settling into a solid routine and shunning the after-show parties for some much-needed rest and recovery has been key to her wellbeing.
“I’ve made a lot of changes to my life in the past year, especially,” says Storm. “I turned 26 in October last year, and I’ve really felt myself growing up. You know, in your early 20s when you are working, living a fast-paced lifestyle, like anyone, you are not constantly making the best lifestyle choices. Sometimes there’s some bad food on the road, maybe some drinks after the shows, and that really caught up with me because I was just constantly on the road for years with no routine, not getting enough sleep. All of those things started to weigh heavy on me but now I don’t drink any alcohol. I’ve noticed an immense difference. My workouts and everything has totally changed.”
Storm also shares that her husband, and fellow professional wrestler, Juice Robison has been instrumental in supporting her motivation to train, often accompanying her to the gym. “That’s a game changer,” says Storm. “He’s kinda my backup!”
On show days, our girl from down under says that rest and hydration are essential for feeling good. “I’ve been stocking up on the little cans of sparking water and keeping one of those in my hand as I go.” The exciting sports entertainer has also reduced her coffee intake and feels less jittery since doing so.
In a typical week, Storm undertakes three to four workout sessions with a personal trainer, split between leg day, and 1 or 2 upper body days depending on her schedule and goals. Before Storm heads out for a taxing wrestling match, she will undertake intense circuit training to work on her cardio, strength, and stamina. Outside of the gym, Storm also loves to take long walks with her dog.
The Calm Before the Storm
After her successful AEW debut against The Bunny on March 30, Toni Storm has been wowing critics with her in-ring prowess, and while AEW’s event schedule is lighter than that of WWE’s, the blonde bombshell is busier than ever. Reports suggest that the beauty made more than $10,000 in the first hour of her OnlyFans account going live. “I’m constantly taking photoshoots, which means I constantly have to be in shape for that and for wrestling.”
There’s no doubt that Storm is keen for people to know that she’s got the mettle to become the best in the wrestling business. “I’m busier than I ever have been.” says the master of the Storm Zero piledriver. “The opinion (of others) for a long time was that maybe I didn’t like to be working hard or on the road, or that I’m just too tired and I don’t have what it takes but I can assure you that couldn’t be further from the truth.”
Being a part of the AEW roster has lit a fire in Storm to show just what she can do. “I’m so excited, because I don’t feel like I’ve been able to show people the best of me yet,” shares Storm. “The best is yet to come.” This more focussed, driven version of Toni Storm says that Serena Deeb and Kris Statlander top her list of future dream opponents.
Toni Storm Has No Time for Negativity
Dealing with negative voices is no fun for those that are in the public eye, but Toni Storm is learning to put the blinkers on when it comes to dealing trolls. “It’s becoming more and more of a problem, and it can be really hard for people, it can drag people’s mental state down dramatically, and that’s something that I have had to work really hard to get over,” says Storm. “I was a teenager coming up in this business and I’ve grown … and I’m noticing that a lot of comments do get made about our bodies.”
The wrestling superstar says that it is important to see trolls for what they are, and not let them get into your head. “People can say what they want about me and that’s none of my business. You know, the birds are still gonna sing the next morning and I’m gonna get up and go to the gym and continue to better myself and stay in the zone. It can be really hard for a young woman to adopt that strong mentality but I urge every young woman to just take care of their head, number one, and not listen to anyone, not care about what strangers have to say.”