NXT UK star Toni Storm recently spoke with PW Insider to talk all things pro-wrestling, including thoughts on her return to the yellow-and-black brand at Takeover 31. Highlights are below.
Finally returning to WWE following COVID-19 restrictions:
Yeah, I’m not goining to lie it’s been quite…it’s been quite the process. It’s been hard and I was stuck in the UK for quite a long time which was…yeah, it was kind of hard mentally because it just felt like there was no end in sight but I’m so glad that I’m finally here, like I’m finally…well, you could say home. This is home to me now and I think I’ve needed this for quite some time…so yeah, the process has been hard but I think it’s all smooth sailing from now on to be honest.
How this time-off has changed her:
Well to be honest, I think…all this time off, I must admit has changed me. It changed my perspective a lot. Obviously, it’s done wonders for me physically because I’m not being beat up every week, like I had some time to get myself together, get to feeling good again. Mentally, it was very strange, it was very weird but I think it put in perspective how much I need this because it was..it’s been the longest time I ever had off since I was 13 so it was…it was weird and it didn’t sit right with me, I didn’t really like it that much, so I think I’m gonna come back with like, a whole different attitude. I’m fresh and I’m ready and I’m more pumped than ever because it really does put everything in perspective – how much this really is my life. I think everyone can expect some good stuff.
The future of NXT UK and her career being up in the air due to the pandemic:
Yeah, I…especially at the start, I really, really didn’t like it. I didn’t like, you know…it was just day after day would go by and I’d just be sitting there like, I have no idea when stuff is going to start moving again, and it spooked me, it freaked me out because it’s just always been work, work work and you make me stop and I don’t know what to do with myself, so like weeks would just keep rolling and I was there like oh my God, I don’t know what’s gonna happen, the world’s gone crazy, it was very unsettling. I think the word to describe it best was ‘unsettling’, and I think it was like that for a lot of people that got stuck in different parts of the world and couldn’t go to work. It’s weird to just have…to do something so consistently for 10-11 years and just to have the rug pulled out from underneath from you? That’s weird and I…yeah, I’m just glad it’s over to be honest, I don’t ever want to do that again, I’m putting that in the past.
On her and Ember Moon going after Io Shirai’s NXT women’s title:
Yeah, I just think it adds a lot more excitement to the mix and like, I’m up for the challenge. She didn’t know that I was going to be returning, I didn’t know that she was going to be returning. That just kinda made it all the more exciting I think, and obviously she’s gonna want to be going after Io but everyone’s trying to go after Io and like, the difference with me is I’ve already beaten Io before, I know exactly how to do it, I know where all her weaknesses are and so I’m pumped, I’m ready.
On winning the Mae Young Classic:
I’m sure eventually it would come back provided it was possible. It was great – obviously that was like the first thing that got my foot in the door in WWE and it’s like the first time I got to establish myself and show the world who I am. I’m assuming that if it can be done, it totally would be done, because that’s where you see like a whole bunch of good women come in and show what they can do and I think the world wants to see that.
Her feud with Kay Lee Ray:
It was brutal…brutal definitely was the word for it, and it did affect me a lot mentally. Kay Lee Ray legitimately was one of my best friends. When I first moved to the UK that was the girl that took me under her wing, she showed me the ropes, she showed me how it worked up there, she did a lot for me, she was a very dear friend to me, we’ve had a lot of good times, we’ve traveled the world together, and then like, to see that all fall apart, it broke me a lot, next thing I know, she’s dumping a chair over my neck and people are begging me to say I quit, like it did a lot…it messed with me a lot, legitimately, but I’m happy I got past that, I was able to still get up after all that torture and go no, I’m gonna keep going, I’m gonna do big things and yeah, I just thought you know what? If I can’t compete for the title again, I’m gonna go somewhere else where I can – regardless, I’m gonna be a champ somewhere, sometime, that’s just how it works.