For the first time since leaving WWE, Toni Storm has opened up about her departure from the company.
Storm is now part of AEW as she made her debut on the March 30 episode of Dynamite. From her debut, she has qualified for the upcoming Owen Hart Foundation Tournament where she will face Jamie Hayter in the first round.
Storm joined WWE in 2017 and was an instant favorite with fans. She won the second Mae Young Classic Classic Tournament in 2018 and went on the become the NXT UK Women’s Champion. Shortly after her call up to the main roster, Storm asked for her release. Her debut match was won against Zelina Vega in July 2021. After a SmackDown Women’s Title match against Charlotte Flair on a December episode, she would perform at a live event that weekend before making her exit.
While speaking to Busted Open Radio, Storm had the following to say about her debut with AEW.
“I felt really overwhelmed in that moment. I was really excited and really happy. I feel like I’ve been given a second chance in my career and it’s not all over. When I left WWE, I wasn’t banking on going anywhere else. Without getting too much into it, I kind of left suddenly and wasn’t prepared for life outside of that at all. I’m thankful Tony Khan reached out and has given me a job, a second chance, an opportunity to really do what I love, which is pro wrestling.” [h/t – Fightful]
When asked about her WWE departure, Storm remarked that there was a moment she realized that it wasn’t for her and it wasn’t her place.
“I just freaked out and went home.” She continues, “There was a moment where I realized it wasn’t for me. As much as I might have romanticized it as a child and thought it was my dream and what I have to accomplish, I just realized, maybe it’s not and maybe it’s not the place for me. Who am I to take someone else’s spot that actually wants to be here? That’s not fair. I’m still going to be a wrestler. I spent years wrestling before WWE and I loved it. All there is to go back to is something that I love, how bad can it be? There was really no point in going further. I didn’t leave on bad terms, it just became abundantly clear that it wasn’t the place for me. I love and respect all the women there, they are amazing, hard-working, and inspire me. That wasn’t my place,” she said.
Adding to this, Storm says there were other reasons but there wasn’t enough time to get into everything.
Storm defeated The Bunny in her first match in AEW.
When asked who she would like to see join AEW she comments on another former WWE talent. “Oh my god. Um, Tegan Nox, I would have to say, would be high up on that list. I think that would be someone who would really deserve an awesome spot like that.”