by Daniel Johnson
Interviewer’s Note: Adrian Storm is a Norwegian wrestler who has worked for Norwegian Elite Wrestling (NEW), the Norwegian Wrestling Federation (NWF) and the Union of European Wrestling Alliances (UEWA). Storm is the current holder of the NEW Championship, having defeated Stig Mortensen for the title in May. Storm has been a fan of wrestling since he was 11 and began training to become a wrestler in 2010. Storm can be found on Facebook here and has an official website that can be found here. This interview was completed on September 28, 2013. In this interview Storm and I focus on the topic of holding the NEW Championship.
Daniel Johnson: For those unfamiliar with you where and when were you born and how long have you been wrestling?
Adrian Storm: I was born on March 18, 1990, in the islands of Lofoten, northern Norway. I first started as a trainee in January 2010 and have been training steadily since May 2011 and then made my official debut November 12 the same year. So I’ve been wrestling for almost two years now.
Daniel Johnson: What is your earliest memory of watching wrestling and what wrestlers did you become a fan of early on? Have any of these wrestlers influenced you as a performer?
Adrian Storm: My earliest memory is actually watching Beyond the Mat when I was around 11 years old. Wrestling was pretty much non-existant on television in Norway back then, so having the opportunity to watch Beyond the Match was awesome. I will never forget watching The Rock giving Mankind the people’s elbow on the steel chair, it’s a visual that I always will carry with me. Although The Rock was and still is a larger than life character, it was Mick Foley who became an inspiration for me, as a worker and a talker, both then and now.
Daniel Johnson: When you knew you wanted to become a wrestler how did you go about finding a place to get trained in Norway?
Adrian Storm: I knew very early that wrestling was something that I was going to tattoo into my life. I even told my dad at 12 years old that I had figured out my life ambition, to become a professional wrestler. I was very lucky however, because there had previously been a man from the small village I come from, that had been a wrestler for the NWF (Norwegian Wrestling Federation), and he gave me insight to how I should go forward in becoming a trainee for them. A few years later, with a 12 year background of Taekwondo training, I started at the NWF wrestling school, while I was attending a folk high school as well.
Daniel Johnson: What was a typical day of training like for you?
Adrian Storm: In addition to training five days a week with martial arts, I would drive an hour and a half on the weekends, a crappy Opel borrowed from my roommate and then I would get my ass handed to me from the wrestlers of NWF, but mainly Erik Isaksen who trained me. That’s how my journey started as a trainee the first months.
Daniel Johnson: You have also worked for the Union of European Wrestling Alliances. How did you first get involved in this promotion?
Adrian Storm: I was already a year in as a professional wrestler for the NWF, when I got the call that they were going to put me against the then reigning UEWA European Cruiserweight Champion, so it’s just that match so far I’ve been involved with the UEWA, but it was a hell of an opportunity, and we ended up having the best match of the 2012/2013 season.
Daniel Johnson: Do you remember your first match at all if so then what sticks out for you about it?
Adrian Storm: I remember my first match very clearly, and what sticks out about that match was that I did surprisingly good, but couldn’t take a decent bump, so I was lucky I didn’t break my heels from the impacts I received. People cringed when they saw it.
Daniel Johnson: Getting more into the wrestling scene in Norway, in a broad sense how would you describe the wrestling scene there. Is wrestling popular in Norway or not so much?
Adrian Storm: The wrestling scene in Norway is very limited, but now most people know what wrestling is more or less, Because Eurosport decided to air reduced WWE programs a couple of years ago. The older generation will probably remember wrestlers such as Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage, but the media never picked it up during the 1990s, so my generation didn’t grow up watching wrestling regularly, sadly. As I mentioned, people are more aware of it now due to Eurosport, and here in Oslo, the capital of Norway, there is the opportunity to watch wrestling live as well on a regular basis.
Daniel Johnson: How many wrestling promotions are there in Norway and how many have you worked for?
Adrian Storm: There are two promotions in Norway, the NWF (Norwegian Wrestling Federation) and NEW (Norwegian Elite Wrestling). NWF is a promotion based in Oslo and are keeping their shows in that area mostly, while NEW is a traveling promotion, performing anywhere where there is the interest of having us.
Daniel Johnson: For a reader who has never seen wrestling in Norway what would you tell them that might get them interested in the product? Also, is there anywhere they can go online to check out wrestling in Norway?
Adrian Storm: The Norwegian wrestling product is well reputed in Europe, as we have delivered quality wrestling-shows since day one. Everyone wrestling in Norway is extremely passionate about it, and through that passion we’ve been able to create great live experiences with interesting and colorful characters, and intense and exciting shows, For twelve years now. If people want to check out wrestling in Norway, they can find us at www.wrestling.no (NWF), or www.sportsunderholdning.no (NEW), or find us on Facebook of course.
Daniel Johnson: How would you describe the actual in-ring style of wrestling in Norway? How diverse is it and what do fans most react to?
Adrian Storm: Erik Isaksen is the man who brought wrestling to Norway, after spending time in England learning their craft, and then later passing on that knowledge to us. So the Norwegian wrestling community has a lot of British technical wrestling influence to it and the fans have always reacted positively to that. Everyone is always evolving though, so we have a variety of high flyers and brawlers for example. But all of us start with the foundation which is British technical wrestling.
Daniel Johnson: Is mic work important in wrestling in Norway? Also is mic work ever valued more in Norway over the in-ring product?
Adrian Storm: Mic work is important in Norway as it is in any wrestling promotion, although we tend to rely on having wrestling do the talking for us, we still put a lot of weight on having people know the basic mic work skills at least.
Daniel Johnson: Are wrestling promotions in Norway more family friendly or adult oriented? Do you prefer one approach over the other?
Adrian Storm: Norwegian Elite Wrestling is more focused on putting up a family friendly product, with a lot of colorful characters involved. Which is good, every show that NEW has put out has always gained new fans, many from the very young generation. With that said, there are times where NEW has late night shows for the older youth, and those shows are very intense. NWF tend to deliver a more adult oriented product, not to say they’re not family friendly, but they have always been a bit edgier, which have gathered more elder fans.
Daniel Johnson: What are your favorite cities to work for in Norway? Also, what was the hottest crowd you ever worked for in Norway?
Adrian Storm: It’s very easy for me to say that Oslo is my favorite city to work for, as the larger fan base is centered there. I’ve been witness to Oslo having fantastic crowds to less enthusiastic ones. There’s definitely some ups and downs. However, I recall having a great time in Trondheim when I wrestled there for the first time. It was a student show on a Friday evening, so everyone was already in the mood, and that made for a great atmosphere that entire show.
Daniel Johnson: On the flip side are there any cities in Norway that are tougher to get a reaction out of?
Adrian Storm: Any city that is unfamiliar with wrestling is tough to get a reaction out of because they are skeptical. Most often we are able to convert people, making them enjoy the show and have a good time, but every now and then there’s the crowd that stands there with their arms crossed waiting to be impressed no matter what you do.
Daniel Johnson: Currently you wrestle for NEW where you are the NEW Champion. How did you first get involved wrestling for NEW and how would you describe the company for those unfamiliar with it?
Adrian Storm: It was right after I had made my official debut, they contacted me and asked me if I wanted a spot on their upcoming event, and of course I jumped at the opportunity. I mentioned that NEW is a promotion with colorful characters, with a family friendly product. NEW is also a promotion where great wrestling takes place. There’s been many classics never seen by anyone other than the live audience then and there.
Daniel Johnson: What was your first impression of NEW upon joining the company?
Adrian Storm: My first impression of NEW upon joining the company was how professional it was. Everyone was treated the same, no b.s. Everyone was there to have fun and to deliver the best show possible, and that’s what really drew me to them, and still does.
Daniel Johnson: In May you became the NEW Champion? What do you remember most about your match with former champion Stig Mortensen for the title?
Adrian Storm: It was our first singles encounter ever, so I was very excited to have the opportunity to wrestle a man like him. I was determined to make the match as good as it could be, so it didn’t stop me jumping on him from the top rope with a cross body, onto the concrete floor. Thinking back, it could have ended very bad for me. It was just a great day, the crowd loved it, I had so much fun, and I made a small dream come true of becoming a pro wrestling champion.
Daniel Johnson: Correct me if I’m wrong, but since NEW is a fairly new promotion I believe there have only been five champions. How important do you think it is to have strong champions early on in the life of a wrestling promotion?
Adrian Storm: I think it’s important to have champions who knows their role and are willing to do what it takes to stay the champion and bring credibility to the company and the belt, by acting like a professional and a passionate wrestler. Whether it’s a new promotion or a long-storied one. I’m still fairly new to the game, but I think that as long as the fans have gotten a positive impression at the end of the day because of the actions of the champion as well as the others, then the company can be proud to have such a man to represent them.
Daniel Johnson: Have you wrestled all four of the previous champions as of yet? If not then which ones have you not wrestled? Also how are you unique from these other past champions?
Adrian Storm: I have only wrestled two of the previous champions as of yet, those being Erik Isaksen and Stig ”Slegga” (”Sledgehammer”) Mortensen. The other two, Aron Frost and Kaptein Knoke (Captain Knuckle) have eluded me so far, but hopefully soon I will get the chance to prove myself against them as well.
Daniel Johnson: In the months you have held the NEW Championship what do you consider to be your greatest match?
Adrian Storm: The rematch against Stig Mortensen on August 17 was even better than the first encounter, working with him was really, really fun, and the crowd really took to it.
Daniel Johnson: What wrestlers in Norway have you worked with that you felt you mesh particularly well with? Are there any wrestlers you have already worked with that you would like to wrestle again in a NEW Championship match?
Adrian Storm: Erik Isaksen and Ryan Howard are two men I felt I meshed well with, both being intense wrestlers who are not afraid to get physical against me. The last time I wrestled Erik Isaksen in a singles match, he was the NEW Champion, and I lost. Now that the tables have turned, I would really like to see who’s going to come out on top this time.
Daniel Johnson: What about wrestlers in NEW you have yet to work with? Are there any you would like to wrestle for the NEW Championship?
Adrian Storm: I have yet to wrestle Kaptein Knoke, Berserk and Turbo, a young talented high flier. However there is one that comes especially to mind, and that is Aron Frost. He is a year older than me, but recognized as one of Europe’s premier wrestlers, if not one of the world’s. I think a clash between him and myself would be something really special.
Daniel Johnson: A company’s top champion is at times considered the face of the company they are the champion of. Do you consider yourself the face of NEW? If so then what work goes into being the face of a young company? If not then who is the face of the company?
Adrian Storm: I do think of myself as one of the faces of NEW. The promotion is built by the wrestlers in it, and we’re all together in making it better each time, not only myself as the champion. People like Turbo, Erik Isaksen, Kaptein Knoke and Ryan Howard, etc. are also recognized as the faces of NEW.
Daniel Johnson: How do you think NEW can grow over the next year or so and how do you think you can best contribute to that growth?
Adrian Storm: NEW is slowly growing to become a recognized wrestling-company compared to previous years and that’s due to NEW traveling across Norway, spreading the word. If NEW continues to do so, it will grow and the interest around it will increase as well. I can contribute by delivering hard hitting action for everyone to enjoy, to become a champion people can stand behind and follow. That’s what I aspire to become, a champion who works/worked hard in order to make the promotion look good.
Daniel Johnson: Thinking more long term how big do you think NEW can become over time and how long would you like to stay with the company?
Adrian Storm: I think NEW will grow to become a more recognizable company in Scandinavia, maybe even Europe, hopefully NEW will one day stand the same height as NWF in Norway, if not higher. I would like to stay with the company as long as possible. NEW gave me the opportunity to travel, wrestle and make some money, and for that I will always be grateful to them.
Daniel Johnson: Companies often run inter-promotional cards with other companies to attract more fans. Do you see NEW ever doing this? Would you have any interest defending the NEW Championship on another company’s show?
Adrian Storm: I would love to defend the NEW Championship on another company’s show, I think that would generate a lot of interest in both promotions, and personally something I would have really enjoyed doing. Whether that is going to happen in the future I can’t say for sure, but one can hope.
Daniel Johnson: Outside of wrestling for NEW and in Norway in general do you have any interest in wrestling more outside of the country? If so where would you like to go to and what promotions would you like to wrestle for?
Adrian Storm: I do have an interest in wrestling outside of Norway, as my ambition is to become a recognized wrestler in all of Europe, and for me to do so is obviously for me to stretch out my wings and fly away from the nest. I’ve been at trainee camps a couple of times for the WAW (World Association of Wrestling) in the United Kingdom, and I had a tremendous time with them. I would be honored to wrestle for them some day. I would also like to wrestle for promotions such as FCF (Fight Club Finland), WXW (Westside Xtreme Wrestling) in Germany and ICW (Italian Championship Wrestling). I’m ready for whoever wants me to wrestle for them.
Daniel Johnson: A lot of wrestlers have the end goal of working for WWE or to a lesser extent TNA. Do you consider this to be your end goal or do you not consider this a priority? Also, if you were hired by one, which company do you think you would fit in better?
Adrian Storm: My goal has actually never been working for WWE or TNA. Of course it would have been fun, but my biggest goal is to one day wrestle for a Japanese promotion and to become an accepted wrestler there. I love wrestling for the sport, and for me to really thrive, it would have to be in a environment where the sport is loved back, and for me, that is in Japan.
Daniel Johnson: I also like to ask five non-wrestling related questions just to bring a little uniqueness to the interview. Outside of wrestling, what television shows do you enjoy watching these days?
Adrian Storm: Breaking Bad, hands down. Just a fantastic TV show. I’m not really an anime guy, but I’ve really enjoyed watching Attack on Titan as well. A surprisingly good animated series.
Daniel Johnson: What was your favorite movie that came out this year?
Adrian Storm: I enjoyed watching The Conjuring and Pacific Rim, two movies that I enjoyed far more than I thought I would. Now I’m looking forward to watching Machete Kills.
Daniel Johnson: What is your favorite food that you tried for the first time this year?
Adrian Storm: Nothing special comes to mind, other that the fantastic hamburger at Illegal Burger in Oslo. So good.
Daniel Johnson: What is your favorite song to come out this year?
Adrian Storm: Oh man, I can’t just say one. Device released their first song in February, off their first album, Vilify, which was excellent. Trivium released two songs from their upcoming album in October, “Brave This Storm” and “Strife.” And last but certainty not least, Five Finger Death Punch, with Rob Halford, released “Lift me Up,” which was released in May.
Daniel Johnson: What is the last book you read and would you recommend it?
Adrian Storm: I recommend the entire A Song of Ice and Fire series [by George R. R. Martin], it’s an epic read all the way.
Daniel Johnson: I wanted to close with just a few more brief wrestling questions. What is the weirdest part of being a pro wrestler?
Adrian Storm: Ha, the weirdest part of being a pro wrestler is doing something that slowly kills you, but you love it still anyway.
Daniel Johnson: Who is one wrestler 25 or under that you think readers should know about?
Adrian Storm: There’s plenty of wrestlers people should know about, but those coming to mind right away are Aron Frost, Argon, Queen of the Ring Priscilla, unsure about the age though, Lady Penelope, and Liberty. Amazing talent, everyone.
Daniel Johnson: Is there anything you would like to promote?
Adrian Storm: If you want to follow Adrian Storm, then you can do so at www.facebook.com/adriantheperfectstorm, or www.stormadrian.wordpress.com. NWF can be followed at www.wrestling.no, and NEW can be followed at www.sportsunderholdning.no . Wrestling for everyone!
Daniel Johnson: Is there anything you would like to add?
Adrian Storm: Thank you very much for this opportunity to speak for not only myself, but for the wrestling community in Norway. Very much appreciated. Last but not least, for those reading, please support your local wrestling promotion, no matter where you are. Yay wrestling!
Check out Adrian Storm in action! In this encounter Storm takes on Doblone for the UEWA Cruiserweight Championship in front of a hot Norwegian crowd: