This coming Tuesday night – in IMPACT Wrestling‘s last Tuesday night episode before returning to Thursdays the following week – “Cowboy” James Storm will be competing in his 1000th match for TNA/IMPACT Wrestling. His opponent is the sadistic leader of Violence By Design, Eric Young. While Young may seem like an odd choice for Storm’s 1000th match, it’s actually not surprising; Eric Young is actually one of James Storm’s greatest rivals over the course of his near two-decade career as one of IMPACT’s legends. Only three men have been a part of James Storm’s career more than Eric Young – Robert Roode, Chris Harris, and Bully Ray – and two of them were allies more than opponents. This match will also be Eric Young’s 100th match with Storm, marking 10% of Storm’s career with IMPACT. Here’s a look at the 17- year history of James Storm and Eric Young in IMPACT Wrestling.
Before he was the Cowboy, James Storm debuted in 1997, and in 2000, made a series of appearances for WCW. In 2001, he was ultimately paired with “Wildcat” Chris Harris in the Wild Samoans World Xtreme Wrestling (WXW), and America’s Most Wanted was formed. In June of 2002, the duo made their TNA/IMPACT debut in the second episode of TNA’s weekly PPV, becoming one of the first tag team teams in TNA history. Eric Young debuted in 1998 in the Canadian indies, and in 2000, became a student at the Can-Am Wrestling Dojo in Windsor, Ontario under Scott D’Amore. Young worked for D’Amore’s Border City Wrestling (BCW), as well as WXW, before joining TNA in the fall of 2003. Once they were both in TNA, it wouldn’t take long before they became adversaries.
It was in October of 2004 when they first locked horns. Storm was still a member of America’s Most Wanted, arguably TNA’s hottest homegrown tag team out of the gate. At the time, Storm was in the midst of his 5th reign as NWA World Tag Team Champion, although it wasn’t with his normal partner, “Wildcat” Chris Harris. He was partners with Christopher Daniels. On a special eight-man tag match on TNA Xplosion!, America’s Most Wanted paired up with Triple X‘s Daniels and Elix Skipper to face a new threat in TNA in Team Canada, Eric Young, Bobby Roode, Petey Williams & Ruffy Silverstein. The following week on IMPACT, Young and Williams defeated Storm & Daniels to win the NWA World Tag Team titles. Their first feud quickly resulted in Young taking away Storm’s gold. On January 14, 2005, Eric Young would defeat James Storm in their first singles encounter on IMPACT.
At TNA Final Resolution ’05 a few days later, America’s Most Wanted regained the NWA World Tag Team titles for the 5th time from Team Canada’s Young & Roode, amplifying the turmoil between Young’s Team Canada and Storm and Harris. Team Canada and America’s Most Wanted feuded off and on for much of 2005, spilling into the indies where they fought each other at D’Amore’s BCW in Windsor, Canada. By 2006, Team Canada was no more, but Eric Young continued to feud with Storm and Harris, joining forces with Road Dogg and Billy Gunn (the James Gang) at times, or by teaming up with fellow Can-Am Dojo alumni Rhino.
James Storm defeated Young in their second televised singles match, on IMPACT in March of 2007, but in November, Eric Young beat Storm on Xplosion and followed up with another victory, this time in their first PPV singles match, at TNA Turning Point ’07 (which was also a drinking contest). In February of 2008, Eric Young would best Storm once again on PPV, defeating James Storm at TNA Against All Odds ’08, bringing his singles record to 4-1. For a huge part of 2008, Storm and Young feuded on TNA live events, and in October, Young defeated Storm once again on IMPACT, going to 5-1. Eric Young would continue to try and win the tag team titles from Storm and his new partner, former Team Canada teammate Robert Roode, in Beer Money, relying on a multitude of partners including Petey Williams, Kevin Nash, Orlando Jordan, and Consequences Creed (WWE‘s Xavier Woods).
By 2013, the outlaw gang Aces & Eights had invaded TNA, and Young and Storm put aside their differences to work together as part of Team TNA to fend off the renegades. By 2015, they were on opposing sides once again, as Eric Young defeated Storm in the TNA World Championship tournament (6-1) and then defended his TNA King of the Mountain title against Storm in England in early 2016 (7-1). Their last encounter against each other was in March of 2016, when Eric Young & Bram (NWA‘s Thomas Latimer) faced Beer Money, Decay‘s Abyss & Crazzy Steve, and The BroMans (Robbie E & Jesse Godderz) in a Four Corners Match for the TNA World Tag Team Titles. Soon after, Eric Young would leave TNA for WWE, where he’d remain until his release in April of 2020. Storm would leave IMPACT in 2017 and travel the world indies before heading to the new NWA in 2019. Both Storm and Young returned to IMPACT in late 2020, and now both men have resumed their decades-old rivalry which will culminate in James Storm’s 1000th match for TNA/IMPACT.
While many would argue that James Storm’s 1000th match should be a bigger name, the reality is that Eric Young has been Storm’s greatest rival in their near 20-year history in IMPACT Wrestling. While Storm has had many bigger feuds while in his various tag teams, his singles and tag team feuds with Young are his greatest nemesis. Also, with Young holding a 7-1 win record over Storm over the years, the latter will be looking to make sure that he finally shuts up his rival for good.
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