–via Ebenezer Baldwin Bowles for The Indie Tribune (used with permission)
Eight times, the champion says, Tim Storm has tried but failed to take away Jax Dane’s NWA World Heavyweight belt — the last time in Las Vegas, Nevada, this past spring.
Challenge number nine comes Friday night (October 21) at NWA Texoma in Sherman, Texas, when The Perfect Storm and Godzilla Dane meet once again in their violent, contentious rivalry.
The champion faces daunting odds on Friday because he is carrying his belt to Tim Storm’s home arena, where Jax wore out his welcome last month during a violent tirade that left Mr. Storm and four of his allies knocked down and hurting after a surprise assault of incredible intensity.
In a flash, it seemed, the quiet and courteous world champion turned into a raging monster.
We asked James Beard, the NWA’s senior referee, for his take on the matter. Mr. Beard will be on hand at Sherman to referee the World Championship match on Friday night.
“The one thing that will be interesting in this matchup as far as Jax is concerned is how will he be mentally and emotionally?” Mr. Beard said. “Will he be the same guy who has gone about his business in the same ways while successfully defending his title, over and over, or will whatever has set him off and made him apparently very angry at the whole world, make him a bit more careless than he normally is?
“Whatever it is that has gotten under his skin where Tim Storm is concerned has made him a changed man in the last few months,” Mr. Beard continued. “Jax has always been a relatively soft spoken, easy going guy outside the ring, but he has shown some emotional instability lately that makes me wonder if the stress of holding on to that title and having to be the target of so many challenges is starting to get to him.”
In the heat of the aftermath at Sherman on September 16, we went directly to the source.
We approached Godzilla and asked him: What happened?
“I can tell you what happened,” the champion said. “Tim Storm called me out. Tim Storm asked for the match. I’ve been champion for four hundred days. Nobody’s asked for a match.
“Nobody’s wants to climb in there with me,” the champ continued. “And now Tim Storm wants a piece of me? He wants to poke the beast? He wants to rattle the cage? Well, he’s rattled it all right. Not only has he rattled the cage, he’s bought himself a first-class ass whipping because I’m not playing anymore.
“I’ve been the hand-shaking, baby-kissing, bullsh***ing champion they’ve wanted me to be,” Godzilla Dane continued. “But you don’t get that side Jax Dane anymore. Tim Storm flipped the switch. Thank him.”
As for Mr. Storm — twice the NWA’s North American Heavyweight Champion and a professional of impeccable reputation — he is playing his cards close to the vest, keeping his counsel and preparing for the title match with a quiet intensity.
“I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my wrestling career,” The Perfect Storm told his fans last month. “That’s no place in the world I’d rather wrestle than in front of you guys. This is my home. This is where I belong. And there’s only one thing I value in the ring that I’ve never done. There’s only one title I’ve never won. Now I’ve got one more shot.”
Mr. Beard offers the last word for tonight: “I consider both these guys friends and I like them both personally, even though Jax has not been in a very cordial mood lately. My job, as always, is to try to keep things from getting too out of hand and hopefully, end up with a fair decision. It should be a very interesting evening and one thing is for sure; it will not be boring for fans or for me.