Tim Storm On Meeting Joe Exotic And Doing Fundraisers For His Park

NWA National Wrestling Alliance

“Tiger King” has quickly become one of the most popular programs on Netflix. NWA superstar Tim Storm recently spoke with the vice president of the NWA, Dave Lagana, about Storm’s brief connection to Joe Exotic, the main subject of the documentary.

On how he met Joe Exotic:

Storm: “The initial contact that I had was, I was contacted and said, you know, this guy runs/owns an animal rescue. Some of the examples that were given were when Michael Jackson had alligators on his property, and at the point they were shipped to this location being taken care of, a huge market out there for wild animals. Again, there’s been a big debate about the legality of that but tigers, lions, bears, whatever, they get to a point where they’re so big or so hard to handle that they want to get rid of them, there has to be a place. So what I was told is, this is an animal rescue and he takes in animals that other people can’t care for. He has opened a zoo to the public for a small charge but his biggest problem is raising money to feed these saved animals. So the original contact was, would you be willing to come out defend the [NWA] North American Championship as a fundraiser to try to raise money to feed these saved animals?”

“I didn’t hesitate. Now later on, Joe becomes more and more involved, I think on Netflix, on the documentary, it shows that he basically has his own indoor studio he’s got set up and a lot of his topics, turns out were not great, you know. On the documentary, apparently he had a war of words to start with with a lady in Florida, I believe, that owned an animal reserve. But through Robert Langdon and through Joe, Joe started bringing his equipment out to Texoma and airing those episodes streaming, live streaming. Now there’s a lot of debate even about that because one of the things at one point where there were hundreds of thousands of people watching. I think that was never true. I think there were probably dozens of people watching. He had access to thousands of people across the world but, you know, at any given time, I’d have a friend say, ‘Why’s he saying there’s a hundred thousand people when I see 12 watching?’ And that’s really the contact I had.”

On doing fundraisers for Joe Exotic:

Storm: “The first show we did I think was in his parking lot which, you know, again maybe 25 fans. The second show was inside the compound. Summertime, horrible heat, outside, I think one time we dressed in a trailer. You know, again, watching the documentary, probably not the perfect place to be because a lot of things happened inside those trailers that I would never have thought about. The other time, who knows where we dressed, maybe a tent that was set up. And again I want to kind of frame it with the motivation which was, would we,some very talented wrestlers, would we be willing to, and again I’m not gonna lie. We got paid to do it, but would we be willing to come out and do a fundraiser to raise money to feed these saved animals? For somebody that’s an animal lover, that’s hard to say no to.”

On getting a tour of Joe Exotic’s animal park:

Storm: “I know on one particular day, after the show I believe, [we] change clothes and we toured the animal park after hours. And for somebody who, I am absolutely enthralled with the power and the size of a tiger or a lion, so that was very cool to me. And, you know, got to do some things that, probably as far as with the animals, that a lot of people wouldn’t be able to do on a regular tour, you know, open up the wolf part and go inside and hang out with wolves, which were as friendly as dogs, by the way. I mean, it was great. But again, you know, experiences that most people don’t get to have. And I appreciated them. Looking back now, looking at some of the stuff that’s out there, I’m like, okay, that’s creepy, and weird, and maybe I shouldn’t have but again it’s that neighbor that you go, ‘I never saw that coming.’

The full interview is available below.


RELATED: Tim Storm On His NWA Roots And Being a School Teacher