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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

WWE: Toni Storm opens up about UK title win, picks Becky Lynch as dream opponent

Toni Storm also has her eyes set on the main roster and when asked about her dream opponents, she had a clear idea about the wrestler she would like to face.

other-sports Updated: Jan 19, 2019 19:40 IST
Sayan Ghosh
Sayan Ghosh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Toni Storm defeated Rhea Ripley to win the WWE UK Women’s championship in Blackpool.
Toni Storm defeated Rhea Ripley to win the WWE UK Women’s championship in Blackpool.(WWE)
         

When it comes to professional wrestling, Toni Storm is no stranger to the big stage. The Aussie superstar has wrestled all over the world and with multiple title wins in Australia and Japan, the 23-year-old has quickly established herself as one of the most popular female wrestlers in the world.

Storm’s stint with the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has also been quite eventful. She made an instant impact with her performance in the 2017 Mae Young Classic where she was ultimately defeated by Kairi Sane in the semifinals. She came back stronger in the next edition of the tournament and this time, she was able to clinch the trophy with a hard-fought win over Io Shirai.

However, the biggest achievement of her WWE career came at the NXT Takeover UK Blackpool event as she defeated Rhea Ripley to claim her maiden UK Women’s Championship. It was an emotional moment for the athlete who had bounce back from a number of injures in 2018 and when asked about her title win, Storm said that she is ecstatic about the title win but it also comes with a lot of pressure.

“I have been a champion all over the world and that comes with a certain level of pressure. Now, with me winning the WWE UK women’s title, the pressure will be at a whole different level. But, I am ready for the challenge and I have worked hard for this moment. I want to face the best talent and I want to be the champion for a very long time,” Storm told Hindustan Times in an exclusive interview.

The entire crowd at the Empress Ballroom in Blackpool was behind her when she faced off against Rhea Ripley and when she finally achieved the dream, the roar was thunderous. Storm, who has performed in various venues around the world, was taken aback by the reception that she received from the crowd and she went on to call it ‘the hottest crowd’ that she has ever seen in a show.

“That was probably one of the hottest crowd that I have seen in a show. From the beginning of the match, they were really into the action and the atmosphere was absolutely incredible,” she said.

The NXT UK brand has evolved a lot in the past year with live shows, TV tapings and even rumours of a yearly Takeover show doing the rounds. With Storm poised as the face of the women’s division at the moment, a lot rests on her shoulders and the Aussie wrestler seems prepared for the challenge.

“I want to defend the belt against the best of UK and the world. With the NXT UK brand on the rise, I would like to perform at the highest level and I would also like to represent this brand well,” she said.

While the UK brand is on the rise, Storm also has her eyes set on the main roster and when asked about her dream opponents, she had a clear idea about the wrestler she would like to face.

“I would love to be in the ring with Ronda (Rousey), Sasha (Banks) and Becky (Lynch). Becky said once that he would like to face me and that is a match I would love to have,” she said with a smile.