Where Are They Now? Crowbar

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August 29, 2012

He left WCW in 1996, but returned a year later with his running buddy, Ace Darling, for a short-lived run as The Extreme. Though the two took on top teams like The Outsiders, success wasn’t on their side very often.

In between his WCW stints, Ford kept his grades up in school, but on the weekends, he was going from the lecture hall to the bingo hall. He spent the rest of 1996 in the Land of Extreme, trying to break through, but was mainly a punching bag for the hardcore warriors.

“I had a few good matches, but for the most part, I was getting beat up, paying dues,” he said.

Still, Storm’s natural ability in the ring made people take notice of him. It was another Superstar from the Garden State who would give Ford the push he needed to succeed in the business.

“I became very friendly with Dallas Page,” Ford said.  “He said, ‘It’s great you’re down here, you have potential, but if you don’t [get out of the losing ways], you’re never going to break out of the typecast.’ He told me to go finish school and give him a call when I was done and if he could help me out, he would.”

So Ford headed back to school, still working the independent circuit on the weekend while studying and working internships during the week.  

He even had a brief run in WWE, when the company was trying to get its Light Heavyweight Division off the ground. Jim Cornette got Devon Storm and Ace Darling a match on Monday Night Raw in Pittsburgh. Unfortunately for the two youngsters, who had driven out together and would be driving back to New Jersey after the show to get back in time for classes, one of the most memorable interviews in WWE history forced their match to be much shorter than expected.

“That was the night Bret ‘Hit Man’ Hart talked about sticking an enema in Pittsburgh,” Ford recalled. “Bret went late on his interview. You watch [our] match, it’s literally 22 seconds long, with the introductions.” (WATCH)

Cornette felt bad and got the pair another match on Shotgun Saturday Night, but the opportunity didn’t pan out beyond that.

Not long after, Ford graduated school and began working at New Jersey hospitals. This was something he kept up with throughout his in-ring career. Whenever he wasn’t on the road, he was putting in hours as a physical therapist, building up a solid reputation with doctors in the area. Eventually, though, Ford called in his favor with DDP. The three-time WCW Champion asked him if he was ready to move down to Atlanta and start training at the infamous Power Plant. Ford didn’t hesitate to answer the master of the Diamond Cutter.

“I packed up the car, got a futon and found an apartment; it was time to go,” he said. “I had my degree, I could fall back on it, but it was time to chase the dream a bit.”

Ford continued wrestling as Devon Storm, but took on a darker look, dyeing his hair black and wearing black eye makeup. He mainly competed on WCW Saturday Night, where the company showcased its younger talent. After several months in Atlanta and nearly avoiding a sweep of job cuts at WCW, Ford was finally given the chance to show his stuff on the biggest stage the company had to offer.

“I was home for Christmas and they called and said, ‘We need you in Salisbury, Md., for Thunder. We have an idea for you,” he recalled.