Helms On Frustration With WWE, Dropping Hurricane Character
Stand back! The super superstar who had us all asking “Whatupwidat?!” has joined the Insanity. Shane “Hurricane” Helms joins James Guttman on ClubWWI.com for an all new and eye-opening 43 minute interview featuring thoughts about his entire career including the original name WWE wanted him to use, the concerns he had about his name when WWF bought WCW, ad-libbing the segment with Steve Austin that created the Hurricane gimmick, who was supposed to replace Evan in Three Count, the rare WWF/WCW House Show, “Chris McMahon”, surprising thoughts on his super sidekicks, the segments he did with The Rock, and tons more. For a full list of topics from this jam-packed discussion click here:
As fans of Shane Helms (and Twitter followers @ShaneHelmsCom) know, the former Hurricane is someone who tells it like it is. As someone who has played one of wrestling’s most successful gimmicks in the past decade, Shane is also someone who knows what makes his character work. As he and James Guttman talk about the gimmick itself, Helms opens up about how the gimmick was being changed at the end of his time in WWE. It wasn’t something that made him happy…and didn’t make sense to boot. As he tells ClubWWI.com members, it wasn’t what he knew Hurricane to be.
“I didn’t really have powers. I was out there getting my ass kicked quite a lot. That was the problem I had with creative sometimes too because they would have me in the back, especially during that last ECW run, where I was like lifting crates and lifting two ton boxes and all this stuff. Then I’d go in the ring and get beat up by some jackass.”
Wins and losses weren’t the issue, but rather respect for the gimmick. Shane discusses that and how characters like ClubWWI.com audio host Glacier dealt with similar problems. But on top of that, the brand WWE had him didn’t help to raise his spirits either.
“My last point when I was on that ECW Show – which I wasn’t a fan of – was hard for me because I’ve always been a Varsity guy. I don’t like being on J.V. That’s just me personally. That’s not saying it was an awful show. It was just that I wasn’t a fan of it and it was hard to be on it and motivate yourself when you know you’re a part of something that isn’t that good. I felt like I was doing my part to make it better but there’re only so many things I could do and so many situations I was put in. That was just different, that ECW show on SyFy. That was holding on to something that should have been let go a long time before.”
Perhaps even worse than creative not understanding your gimmick is when they don’t want to use it at all. Helms tells ClubWWI.com that as the business changed, so did the thoughts about his character – no matter how successful it had been.
“That whole time, the last couple of years, they were trying to play some realism. I can’t even tell you how many times I heard, ‘We want that more realistic approach.’ And I’m standing there in a superhero outfit. I’m like, ‘Really? You’re telling me that? Do you want me to take this outfit off?” That’s what kind of lead to me taking time off from Hurricane when I did that whole heel run. It had been getting more reality based. How am I gonna be more reality-based if I’m dressed like a superhero? But they loved the merchandise and put me out there. At one time, only Austin and Rock were selling more merchandise than I was.
Alongside all the talk about Hurricane, Helms and Guttman discuss his entire career including Gregory Helms, Suga Shane, and – yes – Three Count. Helms offers his thoughts on everything from the gimmick to the theme song to Arn Anderson’s massive compliment for them. As the ClubWWI.com interview continues, he reveals that the gimmick actually existed before Atlanta…and included a future WWE Tag Team Champion.
“That was my first chance to get on TV. So it was one of those things where I just had to go with it. But me and Shannon had done a similar gimmick – not to the extreme as Three Count – in Music City Wrestling. That was based out of Nashville. We were called “The Badstreet Boys”and it was four of us. It was the guy who went on to be Joey Mercury in MNM – Joey Matthews. And another guy named Christian York – who is a super talented guy.”