During a recent interview with the Cut Pro Wrestling podcast, Shane Helms commented on his Hurricane gimmick in WWE, Ric Flair encouraging him to drop the gimmick, and more. You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On going heel after his Hurricane run: “It wasn’t hard for me, you know, because I had been a heel in the indies. And I was always — when I was a heel, I wanted to actually be a legit heel, not a tweener. You know, Three Count was kind of a tweener heel to a degree. But like the stuff I did on the indies, I wanted people to hate me. I wanted them to not buy my merch. If you see a heel, and people buying his merch, that’s not a heel. That’s a tweener. Tweener used to be a bad thing and it really shouldn’t be anymore; it’s just different. So I knew I could do it; it wasn’t a matter of whether I could do it or not. I just had to get the company to understand what exactly it was I was doing. And that was difficult, at times.
“But as far as my in-ring work, as the Hurricane I kind of had to wrestle down. You know, if you watched me as Sugar Shane, I’m one of the best light heavyweights in the world. I come to WWE, I got a cape and a eye mask on. I can’t wrestle like Sugar Shane anymore, because the audience wouldn’t accept it. Because I would try these things on live events, I would try to go out there and wrestle just like Sugar Shane, and they didn’t give a f**k. They wanted the pose, they wanted the thumb, they wanted me to try to choke slam. I’m dressed like a superhero, so I needed more character and personality. And not just a flip flop fly. It just didn’t work for that character.”
On knowing that the Hurricane had limitations as a character: “The thing about the Hurricane is too, I was having so much fun doing it. Like, I knew the limitations. They were never going to make the Hurricane the world champion. They just, they weren’t … back then it was still a, kind of a bigger guys business back then. So there’s a couple of things that were working against me. So I knew the limitations that the character, but also I had so much fun whereas I saw the top guys being f**king miserable all the time. So I’m trying to figure out, you know, ‘I’m having fun and I’m happy. They’re miserable as s**t. So, what do I do here?,’ you know?
“But I felt like I had a good run and I really kind of plateaued at a point where, okay, they’re not going to need to do anything else after this Rosey run with the tag championships. We won those and that’s my favorite championship run. And then they took them off of us for another experiment of Cade and Murdoch, which might’ve been the least over team we ever f**king worked up there.”
On Ric Flair advising him to drop the gimmick: “In this time, too you know, Flair was always kind of a mentor for me. And Flair was just like, ‘You’re too good for this gimmick.’ And like, he’s said that to me a couple of years before the turn, but it was something that has stuck with me. Because me and Flair had a pretty good run there for a little while and working on TV a couple of times, couple of times on live events. And just that stuck with me, you know? ‘You’re too good for this gimmick.’ And I’m like, ‘Man.’”
On the reaction backstage to his Gregory Helms character: “That’s what the Gregory Helms thing was. It was just a reminder to them of what I could do. And it worked so much that after one of my matches, Arn Anderson came up to me and he goes, ‘Damn kid, I forgot how good you were.’ And I remember going, ‘Thank you. Sir.’ And then he walked away and I was like, ‘What does that mean? Did they not realize that The Hurricane was just a character that I was wrestling like that for a reason?’”
(h/t – 411 Wrestling)