I had the pleasure of interviewing former WWE Cruiserweight and Tag Team Champion “Hurricane” Shane Helms recently on the Pancakes and Powerslams Show. Helms discussed his time in the Cruiserweight Division, problem with 205 Live, leaving Impact Wrestling due to Jeff Jarrett, and more.
Here are the highlights.
His Time in WCW:
“Keep in mind that I am probably a little more positive than 95% in this business. I can be annoyingly positive, but anything that was bad I didn’t focus on it as much. I had a great time there in terms of exposure to the world my time in WCW did. I just took that opportunity and ran with it, and had a great time. Any of the bad stuff that you might hear the guys talking about I just didn’t pay any attention to it. I wasn’t part of any of the corporate decision making meetings, so there wasn’t anything for me to really worry about with what was going on behind the scenes. The only thing I was able to control was what I was doing inside the ring. That was the only thing I was able to focus on.”
Why the Original Invasion Angle Flopped:
“It made money, it didn’t flop necessarily. Could it have done a lot better with the top stars coming in? Absolutely! We didn’t bring the varsity team. We didn’t bring the true power like the nWo right away. The first thing was Lance Storm coming in, and then Booker T coming in, and of course they were two top talents, but they weren’t the top guys in WCW at the time. It wasn’t the Goldberg, it wasn’t the Sting, and that was what you needed in terms of when we are going head to head you bring your heavy hitters. I always tell people that, just like the Super Bowl, but if your starting lineup doesn’t show up you have to bring in the second string.
“There were still a lot of good moments that came out of that, and it gave a lot of talents the chance to show themselves to the WWF audience, because the WWF audience doesn’t know who the [heck] ‘Sugar’ Shane was, so it gave me an opportunity and I also want to point of to, that the top WWF stars at the time; Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Kurt Angle all these guys; WWF’s top guys had it going on, they were able to talk and work, and especially during that time they were outworking the top guys of WCW.”
Problem with 205 Live:
“[205 Live] doesn’t have the star power that the main roster has. If somebody does get popular in that division they take them out and sending a message to the audience that this division isn’t as important. They never seem to capture the magic of how it happens in MMA and Boxing. In MMA and Boxing, their biggest stars are 30-40 lbs smaller than me. WWE has struggled with that. I’m not talking about just small guys, usually smaller guys in that division against other guys.
“They’ve done great things obviously with myself, Rey Mysterio, AJ Styles, Finn Balor, but imagine how great that 205 Live division would be if AJ and Finn Balor were in it, but it has to be presented as an important division or else AJ and Finn Balor wouldn’t want to be part of it, and I can almost assure you that they don’t. If it’s presented as second tier then nobody wants to be on the B-Team, on the Junior Varsity; everybody there wants to be on the main side and be viewed as important so WWE has to present it as important. Guys there also have to step up. There are a lot of guys look exactly like 40-50 guys on the Indies. There isn’t any standout looks or personalities. Enzo [Amore] is at least bringing about attention, and that is what this business is about. It’s about bringing on attention.”
Austin Aries and Neville Being Gone from WWE:
“You only live once, and if they were miserable there then leave. Go somewhere that makes you happy. There is no company in the world that is going to say no to Neville right now. He is incredibly talented, and always has been. If he is that miserable then yeah, why not? Me, I was there, because I mentioned before, I had a talk with Steve Austin one time and he always mentioned how I was always a happy guy, and I would say, yeah, I just don’t let it get to me. That is just how I am in life. No matter what I will never let things bring me down. I will work my butt off to find that silver lining, but I will find that silver lining. I will find a way to get to it, and in this business, like any job, your job will piss you off at some point. You have to find a way to make it happen. You have to find a way to make it right for you. That is what it is about. If you are miserable, then change. You can’t expect change to happen for you. You have to be the agent of change.”
His Fallout with Impact Wrestling:
Well, he brought himself in. His wife, his buddy, which created a budget issue that he created. Because of that several guys were let go. My contract was up anyway, so was Al Snow’s, and Simon Diamond. Apparently to him longevity didn’t matter to him. He comes from a family that are kind of a carney family anyway so he is from that lineage. That is what it was; it didn’t matter that the people brought in weren’t as talented or successful as me and Simon Diamond worked, that didn’t matter, he was just going to bring in his buddies. The second I got released, my phone blew up. Everyone from that roster called me because I went above and beyond there from my duties as an Agent to help people out. Not just with their matches, but with their characters, their promos, I was a promo guy. I would have guys reading me their promos, and watching their entrances. I went above and beyond trying to see everyone their succeed. I caught heat because of the thing with the Hardy’s because they were my friends.
“To them it was bush league mentality and not professional, but that was just one person I had to deal with that issue. Impact Wrestling I had a great relationship with them, no heat there whatsoever. I wish them all the best. I am looking forward to Bound for Glory to see what they can do. I’m looking forward to Eli Drake. I told them back in the day that he is going to be ‘the guy’ to carry this company in terms of being a champion. I am a big fan of a lot of the talent there. I have nothing but respect and love for the roster.”