Shane Helms also known as The Hurricane has spoken about his name change upon joining WWE and how it led him to find his inner superhero.
Helms debuted in WWE in 2001 after the demise of WCW. He was one of several WCW stars who were part of the initial invasion storyline. Competing as Sugar Shane Helms in WCW, Helms was to find out there was only room for one Shane in WWE, and Shane McMahon was it.
Speaking on WWE’s The Bump, Helms recalled the process of changing his name:
“When I came to WWE, I was Sugar Shane Helms in WCW. There were some conversations about the name. They didn’t want to have two Shanes, which I completely understand. So, on my first night in WWE, I was Gregory Helms. It didn’t have a hook; it was just bland to me. I was like, I have to come up with something else.
“On the flight home after my first appearance in WWE, I had to come up with a better name. So, I came up with Hurricane Helms, and I showed up the next week before the production meeting. I found Stephanie McMahon – I interacted with her the most during those early days. I presented her with the Hurricane Helms name, and she said she would run it by Vince. A couple of hours later, after the production meeting, Vince McMahon walks by and goes, ‘Hurricane Helms, I like it!’ I was like, ‘Yes!’”
Hurricane Helms would soon morph into The Hurricane as Helms became one of WWE’s most beloved characters of the time. He would revert back to Gregory Helms as a villain later in his WWE career. It was as Gregory Helms that he would hold the WWE Cruiserweight Title for a record 384 days.
Shane Helms also discussed feuding with WWE icon The Rock in 2003. During the time The Rock had returned to the company portraying a coky, Hollywood sell-out. In interviews Rock would mock Helms, likening The Hurricane to The Hamburglar.
Helms commented on the feud:
“It was a really good David versus Goliath story. You know, not just [in] stature, but in star power. You had one of the biggest… especially now, I mean, we see what he is now, which I think happened because of me. I mean, if you’ll notice, his career really took off. I mean, it might be another thing we have made up, I don’t know.
“But it was only going to be one time, you know. That first interaction we had in Toronto was all on paper. It just steamrolled into the next week we’d do another promo, and next week we’d do another promo. It just got funnier and funnier. The Rock was so great. He was so appreciative. One of the jabs he gave me was a jab I gave to him. It was weird because it wasn’t this big feud. But I feel like people talk about that as much as they talk about any feud in wrestling.”
Shane Helms would get the better of The Rock when the two met in the ring. Following a distraction from The Rock’s WrestleMania opponent Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Hurricane would roll-up The Great One for the win.