Shane Helms Talks Final Days Of WCW, WWE Buying WCW, Early WWE Run, Rock & More
Also, make sure to download Helm's app Shane Event at iTunes by clicking here.
WrestlingINC: It's been 20 years that you've been been involved in the business.
Helms: Yeah, I've been involved in the business, as well, over 20 years but as far as actually in the ring performing - 1991 was my first match.
WrestlingINC: Who were some of the guys you looked up to?
Helms: Ric Flair and Randy Savage were my all time two favorites, still to this day. Those are the guys I watched as far as American style. When you go to Lucha, Negro Cases was my favorite… Rey Mysterio of course, but he wasn't there at first when I first started watching. In Japan, you just had so many guys to choose from the Tiger Mask to the White Tiger, [Jushin] Liger. That stuff is revolutionary. It hadn't been seen at all in America so when I would go do it on the independent scene it was just crazy.
WrestlingINC: I was always impressed with your style. It was impressive even though you had wrestled mostly in the states up until that point.
Helms: Yeah, I think the only place I had been… I mean, I had been to Germany. That was the only international experience I had before WCW. I just wrestled Americans over there so it wasn't like I went over there and got European experience. Still, the indie scene had never been on TV and getting international footing was very hard at the time.
WrestlingINC: How did you pick up the Lucha style and all that? Was it from your independent days?
Helms: Yeah, I was always a student of the game. I always just watched wrestling. Even today when I talk to guys and ask if they watch the show - when I hear that they don't, that just seems weird to me. If you want to be successful in this business you got to watch it. Sometimes you got to watch the bad with the good. It's just important to know what to not to do as what to do. I studied Lucha. I was a cruiserweight before there were cruiserweights.
When I started in '91 there were no small guys around. It was me and I had to fight for my life so I had to come up with stuff that would really impress guys. I watched Lucha and that Japanese stuff just so I could impress the American promoters to give a guy who was my size a chance. I was right at 6 foot but I was so skinny. From years of doing amateur wrestling, I kept my weight down. I slowly started to bulk up once I started going pro full-time but for amateur I had to keep my body weight incredibly lean.
WrestlingINC: I remember in 1997 you had the three big - WCW, ECW and WWF. Had you ever thought about going to ECW during that time? It seemed like you would have been a good fit.
Helms: Yeah, actually me and my partner, Mike Maverick, we actually did a tryout with ECW. We did pretty good; everybody was pretty happy with us and we had another one. We did a loop in the Carolinas and we were supposed to go do another one or whatever and just in between that time I got my contract with WCW.