WrestlingINC: When you signed with WWE in 2001 were you nervous?
Helms: No, I knew if I could get out of that last Nitro with the Cruiserweight Title, I knew they would bring me up at least to lose the champion. I knew I had a chance to come in as the champion. I thought if anything - a WCW versus WWE - but they would have to have opportunities there so I thought as long as I retained that title, which I did. I thought I had a good chance of going and doing something.
My initial reservations were just about the name brand. I knew because of Shane McMahon that I might lose my name; I might not be able to be called Shane. I was worried because Triple H and Helmsley being so close to Helms. Obviously Helmsley's not his real name but I was worried that I might not get to do that either. That was the only reservation I had. I had full confidence that if they saw me they would like what I could do. I wasn't sure if they watched WCW. You always heard stuff that they did and I heard that Vince liked the 3 Count. I heard that while we were in WCW. I thought if they ever saw me they would see something.
WrestlingINC: So then you came in as "Hollywood" Greg Helms.
Helms: Yeah. I did "Sugar" Shane at the house shows. We did a couple house shows in the loop and it was mainly me, Kidman and Chavo going in three ways or stuff like that, just different tag matches. I know there was one where we kind of mixed it up. It was WCW on one side and WWE. I think it was me and Kidman against Tajiri and X-Pac or something like that. They kept them kind of like that. Once that debuted on TV it was only at TV that day that they told me I couldn't be "Sugar" Shane no more.
WrestlingINC: Did they come up with the Hollywood nickname or was that something you came up with?
Helms: Hell no, that wasn't something I came up with; they came up with it. It only was that first night. I don't think they even called me Hollywood but you could see it on the typetron in the background I believe.
WrestlingINC: You became The Hurricane almost immediately after that, right?
Helms: Oh yeah, on the plane ride home that night I was on the plane writing down every gimmick name I ever used and every one I could even think of. I knew Gregory Helms as a baby face and at that time I was. I need a moniker, I need a handle, I need a gimmick. I had just lost the title so now I got to start from scratch. They took a lot from me. It's really weird when I tell people.
I did have a fear there, that first night when they said, 'You can't be Shane. Since you're not Shane you're not going to do the Sugar thing.' 'Okay.' 'You can't do the Vertaebreaker anymore. They were terrified of that. I kind of did it a couple times later on, which they were just so worried about it that they kind of came down on me a little for doing it. I couldn't do my finishing moves therefore I couldn't use my entrance song because my entrance song was the Vertaebreaker; it was about the move. I'm not going to have the Sugar Babies with me. 'Oh, and you're going to lose the title tonight.' I was like, 'Damn, you just took it all from me.'
WrestlingINC: What was it like being in the locker room there at the beginning? It seemed like WWE lost money with angles left on the table and the WCW invasion was one where I thought they could make a ton of money. They dropped the ball on it.
WWE Star Launches YouTube Show, WWE Fans On Daniel Bryan's Best Opponent, WWE Merchandise
WWE SmackDown Clip With AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan GMA Segment (Video), Lots Of Bryan Media, WWE Shop
Why TV Ratings Aren't As Important To WWE Now
Vince McMahon On WWE Injuries And WrestleMania 32
WWE Stock Takes A Hit After Earnings Report, Chris Jericho Films Show? (Photo), Becky Lynch Video
Infographic: WWE Touts Record Breaking 2015
Daniel Bryan's Last Match, The Authority Works Out (Videos), Sasha Banks Note, Titus O'Neil Comments
** SPOILERS ** WWE SmackDown Tapings For This Week
WWE Star Asks To Face The Undertaker, WWE Hires PR Firm For Stephanie McMahon, WWE Star - MMA Note
WWE Star Reportedly Suspended For Unprofessional Conduct Towards Vince McMahon
Titus O'Neil Suspension Changed, WWE On If Suspension Was Racially Motivated, Titus' Text To WWE
Backstage Video Of Daniel Bryan With Family At RAW, CM Punk Reacts To His Retirement, More On Bryan
Backstage Talk On Vince McMahon Suspending Titus O'Neil To Send A Message To The WWE Roster
Batista Says He Told Titus O'Neil To Request His WWE Release Following Suspension