Shane Helms Talks WWE Departure, Final Talk With Benoit, His Accident & Much More
The talent there wasn't as high as it should have been. It was kind of like just above an FCW or OVW. They were just bringing new guys all the time. Some of them looked like they still just belonged on the indies. Some of the guys I really liked as people but out there performing it was like, 'This isn't good TV.' I didn't like being on a show that wasn't good. I thought the stuff that me and Paul Burchill did was pretty good.
WrestlingINC: You defeated Paul Burchill in the mask versus career match and it seemed like you were off TV at that point, even though you won.
Helms: He came back then in a mask. I can't even remember what the hell happened. It was something. I wanted to go down to Smackdown. I thought he was going to RAW. I didn't want to be on RAW; I wanted to be on Smackdown. The fight with [Chris] Jericho happened and I'd already talked to Johnny [Ace]; my contract was up that July anyway. I talked to Johnny and said, 'I need to step away if I'm going to be on this show.' I didn't know what NXT was or how that was going to go down. I just thought I was going to be stuck on ECW for the remainder of my life. I talked about maybe going overseas or something like that, getting a different pace.
WrestlingINC: It seemed like the Jericho thing was just a drunken fight.
Helms: Yeah, it wasn't even a fight. It was like two drunken guys being idiots. It's one of those things where it's not necessarily in the spirit of the law. I got great friends in law enforcement so I've asked them, 'When you see a guy drunk do you have to arrest him?' 'No, you don't have to.' It's one of those things where if he's a danger to himself or some sh-t like that then yeah. If he's falling down in the street about to get run over, that's what the laws for. If you get drunk at a bar and you don't want to drive home so you decide to walk home, they could arrest you for that too. It's one of those laws that can be abused. I'm not saying it was abused in this case. We were just being idiots - nobody was hurt; nothing really happened. It was just something stupid.
We laughed about it. We didn't even know we were in trouble. Me and Chris had signed autographs and took pictures with all these cops. We didn't even know we were arrested really. They all pulled out their cell phones and we were taking pictures with them. I was looking at Chris like, 'Are we arrested?' and he's like, 'I don't know. I don't know what the f-ck's going on.' It was really silly.
WrestlingINC: Once the details came out it didn't seem like a big deal at all.
Helms: They tried to blow it up because Matt [Hardy] was there and they said that Matt ran away. No, it was over and everybody left. Nobody was running away; it was just over. I tried to walk to the hotel but I was pretty drunk. I realized I didn't know where the hell I was at. I would have just kept walking but I was lost.
WrestlingINC: Did that arrest lead to your release from WWE?
Helms: Because TMZ picked it up and tried to make a big deal out of nothing - it was just a lot of bad publicity. It's a publicly traded company so you can't have that sort of sh-t going on even though it's nothing. It's not something you want your athletes or superstars to be known for. Somebody needed a slap on the wrist and I was the low man on the totem pole. Like I said it kind of worked out. When Johnny called me I could tell he didn't want to let me go. I'd known him since WCW.