When I last spoke to Shane Helms earlier this year, he told us that he wanted to help re-shape TNA's X-Division. As I talked to him again ahead of Sunday's Slammiversary pay-per-view, his fingerprints are heavily visible on the program.
"I've definitely made some changes. I'm not done, and I definitely have work to do," Helms told me. "The changes should be pretty obvious. The X-Division is back. It's not just on some April show. It's getting back where it needs to be as far as a secondary title. I want the X-Division to be more important, and that's always going to be a battle, but I'm in it for the win."
Shane previewed the Slammiversary X-Division match, saying that he hopes the title sticks with either Trevor Lee or Andrew Everett, whom he manages.
"I think it's got to stay with the Helms Dynasty. The numbers are definitely on our side. It's going to be an exciting match. There are four guys who are incredibly talented as far as what they do in the ring, great guys outside of the ring. My take is that they're good human beings, but I have faith in my boys."
Still, Helms an agent faces issues with the X-Division. A style that was unique ten years ago is now commonplace in professional wrestling.
"Keep in mind, everybody does the X-Division now. Some fans think the X-Division is just flips – everybody's doing flips now. What hurt the X-Divison was that it worked and got over, and now you see it in the main event, and it's not relegated to the X-Division. They say there's no limits, so anybody out there who's talented can come out there and challenge for the X-Division title," he said.
When I asked Helms about any free agents he'd like to see in TNA, he wasn't shy about naming possible names to come aboard.
"If you're looking for somebody specifically, I would love to see Cody Rhodes in TNA, I'd also like to see Damien Sandow in TNA," Helms said. "There's guys in the UK...Bubblegum Pip is an incredibly talented guy. Cedric Alexander, him and Caprice Coleman, I'd love to see both of them in TNA doing some stuff. Any company should be looking for new talent, not just sitting back on what you have. I keep my eye out at every show I go to."
Helms also didn't hesitate to speak about longtime friend Matt Hardy, who gained some attention last week when his contract signing with Jeff Hardy went viral.
"Matt Hardy lost his mind a long time ago, and I've been trying to tell you all for years," Helms said. "The crazy, 'Big Money' Matt, that's the real Matt Hardy, the babyface Matt – that's the gimmick. This crazy stuff is an extension. Jeff has Willow, Matt has his thing – both of these boys have taken a lot of shots to the head. I guarantee (Matt) is walking around his house right now in that jacket, with that hair sticking out, driving Reby Sky crazy, playing the piano. Wolfgang Amadeus MATTzart."
TNA Slammiversary takes place this Sunday. Wrestling Inc. will have full, live coverage of the event. You can download our conversation with Helms at this link, or listen in the audio/video players at the top and bottom of the page. We'll also have a TNA Slammiversary preview from TNA announcer "The Pope" D'Angelo Dinero/Elijah Burke this Saturday!