Wrestling and danger have went hand in hand in professional wrestling. Often times, companies try to minimize that danger and unnecessary risk by banning moves they deem unsafe. We saw it last year with then-WWE World Heavweight Champion Seth Rollins had his Curb Stomp banned.
TNA agent and former Cruiserweight Champion "Hurricane" Shane Helms experienced this, as his popular Vertebreaker move was put on the banned list when he made the transition from WCW. Still, Helms told me in an exclusive interview that he wasn't bothered.
"Yeah, the move was over, but it didn't affect me because there were very few guys in the WWE I could do it to, especially as the Hurricane. All of my feuds were with big guys and I couldn't pick them up. That came from Vince himself. I didn't try to argue my point or anything. Vince tells you to do something, you kind of just do it. It wasn't that big of a deal, I didn't need to go to Vince and have a debate about it. It wasn't a big loss to me," Helms said.
The move itself looks risky in nature, but Helms said it was a simple one to take. He could only remember rare instances when the Vertebreaker went wrong in the ring.
"It's easy to take, you tuck your chin. You take it like a German suplex impact. I would take a lot of impact on my upper back which caused problems in my lower back. If I did it a couple nights in a row, my back was jacked by the end of the loop. That's because I was taking care of the guy. I never drilled anybody. Kaz Hayashi would stare at the mat and pull his chin up at the last second and was just masterful at that. I think Kidman tried to to that one time and didn't tuck in time. I can't see what's going on back there, so if you don't tuck your chin, you're on your own. He got pegged a little bit, but he was okay. Someone backstage said I killed him, but I had to see it back," he said.
Despite getting the move over in WCW, Helms said he understood why he had to stop doing the hold.
"At that time, there had been a string of neck surgeries in WWE, and they were getting away from anything where you landed on your neck," Helms said. "Even the German suplexes were modified. You wouldn't see the guys doing the Japanese style where they'd drop someone on their head. It was something I knew was coming anyway. I was prepared for it. I was off and running as the Hurricane, so I didn't need that"
We'll have our full interview with TNA Agent Shane Helms coming soon on Wrestling Inc. You can check out Helms' full comments about the Vertebreaker in the video player above, or the audio player below.