Gregory Helms

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Gregory Helms
Helms @ Wrestlemania Axxess 2009 cropped.jpg
Helms at WWE WrestleMania Axxess in April 2009
Birth name Gregory Shane Helms[1][2]
Ring name(s) Gregory Hanes[3]
Gregory Helms[1]
The Hurricane[4]
Hurricane Helms[3]
Shane Helms[1]
Billed height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)[4]
Billed weight 215 lb (98 kg)[4]
Born (1974-07-12) July 12, 1974 (age 39)[3][2]
Smithfield, North Carolina, United States[3][2]
Resides Smithfield, North Carolina, United States[5]
Billed from Raleigh, North Carolina[6]
Smithfield, North Carolina
Joco, North Carolina[7]
Trained by None[8]
Debut 1991[9]

Gregory Shane Helms (born July 12, 1974) is an American professional wrestler. He is best known for his time with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) where he wrestled as The Hurricane and Gregory Helms and also for his time with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) where he wrestled as "Sugar" Shane Helms.

Helms first began wrestling in 1991 at the age of 16, and wrestled in numerous independent promotions, including the Organization of Modern Extreme Grappling Arts, winning numerous light heavyweight and tag team championships. In 1999, he signed with WCW, and gained fame as "Sugar" Shane Helms, a member of 3 Count. During his time there he won both the WCW Hardcore Championship and the WCW Cruiserweight Championship. When WCW was bought by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) (now WWE), Helms' contract was kept by WWF. Helms renamed himself "The Hurricane" and won the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. He later picked up a sidekick, Rosey, and they won the World Tag Team Championship together.

He dropped the superhero gimmick in 2005, and began wrestling under his real name. He once again won the Cruiserweight Championship in early 2006, and held it for over a year, becoming the longest reigning Cruiserweight Champion and the longest reigning champion of any kind in SmackDown history. After being out of action for over a year after neck fusion surgery Helms returned to SmackDown in September 2008, referring to himself as Hurricane Helms, before moving to the ECW brand where he reverted to his Gregory Helms name, and became the backstage interviewer. In mid-2009, he brought back The Hurricane character, and appeared as both Gregory Helms and The Hurricane on ECW. After ECW was cancelled Helms was released by WWE on February 26, 2010, and returned to the independent circuit.

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Early career (1991–1999)[edit]

Helms began wrestling at the age of 16 in 1991.[3] He won his first championship shortly afterwards, by defeating "Playboy" T.C. Cruise to become the Southern Wrestling Alliance (SWA) Light Heavyweight Champion.[3] Helms spent the majority of his early career in his home state of North Carolina, winning numerous light heavyweight championships.[3]

Helms began calling himself "The Show" Shane Helms, and teamed with "Big Daddy" Mike Maverick, initially using the team name Assault and Battery.[3] They later dubbed themselves The Serial Thrillaz, and won several independent tag championships.[3] The pair also began wrestling in the Organization of Modern Extreme Grappling Arts (OMEGA), which was founded by the Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff).[3] The Serial Thrillaz won the OMEGA Tag Team Championship twice between 1997 and 1998, before they began competing for Southern Championship Wrestling (SCW). They won the SCW Tag Team Championship, and Helms also won the SCW Heavyweight Championship.[3] SCW would mark the end of the Serial Thrillaz, as Helms vacated both titles before moving on to NWA Worldwide.[3] Once there, Helms joined the Bad Street Boys with Shannon Moore, Christian York, and Joey Matthews.[3]

World Championship Wrestling (1999–2001)[edit]

Helms and his friend Shannon Moore signed with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in May 1999.[3] In WCW, Helms, along with Moore and Evan Karagias, formed the heel (villainous) stable (faction) 3 Count, and the trio debuted on the December 23 episode of WCW Thunder.[10] The trio was a parody of the boy bands 'N Sync and the Backstreet Boys, and their gimmick involved making music videos and performing songs before their matches.[9]

3 Count collectively won the WCW Hardcore Championship on WCW Monday Nitro in February 2000.[3] This win made 3 Count the first trio to win the Hardcore Championship.[10] At Uncensored, Brian Knobbs defeated all members of 3 Count to win the Hardcore Championship.[11] During a match, Helms suffered a broken nose, and was sidelined while he recovered.[3] Upon his return, Tank Abbott had been added to the group, as a fan, and was utilized in an enforcer role. 3 Count had a long-running feud (scripted rivalry) with the Jung Dragons, with the Dragons attempting to steal 3 Count's fictional recording contract.[3] This led to a ladder match between the two teams at New Blood Rising, which 3 Count won due to Abbott's interference.[12] As a result, Abbott claimed that he should be the lead singer of 3 Count, and was kicked out by the other three members, leading to a feud.[13]

3 Count later disbanded as Moore and Helms kicked Karagias out of the group for attempting to steal the spotlight.[3] At the same time, the Jung Dragons turned on Jamie Noble, who formed a team with Karagias.[3] The three teams met in a Triangle match at Mayhem, which 3 Count won.[14] They also wrestled each other in a number one contendership ladder match at Starrcade, to earn a WCW Cruiserweight Championship match, in which both Moore and Helms grabbed the contract at the same time.[15] As a result, they later wrestled for the opportunity to wrestle for the championship, which Helms won, although he lost the subsequent championship match to Chavo Guerrero at the Sin pay-per-view.[3][16]

Moore and Helms would leave WCW briefly in 2001 to wrestle in NWA Wildside, where they held the Wildside Tag Team Championship for one day.[3] Helms became the number one contender for the Cruiserweight Championship after winning a match at SuperBrawl Revenge, but was attacked by Karagias and Moore afterwards.[3][17] Despite the attack, Helms would go on to defeat Guerrero for the WCW Cruiserweight Championship at Greed and was the reigning Cruiserweight Champion immediately before WCW was bought out by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF).[3][1][18] Helms' contract with WCW was one of twenty-five that were included in WWF's purchase of WCW.[19]

World Wrestling Federation / Entertainment[edit]

Early appearances (2001–2002)[edit]

Helms made his WWF debut on the July 5, 2001 episode of SmackDown!, using the name "Hollywood" Gregory Helms.[3] He was part of the Invasion storyline as a member of The Alliance losing his Cruiserweight Championship in a one-on-one match to another Alliance member, Billy Kidman.[20]

Helms at an autograph signing in June 2002

Helms began wrestling as "The Hurricane" on August 27, and also began wearing a superhero costume. That night, he won the WWF European Championship from Matt Hardy with help from Ivory, but lost it to Bradshaw on October 22, 2001.[21][22] In September 2001, Helms formed a tag team with Lance Storm who was now managed by Ivory and Helms later picked up a sidekick, in Molly Holly who began to call herself "Mighty Molly", and the two came to the arena in a custom "Hurri-Cycle" (with Molly in the sidecar).[9] The team of Helms and Storm began feuds with teams like The Hardy Boyz and Big Show and Spike Dudley. Helms and Storm got a shot at the WCW Tag Team Championship against The Hardy Boyz at No Mercy in a losing effort.[23]

During 2002, The Hurricane won the WWF Hardcore Championship at WrestleMania X8, but Molly betrayed him, hitting him in the back of the head with a frying pan, and defeating him for the championship.[24][25] Helms was later drafted to the SmackDown! brand following the brand extension, and he won the Cruiserweight Championship from Tajiri and Billy Kidman in a triple threat match.[26][27] He lost it to Jamie Noble at King of the Ring. Later in 2002, he was traded to Raw, won the World Tag Team Championship with Kane, and held them for around a month in an alliance known as Hurri-Kane.[28]

Teaming with Rosey (2003–2005)[edit]

Helms as "The Hurricane" with the World Tag Team Championship

In 2003, Hurricane feuded with The Rock.[29] In backstage segments, The Rock referred to The Hurricane as "The Hamburglar" (in part because his mask was similar to the Hamburglar's).[30] The feud culminated in a match on Raw, in which The Rock dominated.[31] Hurricane, however, was able to roll up The Rock from behind after The Rock was distracted by Stone Cold Steve Austin's appearance on the ramp.[31]

In late 2003, Hurricane "discovered" Rosey's potential as a superhero and christened him "Rosey, the Super Hero in Training". On May 1, at Backlash, Rosey and The Hurricane defeated La Résistance in the finals of a Tag Team Turmoil match to win the World Tag Team Championship.[32][33] Not long after winning the championship, Stacy Keibler joined Rosey and The Hurricane as their sidekick, "Super Stacy".[34] In August 2005, Rosey and The Hurricane lost Keibler as their sidekick when she and Christy Hemme were traded to the SmackDown! brand.[35] On September 5, 2005 Hurricane and Rosey were defeated by Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch during Cade and Murdoch's debut match on Raw.[36] As a result, Cade and Murdoch earned a title match at the Unforgiven pay-per-view. During the title match, Murdoch delivered an elevated DDT on The Hurricane to the outside. The DDT caused Hurricane to suffer a storyline "stinger" and allowed Cade and Murdoch to beat the injured Hurricane later in the match to win the World Tag Team Titles.[37]

During the next few weeks, the pair began a losing streak, mainly caused by Hurricane's on-screen injuries.[38] During the October 17 episode of Raw, The Hurricane was assaulted by Kurt Angle at the request of Vince McMahon. After the beating, footage was shown of The Hurricane ripping off his mask and striking Rosey because he did not help him fend off Angle.[39] The next week, The Hurricane no-showed a World Tag Team Title match, leaving Rosey to face the champions alone. During the match, The Hurricane (out of costume) appeared at the top of the entrance ramp, reverting to his real name, Gregory Helms, and watched as Rosey was double teamed and defeated. After the match, Helms announced that he was fed up with being funny for the crowd, and that he was sick of carrying Rosey as a tag team partner. This turned him into a heel in the process.[40] On the November 7 episode of Raw, Helms and Rosey faced off in a singles match, which Helms won.[41] Subsequently, Helms wrestled mostly on Raw's sister show, Heat.[42] On the January 2, 2006 episode of Raw Helms confronted Jerry Lawler over jokes that Lawler had been making at Helms' expense, and Lawler said that when Helms was The Hurricane, he was entertaining and called Helms a joke. Helms responded by slapping Lawler, who hit Helms back.[43] This confrontation led to Lawler defeating Helms in a match at New Year's Revolution.[44]

Cruiserweight Champion and injury (2006–2007)[edit]

At the 2006 Royal Rumble, participated in an Open Invitational match for the Cruiserweight Championship and won, even though he was a Raw superstar and the championship was defended solely on SmackDown!.[44][45] As a result, he returned to the SmackDown! brand in February 2006 to start a feud with Nunzio, Kid Kash and the other cruiserweights. During this time, Helms defeated Nunzio in a one-on-one match.[46] The next week, he was supposed to defend against Kid Kash, but Kash was away on a family emergency, so Scotty 2 Hotty took his place. Helms defeated him and declared that he was better than all the other cruiserweights. As a result, all the cruiserweights at the show invaded the ring and attacked Helms.[47] It was later announced by SmackDown! General Manager Theodore Long that at the No Way Out pay-per-view event, Helms would face all the cruiserweights in a match for the title. Helms was able to retain the championship.[48] Later, Long mandated that Helms had to defend his title against a cruiserweight each week on SmackDown! to prove that he truly was better than all the cruiserweights. Helm's first defense under this new rule was against Psicosis of The Mexicools; Helms retained by cheating.[44]

Helms has the longest reign in WWE Cruiserweight Championship history, holding the championship for 13 consecutive months in 2006 and 2007.

In early March 2006, Helms suffered a broken nose. After complaining to Long about having to wrestle on the March 10 episode of SmackDown!, Long told Helms that he did not have to defend his title, but put Helms in a champion versus champion match against the United States Champion, Chris Benoit. During the match, Helms attempted to leave, but was blocked by other cruiserweights who threw Helms back into the ring, resulting in Helms losing the match.[49] Helms underwent successful surgery on his nose and was expected to miss five to six weeks. During this time SmackDown! announcers stated that Helms had a no-compete clause in his contract allowing him to waive the thirty-day title defense rule due to any injury. Helms returned to the ring on the April 28 episode of SmackDown!, teaming with MNM to face Super Crazy, London and Kendrick in a six-man tag team match.[50] Helms continued to defend his belt during pay-per-views,[51] but he made more regular appearances on SmackDown!'s sister show, Velocity.[52]

Helms continued defending his title against other cruiserweights, while on occasion facing off against SmackDown!'s other title holders in champion versus champion matches. Helms faced World Heavyweight Champion Rey Mysterio on June 16 and United States Champion Bobby Lashley on July 7 but lost both matches.[53][54] Eventually, Helms became the longest cruiserweight champion in WWE history, as well as the longest reigning champion of any kind in SmackDown! history.[6] For much of late 2006, he feuded with Matt Hardy, with whom Helms exchanged several victories in matches on SmackDown!.[55][56][57] In Helms' hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina, at the 2006 No Mercy pay-per-view, Hardy beat Helms.[58] The two rivals also joined opposing teams at Survivor Series, where Helms was in Team Rated-RKO, and Hardy was a member of Team DX; Team Rated-RKO lost the match.[58]

Helms went on to feud with Jimmy Wang Yang over the Cruiserweight Title, after a tag team match in which Matt Hardy and Yang defeated Helms and Sylvan.[59] The feud ended after Helms defeated him to retain the title at Armageddon in December 2006.[58] In 2007, Helms once again feuded with the entire Cruiserweight division on SmackDown!. During this feud, Helms' reign as Cruiserweight Champion came to an end at No Way Out, when he was unable to win a Cruiserweight open invitational, which saw Chavo Guerrero win the championship.[60] Shortly after losing the championship, Helms formed a tag team with Guerrero, but they did not win any matches as a team.[61][62]

On May 18, 2007, WWE reported that Helms had broken two vertebrae in his neck, one of which was pressing on his spinal cord.[63] He underwent surgery with Dr. Lloyd Youngblood to repair them approximately a week later. Following the surgery, Helms was announced to be out for a year due to the injury.[63][64]

Interviewer and The Hurricane's return (2008–2010)[edit]

Helms returned on the September 19, 2008, episode of SmackDown in a non-wrestling role.[65] Throughout the show, he appeared in short video promos, called "Hurrapops", referring to himself as "Hurricane Helms", a modified version of his old ring name "The Hurricane", and mocked heel superstars including Shelton Benjamin and Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder.[66][67] In the following weeks, he mocked several other superstars in the "Hurrapops", ending each promo with the phrase, "I'm just sayin'!" On the November 28 episode of SmackDown, a "Hurrapop" appeared in which Helms announced that he would make his return to the ring on the next episode of SmackDown.[68] On the December 5 episode of SmackDown, Helms defeated Montel Vontavious Porter in his ring return.[69] Helms was quickly scripted into a feud with the United States Champion Shelton Benjamin, defeating him in two non-title matches on SmackDown, although he failed to win a championship match on December 26.[70][71][72]

On April 15, 2009, Helms was drafted to the ECW brand as part of the 2009 Supplemental Draft.[73] Helms made his ECW debut as a backstage interviewer on April 28, 2009, reverting to his Gregory Helms ring name, interviewing Evan Bourne.[74] He started a storyline where, while he was interviewing someone, a scripted accident would occur, leading to Helms leaving the interview seconds before the person in distress was saved by The Hurricane.[75] On the August 11, 2009 episode of ECW, Helms was attacked by Paul Burchill after Helms denied being The Hurricane. The Hurricane later attacked Burchill in the ring dressed in his Hurricane attire, to save Yoshi Tatsu.[76] The next week on ECW, he made his in-ring debut for the brand as The Hurricane, and defeated Burchill.[77] He continued to feud with Burchill, who attempted to expose The Hurricane's true identity, until the November 17 episode of ECW when The Hurricane defeated Burchill in a mask versus career match.

On February 26, 2010, Helms was released from his WWE contract.[78]

Independent circuit (2010–present)[edit]

Helms posing on the turnbuckle as The Hurricane in January 2012

Following his WWE release, Helms began wrestling on the independent circuit, including for the Canadian Wrestling's Elite as Hurricane Helms.[79] On October 23, 2010, Helms made his debut for Jersey All Pro Wrestling, where he, under his Hurricane gimmick, defeated Azrieal.[80] On January 10, 2011, Helms signed a contract with Lucha Libre USA.[81] In the promotion, Helms allied himself with Marco Corleone, and in his debut for the promotion at the January 22 tapings, he defeated Corleone's rival and Lucha Libre USA Champion Lizmark, Jr. via disqualification.[7][82]

On January 29, 2011 Helms made his debut for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG), during the WrestleReunion 5 weekend, in a match, where he was defeated by Joey Ryan.[83] He also took part in 20-Man Legends Battle Royale, making his second appearance of the night. He eliminated Cruel Connection, but later was thrown out by Shane Douglas and Terry Funk.[84]

In April 2011, Helms wrestled at Carolina Wrestling Federation (Mid-Atlantic) where he defeated Ric Converse and won the vacant PWI International Heavyweight Championship.[85] In 2013, Helms returned to the revived OMEGA, now called OMEGA Championship Wrestling, and on October 12, he defeated Shane Williams to advance in a tournament for the OMEGA Championship.[86] On November 16, 2013, Helms was defeated by Chris Hero at a Pro Wrestling Syndicate event.[87]

Personal life[edit]

Helms is a comic book fan, and one of his favorite characters is the Green Lantern. He has a tattoo on his biceps which is the Lantern's logo and his original WWE character, The Hurricane, was inspired by the Green Lantern.[88] In 2008, he got a tattoo of his last name on his upper back. Helms owns a motorcycle called "The Hurri-Cycle", which he got when he was using The Hurricane gimmick. He appears on The Hardy Show, The Hardys' internet show. He also performed as the stunt double of actor David Arquette in the movie Ready to Rumble.[3]

On March 19, 2007, Sports Illustrated posted on its website an article in its continuing series investigating a steroid and HGH ring used by a number of professional athletes in several sports. That article mentioned several current and former WWE wrestlers, including Helms who was alleged to have obtained HGH.[89] WWE has since made a statement on this situation, mentioning that the allegations preceded the Talent Wellness program WWE launched in April 2006.[90] On August 30, 2007, an article by Sports Illustrated named Helms and nine other wrestlers to be given growth hormone not in compliance with the WWE Talent Wellness program. He was said to have received testosterone, HGH and nandrolone between November 2003 and February 2007.[91][92]

On May 6, 2008, Helms was assaulted in a club in Johnston County, North Carolina, by an acquaintance, Dustin Narron.[5] An argument between the two of them led to Narron hitting Helms in the face.[93] Narron was later charged with assault and battery.[93] On January 27, 2010, Helms and fellow WWE wrestler Chris Jericho were arrested in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky after leaving a bar. A police report stated that Helms had punched Jericho and the other passengers in the cab they were sharing. Helms and Jericho were given tickets for public intoxication and released after each posted a $120 bail bond.[94] On March 13, 2011, Helms was cited for affray following an altercation at a bar in Smithfield, North Carolina.[95]

On May 5, 2011, Helms and his girlfriend were involved in a motorbike accident in North Carolina, for which Helms was charged with driving under the influence.[96][97] Helms suffered a broken leg, ankle, jaw, and nose during the accident, as well as sustaining other fractures and receiving over 200 stitches, while his girlfriend sustained a broken neck.[98][99] As a result of the accident, Helms' foot had to be reconstructed with four plates and 22 screws.[96]

Helms was previously in a relationship with fellow professional wrestler Jamie Szantyr, better known by her ring name Velvet Sky.[100] In June 2012, Helms' girlfriend gave birth to his first child, a boy named Sebastian.[96][101]

In wrestling[edit]

Helms, as The Hurricane, performing the Eye of the Hurricane on Triple H
  • Entrance themes
    • "Can't Get You Out of My Heart" by 3 Count[10] (WCW)
    • "Eye of the Hurricane" by Jim Johnston[105] (August 2001 – October 2005; August 2009 – February 2010)
    • "It's Time" by Jim Johnston[106] (February 2007 – January 2009)

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Helms (as The Hurricane) with the World Tag Team Championship.
  • Carolina Championship Wrestling Alliance
    • CCWA Light Heavyweight Championship (2 times)[1]
  • New Dimension Wrestling
    • NDW Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Mike Maverick[107]
  • Pro Wrestling International
    • PWI International Heavyweight Championship (1 time, current)[85]
  • Southern Championship Wrestling
    • SCW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[1]
    • SCW Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Mike Maverick[1]
  • Southern Wrestling Alliance
    • SWA Light Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[3]
  • Texas Championship Wrestling
    • TCW Texas Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Lenny Lane[3]
  • World Wrestling Organization
    • WWO Light Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[1]

Lucha de Apuesta record[edit]

Wager Winner Loser Location Date Notes
Mask The Hurricane Paul Burchill Philadelphia, Pennsylvania November 17, 2009 Mask vs. Career match on ECW on SyFy [113]

Footnotes[edit]

1 Helms was part of the group called 3 Count, which won the title jointly, and the WCW Hardcore Championship was defended under the Freebird Rule.[3]

References[edit]

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