Shane Helms credits Ric Flair for helping him transform from a comedy gimmick that risked languishing in lower-card matches into a more realistic character that helped extend his career.
Helms, formerly known as The Hurricane in WWE, has been involved in the pro-wrestling business for over thirty years. But despite going through many different phases during that career, most people remember him for his comedy antics as the Hurricane and especially his interactions with The Rock in 2003.
But despite the popularity of those segments, Helms knew that gimmick had a very short shelf life, which is why he took what Ric Flair said to him to heart and underwent a drastic character shift in 2006.
Shane Helms took Ric Flair’s praise as a sign that The Hurricane gimmick had outlived its usefulness
In an interview with Chris Van Vliet, Shane Helms explained that Ric Flair approached him one night and praised his talents, which Helms also took as a sign that it was time for him to hang up his mask.
“It wasn’t difficult for me, because I knew there was going to come a time when it had to happen. Everything gets watered down to a degree or hits a low at some point.
And Ric Flair really kind of jumpstarted it because I was doing a lot of stuff with him. And he just one time just pulled me aside and Ric has been such a mentor to me and in different ways. And one day he’s like, ‘You’re too good for this gimmick.’
It wasn’t the gimmick was bad, but I can only go so far. And that company was only going to let me go so far with that gimmick. And I understood that too.
So and I believed him and it’s just like, I need to go and remind him of who I was before I came here because Sugar Shane is one of the best light heavyweights in the world.”
Shane Helms has been signed to WWE under a Legends deal since March 2022 and has also served as a producer.