Former WWE Tag Team Champion Shane Helms joined Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman on a recent episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily where he discussed Roman Reigns' current run as WWE Universal Champion and his partnership with Paul Heyman. Helms said he is a fan of what WWE is doing with Reigns and spoke on the relationship WWE has with its fan base.
"First of all, I love what he's doing right now, and this is one of those I couldn't wait for this to happen. The Paul thing caught me by surprise," Helms admitted. "That actually added something to it because, like I said, just didn't expect that, but I really like this new level and edginess. Roman is a badass guy. He's a tough guy. He's got this fantastic look, but the fans just because of how they are, they're clamoring for something, and then when you give it to him, 'oh, they're shoving it down our throats.' We have the weirdest relationship with our fan base."
Helms also discussed his relationship with the Anoa'i family. Helms scored an upset victory over The Rock in 2003, and after, he began a partnership with Rosey, Reigns' late older brother, where the two would win the WWE Tag Team Titles. Helms admitted that he never really knew Reigns when he was younger but noted that he shares a crazy connection with the Anoa'i family.
"I met Roman a couple times, Joe, when he was younger when I was teaming with Rosey but nothing like where we hung out or anything like that. Just a few brief meetings," Helms said. "So that's why when I went back in 2018 for the Rumble appearance, that's when all those pictures, this one specifically (points to a photo on his wall), made the WWE website because we just had that talk, and Rosey had passed by this point.
"And it was tough for both of us. They favor each other so much, and it's like when I see him and then there was that moment of, he looks so much like him. It just brings up all these emotions. He's just a guy that I like a lot. I'm very fond of that whole family. Just so many great memories. So many different members of that family. I have a crazy connection with that family. I'm very proud of it."
Hausman and Helms also discussed the different kinds of heat in pro wrestling. They discussed how volatile fan reactions can be, using RETRIBUTION as an example. Helms said that fans can change their minds about something organically using The Rock as Rocky Maivia as an example.
"That can be done. I think that's been done a lot," Helms noted. "Rock's the best example. They genuinely did not like Rocky Maivia. I think even he looks back when he debuted in Survivor Series and the outfit with the goofy hair and the tassels and all of that. I'm sure he doesn't look back at that now and go, 'man, that was pretty cool.' That wasn't intended to get heat, but it did. There are things that can happen organically, and generally, if something happens organically, I think we both can admit, that's generally the best stuff."
While Helms compared RETRIBUTION to The Rock, he stated that he's still not fully on-board with the faction just yet. He feels that it is something that is thrown at the wall with the hope that it will stick.
"Keep in mind, I'm still not on board with RETRIBUTION at all. I still don't understand any of the logistics behind it," Helms admitted. "To me, it's one of those ideas that was thrown against the wall, and then they're just doing it."
Mustafa Ali has been revealed to be the leader of RETRIBUTION but the group lost their first match together with Ali as their leader. After the match, The Fiend destroyed the entire group. Helms admitted that he has seen ideas be given up on, and he spoke on his experience as a producer and the dialogue he keeps with talent that he works with.
"That's how... that's hard to say without being in his meetings," Helms noted. "I have seen them give up on ideas. I've been a part of ideas that they gave up on for no reason whatsoever, and your just kind of like, 'OK, did something happen?' As a producer, I always wanted to let my talent know, 'hey, this didn't work. You did this wrong' and not all talent is receptive to that, which kind of sucks is. As a professional, you have to be open to that, but not everyone is. But I want to know if I did bad. What did I do that was bad? I know what I did was good. I can genuinely hear the people. I need to know what was bad, and I always compare this to Stephen King.
"Stephen King is one of the most prolific writers of our time. Who knows how many books he's written. He still needs an editor. He still needs somebody to go, 'hey you missed a comma here. You need this. You shouldn't use the semicolon.' He needs it, and that's what a good producer can do, but the talent does have to be receptive to that. But sometimes, if you don't hear that as a talent and then they stopped using you, you're like, 'OK, what happened here? We were going really good, and then they put the brakes on it and nobody really knows why.'
"And sadly enough, that's just something they do sometimes I think creative sometimes gets bored or something, and I was talking about this with myself earlier. Sometimes I got bored of doing something, and so I stopped it even though my fanbase didn't want me to. I think companies do that as well, and that's not just WWE I'm speaking of. That's all companies. They'll get tired of an angle. 'I want to do something else,' even though, there's still an audience that's hungry for it."
Shane Helms can be seen every Thursday night, 7/6c, as part of the Pro Wrestling Report on FITE.TV. The show is free to stream. You can following Shane on Twitter @ShaneHelmsCom.
Shane's full interview aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it's released Monday - Friday afternoon by clicking here.