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WWE Superstars - Smackdown
Gregory Shane Helms (born July 12, 1974) is an American professional wrestler, performing for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) on its SmackDown! brand where he is the current WWE Cruiserweight Champion.
After wrestling in many independent promotions, including the Organization of Modern Extreme Grappling Arts (OMEGA) promotion founded by Matt and Jeff Hardy, Helms and his friend Shannon Moore signed with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in 2000.
In WCW, Helms's first break came as a member of the heel team 3 Count with Moore and Evan Karagias. The trio was a parody of the popular boy bands of the time and their gimmick involved making music videos and performing before their matches, during which their opponents tended to attack them before the match started. Helms later split from the group, and was dubbed "Sugar" Shane Helms by the fans, and found success as WCW Cruiserweight Champion. He was the reigning Cruiserweight Champion immediately before WCW was bought out by the then World Wrestling Federation (WWF).
Helms, after a name change from Shane to his first name of Gregory due to stem confusion that WWF staff thought would be caused from having him and Shane McMahon as active members in the organization, was brought in as a part of the Invasion storyline as member of The Alliance. Along the way, he had another name change to Hurricane Helms, but found little success until he began using The Hurricane character.
Helms's superhero character was loosely based on The Green Lantern; he sports a tattoo of the hero's logo on his right biceps. His real-life fixation of the character was parlayed into The Hurricane gimmick, and Helms gradually evolved into a full superhero character to the point of wearing a costume to the ring. During his time in the locker room he would dress as a 1950s reporter with glasses, using his real name, as a homage to Clark Kent (Superman), right down to the similarity in the name of the newspaper he reported for, the Daily Globe.
Originally a heel (via his membership in The Alliance), Helms believed himself to have superhuman powers. He would, for example, wrestle heavyweights and attempt to chokeslam them, but given his comparatively small size,comically couldn't even pick the other wrestlers up. Over time, his character increasingly received positive fan reaction. Helms became a face and was able to chokeslam some of his opponents, often acting surprised at his own strength. Royal Rumble 2002 was one of the Hurricane's more memorable moments of "superhuman strength", as he stormed the ring during the Royal Rumble match and attempted (and failed) to double chokeslam that year's megastars Triple H and Stone Cold Steve Austin.
He would make his return 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. The week afterwards, 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 Scotty 2 Hotty and cut a promo about being better than all of the cruiserweights. At this point all the cruiserweights at the show (who were in contention for the belt) invaded the ring and beat down Helms using all of their signature moves. It was later announced by SmackDown! General Manager, Teddy Long, at No Way Out, Helms would be set to face all these cruiserweights in a match for the title. Helms was able to retain the championship. Later, Long mandated that Helms has to defend his title against a cruiserweight each week on SmackDown! to prove that he is better than all the cruiserweights. Helm's first defense under this new rule was against Psicosis of the Mexicools; Helms once again retained with help from the ropes.
On the March 10, 2006 edition of SmackDown!, Teddy Long told Helms that he didn't have to defend his title due to the fact that he had a broken nose (Which he suffered during a Smackdown! trip to Brisbane, Australia). Instead, Long put Helms in a champion vs. champion match against United States Champion Chris Benoit. During the match, Helms narrowly escaped a Sharpshooter and left the ring. However, his escape was blocked by four other cruiserweights - Kid Kash, Jamie Noble, Paul London, and Brian Kendrick - who grabbed Helms and threw him back into the ring, where Benoit locked in the crossface for the win.
Helms went on to undergo successful surgery on his nose was expected to miss five to six weeks. During this time SmackDown! announcers would state that Helms had a no-compete clause in his contract allowing him to miss ring time due to any injury. Helms returned to the ring during the April 28, 2006 edition of SmackDown!, teaming with MNM to face Paul London, Brian Kendrick and Super Crazy in a six-man tag team competition. Helms continued on with defending his belt during PPV's but made more regular appearances on SmackDown!'s sister show, WWE Velocity.
Helms would continue on defending his title against other cruiserweights while on occasion facing off against SmackDown!'s other title holders in champion vs. champion matches. Helms would face then World Heavyweight Champion Rey Mysterio on June 16, 2006 and then United States Champion Bobby Lashley on July 7, 2006, losing both matches. Eventually, Helms became the longest cruiserweight champion in WWE history and for the rest of 2006 would feud with Matt Hardy who Helms exchanged victories with in several matches on SmackDown! and on PPV.