PWTorch Livecast – Interview Thursday: Pat McNeill with Hurricane Helms
Release date: June 15, 2017
Recap by: Jon Ensman
2:04 – Kick off with Pat McNeill introducing the show
3:04 – Hurricane Helms joins the show
4:33 – Impact in Mumbai
8:50 – Potentially wrestling Andrew Everett
12:06 – If Helms could see himself going back to WWE
14:16 – The Hardys departure from Impact
16:37 – Does Helms see a boom period in the near future?
19:19 – Any WWE regrets?
21:51 – 205 Live
30:31 – Thoughts on a Zack Ryder heel turn, the upcoming McGregor vs. Mayweather fight
36:10 – Helms’ thoughts on Desmond Xavier
42:28 – If TNA could make a developmental deal with CWF
46:40 – Impact and Anthem
50:08 – Wrestling with a mask
57:45 – How Helms would produce the women’s Money In The Bank ladder match
1:01:14 -Bobby Lashley and Alberto El Patron
After a bit of fluff, Pat introduces Helms. Hurricane comments on how every time he does this interview show it is always with Pat and never with Wade. He points out that he believes “Wade Keller fears the Hurricane,” which was pretty funny.
After some small talk, Pat asks Helms if he will be going to Mumbai, India with Impact. Helms says that he is not going and that the budget is tight for this Indian tour. Helms says it doesn’t have much to do with him personally and that he is okay with the decision. He has Indian experience already and seems okay with being left off.
The podcast then suffers from some technical difficulties. Hearing Pat and Helms try to talk to each other and having a five-second delay was awkward and ruined some of the experience. These difficulties go on for quite a while until Pat is forced to take a commercial break.
The lag is fixed and Pat goes to the first caller. They ask if Helms is interested in wrestling Andrew Everett. Helms points out that he does not have a talent contract with TNA. He claims he was brought in as an agent and that he is very picky about when he steps in the ring. Helms says he can still ‘go’ but praises his managerial role. He talks about how it is important to be a manager in the TNA X Division because it is “hard to hate” wrestlers in the division. I assume he is talking about being a heel manager to help get heat on the X Division talent.
The first caller asks if Helms could see himself going back to WWE. He says he has always been on good terms with WWE and that he still does projects for them here and there. He says there is “always a possibility to work with WWE again.”
Pat then asks about Helms’ social experience surrounding The Hardys departure from TNA. This is one of the best moments of the show when Pat asks “Has it been a little awkward for you?” Helms immediately replies by saying “Yep!” and leaving a pause. You can tell from his tone that Helms has been quite affected by the whole Hardy situation. Helms said the awkwardness might be the result of being friends with everybody. He then goes on to state he does not talk about contracts and money with his friends. Helms claims his friend’s money is none of his business. Eventually, he says he wants it all to go away and that he finds the situation annoying.
Pat reads an email question: “Shane, is there anything you didn’t get to do in WWE that you would have loved to do with that character?” Of course, he is referring to the superhero gimmicked Hurricane Helms. Helms seems pretty happy with his performance and says he ran the gamut with his character. Helms tells us that he may be one of the most popular masked Americans in wrestling and there is a slight comparison made to Rey Mysterio Jr., who Helms calls the best cruiserweight ever.
The email questions continue with the emailer wondering about Helms’ thoughts on 205 live. Helms believes it could be a hot show but is clearly dismayed at the after Smackdown taping spot, saying that the audience suffers fatigue from watching so much wrestling.
Helms says that in WCW “For a while they started filming Thunder after Nitro” and that it is just too much for an audience. Helms has some good words about the 205 live talent including Rich Swann and Austin Aries. He stresses that the show needs a totally new taping schedule. After this, he bashes the three hour Raw and compares its length to movies, which are commonly less than two hours.
A Zack Ryder Heel Turn
After the break, Pat takes another caller who asks two questions. First, they ask Pat and Helms how they would feel about a Zack Ryder heel turn. Helms says he is a big fan or Zack but points out that he smiles too much. “They would beat him to death, beat him to death and he would always come out smiling. What the hell is he so happy about?” Helms exclaims that being beat as a baby face is hard to deal with since you might lose merch sales and your stock goes down. Helms discusses his amateur wrestling career and how losses there affected him, he says losing pissed him off and after two or three losses he was fired up. Helms believes pro wrestlers should adopt this same attitude for their characters.
Pat takes another caller and this caller asks to hear Helms’ thoughts on Dezmond Xavier. Helms jokes about Xavier’s hairline, calling it “perfect.” In one of the more interesting segments on this show, Helms talks about the difference between a gimmicked wrestler and a ‘wrestler’ wrestler. He says “Those type of characters take a little bit longer to get over in wrestling because we’ve seen a lot of wrestlers. You know when I come out dressed like a
superhero, I get your attention right away because they didn’t see anything like me in a while. When you’re a ‘wrestler’ wrestler it takes a little bit longer because now you got to impress people just with your in-ring.” This was an interesting statement that many a wrestling fan could probably debate. It was some good insight into the idea of characters in the world of wrestling from a guy who has played many different roles in the squared circle.
As far as Desmond Xavier goes, Helms seems positive about Dezmond Xavier’s future but is still pensive about some of his skills such as his promo ability. He says Xavier has a tremendous upside and sounds like a fan of the young wrestler and says that “there is nothing holding him back right now.”
An emailer asks if Impact is looking to make developmental deals with anyone and recommends CWF. Helms says that Impact’s developmental is the independent scene itself. Helms talks highly of CWF and many of their talent but doesn’t make any kind of statement about Impact making a developmental deal. In a funny statement, Helms says Matt has some [championship] belts of his and that it isn’t fair since Matt can’t defend them anymore. I assume Helms is talking about Matt Hardy and not Matt Morgan or Matt Stryker, although I’m not completely sure and it is never explained in the podcast. Feasibly he is talking about Matt Hardy, who is brought up a few other times during the show and is a friend of Hurricane Helms.
Pat McNeill then asks Helms about Impact’s newfound relationship with Anthem and asks him how much it has helped. Helms says he doesn’t really notice any difference and points out he has never really had problems with anyone. In Helms’ eyes, the weirdest part of the transfer has been a change in creative. Finally, Helms goes on to say that “I never had a late check before.” He says he gets his travel and his check and that things are okay with him.
Wearing a Mask
Pat goes back the emails and finds an interesting question for Helms about working in a mask and how working with a mask affects a wrestler’s breathing and vision. Helms says that his mask in WWE was fairly comfortable but it did affect his vision and pulled on his Adam’s apple sometimes. He also had to form a certain walk because it was difficult to see down with his mask. His new mask is $800.00. It is much better than his old one and he can see fine.
The second question from the emailer is simply about sweat. How does Helms deal with sweat under the mask? While Helms’s answer is boring (“I don’t sweat much”) there is a great story that comes out of his answer. Helms says that Val Venis and D-Von Dudley are the sweatiest people in wrestling. Helms claims they both did a shoulder tackle and showered the front rows with sweat. “They are incredibly profusely sweaters.”
Money in the Bank
For the next question, Pat asks Helms how he might produce a women’s Money in the Bank Match. Helms responds by saying “It may not be as challenging as you think.” He praises the current female WWE workers and says that these are “not just Barbie dolls.” Helms talks psychology being different in a ladder match but sounds very confident in the current group of performers. Helms echoes the fear that many wrestling journalists have brought up: these girls are going to want to do something crazy. Pat plays it off and says that “going crazy” might not be the right term, but Helms reinforces his opinion by saying “I think ‘going crazy’ is going to be exactly what they’re going to want to do.” He brings up Charlotte as an example and points out she often performs the corkscrew moonsault even if there is no one there that can properly catch her. Helms finishes up by saying “There’s a little bit of braveness and a little bit of craziness that goes into what we do period.”
The questions continue. Pat talks to Helms about TNA’s next big PPV and brings up two of the company’s stars: Alberto El Patron (Alberto Del Rio in WWE) and Bobby Lashley. Pat asks Helms how he feels about these two headliners. Helms states that Bobby is better than he ever has been right now. He compares Patron and Lashley by saying that they both have an MMA background and will match up physically. He calls Alberto El Patron a ‘firecracker’.
After this, Pat asks about the ‘battle for the announce table’ fight featured on TNA’s upcoming Slammiversary PPV. The match features Jeremy Borash and Joseph Park against Josh Matthews and Scott Steiner. According to Helms, Jeremy Borash did some hands-on training with The Great Khali. Helms puts Jeremy Borash over and tells us that we should expect good things from him. Helms speaks about himself being excited for this match and says that Borash will be the best one in it. He ribs Pat a bit and tells Pat “You don’t sound convinced.” Helms’ facetiousness throughout the interview is a fun part of the listen.
Pat brings up Bound For Glory in October and says nonchalantly about the flagship PPV: “That could also be fun.” In a funny part of the show, Hurricane Helms jokes about Pat’s hype job of the show, mimicking him and saying “That could be fun.” Pat tried to defend himself by explaining that he doesn’t know anything about the show, still, Helms pushes on and says “That could be fun. That’s going to be my new line.” This little exchange was pretty funny and I
feel like Helms calling out Pat’s unenthusiastic nature made him try to deflect the subject and ask about the creative team and other agents in Impact. He asks if there is anything that Helms is looking forward to with the group. Helms replies by saying “not me specifically no.” Most importantly, Helms says that his contract is up in July. Finally, Pat says goodbye to his guest and wraps up the podcast.
This episode receives 7 superhero masks out of 10.
This was an above average show. Very little revealed was shocking or super newsworthy, but getting to know more about a talent such as Hurricane Helms was fun, and learning more about TNA was also interesting. Some of the more entertaining parts were Helms joking with Pat and Helms’s reaction to the Hardy Boyz’ departure. Besides the technical flaws, this Interview Thursday was pretty good but not great. I had fun listening to it and I am always excited for who PWTorch will be talking to next week.