Royal Rumble season always brings about surprises, and one of those last year was a Fightful Alumni in "Hurricane" Shane Helms.
Helms hadn't appeared in WWE for over eight years, making his appearance all the more surprising. When Fightful.com asked him to recount how he ended up getting the call, he said that a well-timed post helped him out.
"Me using social media and not a self-serving thing, it was in a funny way. It was after Enzo Amore got fired and they didn't have a Cruiserweight Champion, so I posted a picture of me with the WCW and WWE Cruiserweight Titles with the caption "I know a guy." That kind of became one of my catchphrases for the year, and that picture went viral. WWE contacted me, and they had thought about me for Rumbles previously but I was under contract or injured. This time it was perfect timing. I popped into their head because of the picture, I was free, I was healthy. There you go," said Helms.
Being a surprise in the Royal Rumble means WWE goes the extra mile to hide you, for fear of news leaking and spoiling the appearance. According to Helms, one of his favorite moments of the night was actually something that fans didn't get to see.
"30 minutes before the Royal Rumble. We were hid. A lot of the people in the actual match didn't even know we were going to be there. The pay-per-view had already started, and they sneak us in the building. That was a cool moment too, because I get to see the boys' reaction to me. Some of the guys lit up and guys from production that I knew from nearly a decade before. That was a super special moment on a personal level. The fans didn't get to see that, but that was very cool," Helms said.
As for the idea itself, Helms was asked who he wanted to work with, and decided to go for the biggest name. However, it took some convincing before the legendary John Cena would end up tossing him out of the match. Helms remembered the moment when he knew that he'd sealed a classic Royal Rumble moment that played off of one of his most famous ones.
"The idea was for me to get in there with Cena. There was going to be a couple of other guys. 'Think about who you could do something best with.' So of course I pick Cena (laughs). It was a play off of my Rumble moment with Steve Austin and Triple H. They were two of the top guys. If I'm gonna be in there, that's what I would do," At first Cena was like 'Ah, I don't want to be the one to throw you out.' I said 'whether I'm King Kong or not, I think I am. I have to go after Godzilla.' He started laughing and I knew I had him there. He's the ultimate good guy, but when I explained it to him, you could see him grinning. I would have been cool if he said no. I was going to swing for the fences. Here's how cool Cena is -- if he'd have said no, it wouldn't happen. It's going to be quick, in and out, but if Cena says no, it doesn't happen. It just worked out perfectly, and that pop was ridiculous. As far as us being one-on-one, that was the first time we touched."
You can hear our full interview with Shane Helms above.
Make sure you tune in to the reborn Highway 2 Helms Podcast!