The Vertebreaker is on WWE's no-fly list, but that hasn't stopped a bulletproof Seth Rollins from busting it out.
WWE agent Shane "Hurricane" Helms popularized the move in the United States, but shortly after moving over to WWE was told he couldn't use it anymore. Fast forward almost 15 years later, and Seth Rollins busted it out on the very experienced AJ Styles at a 2016 live event.
When speaking to Fightful, Helms said that he and Rollins briefly discussed it but unlike some others, he doesn't mind his old finishing move being used. Furthermore, Helms would go into detail about why the move was put on the shelf to begin with.
"I think we said something about it, but it was nothing bad. Like, I didn’t invent the Vertebreaker. I had no problems with anybody doing it. But when WWE banned it, that was a time in the business where a lot of guys got hurt with piledrivers so they said “eliminate it, all piledriver type maneuvers except for the Tombstone.” But all the other piledrivers got eliminated and basically my boss said “don’t do it.” I’m one of those weird people, I do what my boss says. And at the same time there was only about three people I could even pick up at that particular time. Everybody was gigantic back then, so it wasn’t a big deal for me. I didn’t mind doing the Eye of the Hurricane, I actually invented that move. So, that was fine with me," said Helms.
Now helping guide some of the youth in WWE, it's a position all too familiar to Helms. He's able to apply things that he learned from his first go as an agent in TNA to his modern day role in WWE. Some of that has to do with guys like AJ Styles and Rollins, who have an exciting style that often makes it tough to jeer them
"That X-Division style -- it's hard to hate any of those guys. And so I said, let me be a manager, let them hate me and at least there’ll be one element of this match that people hate. The more emotion you add to a match, I think, the better. Unfortunately creative in TNA wasn’t capturing what I was doing. They’re like “Yeah, but we’re trying to make this about so-and-so.” And like, I get that, this is what I’m trying to do. I’m having to explain psychology to people that don’t know it, which is sometimes very difficult. But it worked, and I knew it worked. I think now going forward I still think there’s even more of a place for managers in the business now than in the last couple decades," Helms told Fightful in an exclusive interview.
You can see our full conversation with Shane at the top of the page, and check out our full archive of his podcasts from his time with Fightful at this link.