wrestling / News

Shane Helms on Triple H Once Calling Him ‘An Internet Guy,’ How Wrestlers Purposefully Try to Anger Fans Online to Get Heat

October 25, 2020 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Shane Helms Hurricane

The Wrestling Inc. Daily recently interviewed former WWE Superstar Shane Helms, who discussed his background as a computer programming major, getting Matt Hardy hooked on social media, and how that can affect wrestling in terms of trying to get heat from fans. Below are some additional highlights from WrestlingInc.com.

Shane Helms on getting Matt Hardy hooked on social media: “It was me. Matt just did the s*** I did and keeps taking the credit. When people mention it, he’ll go, ‘yeah, yeah.’ I actually helped Matt sign up for his Twitter account. He used to come over to my house and use my laptop whenever he couldn’t afford one of his own. Now, he’s addicted, and Reby, I apologize. That’s part of my doing, but it was just something new. I was in college for computer programming and stuff like that. So I was in that world more so than any of the other pro wrestlers that I knew, especially anybody in WWE or WCW. I always had the laptops and would spend stupid money on them when they cost stupid money back in the day. Just an interest I have.”

Shane Helms on Triple H once calling him the “internet guy”: “I wouldn’t use the word geek, but I’m sure some of those guys did and that was still in an era where they didn’t trust the internet guys, and it was something I was referred to. ‘Hey you’re an internet guy.’ I remember Triple H saying that to me one time. I was like, ‘What does that even mean?’ I just knew what the internet was going to be. Well, at least I had an idea. We’re giving the entire world access to just an unlimited amount of information, access to each other.

“From day one of even message boards, before websites were a thing, I had this idea that this is just going to get bigger and bigger and bigger, and it was just something, like I said, I’ve always had an interest in. I think my website ShaneHelms.com predates actual websites. It used to be, like I said, it was message boards. Message boards, for you younger listeners, you used to have to dial up, and it would take five minutes to even make that connection. You type on these little message boards, and it would take forever. I always liked the connection with different people and stuff like that and meeting different people and especially in the infancy, everybody was really nice. You didn’t have the trolls back then, so everybody was just super cool, but yeah, I was the computer guy in the locker room, and like I said, I never was quite sure what that meant. I was just like, ‘So is going to college bad? Is that looked down upon in this industry?'”

On how discourse on social media for wrestling is difficult since the goal of wrestlers is to sometimes make the fans mad: “I don’t know about frustration, and there is no real data on how large that number is in terms of social media. There’s a lot of overlap with different channels and different media in mediums and social media. So it’s really hard to tell how large that is. It does seem like the negative portion is just louder than the positive portion and that sometimes is what you have to deal with, but as an artist and a creator, you can’t ignore the criticism, but you can’t let it define yourself either. You have to accept that hey, sometimes there’s going to be people that just aren’t happy.

“I had a conversation, I’m not going to say the name because it’s an old timer, not an old older timer but just someone a little bit older than me that I value their opinion, but they weren’t a fan of the Savage-Steamboat match, and I was just blown away by that. I’m like, ‘How!? How can this be a thing?’ So if you can find somebody that doesn’t like that, you can find somebody that doesn’t like anything no matter what it is, but the most weirdest thing about pro wrestling as an industry compared to any other form of ticket-driven venue is one of our goals is to actively piss off the audience. That’s one of the goals. You can’t get heat if you don’t make them mad, and now because of social media, if you get good heat and you get mad it generates a negative traction. That’s a weird thing that the industry as a whole still hasn’t figured out how to navigate and no other industry has that. You don’t see the Rolling Stones getting up there and at the end of the concert going, ‘Hey, f*** y’all’ and trying to get them mad just so they’ll come back and see them get their ass kicked next week. No other people even have to do that. No other industry has to do that.”

Shane Helms on how wrestling is unique with social media: “Pro wrestling is very unique in that but now because of social media, so many people have a voice, and sometimes, it’s just heat. Now, sometimes, something sucks. That’s just par for the course. No other television entity has the guidelines or the challenges of pro wrestling. Nothing else even comes close. So sometimes, it’s just going to suck sometimes. It’s going to be a bad night. That’s not heat, but I’m talking about even when you do get real heat, that’s intermixed with the heat of it just sucks, and it’s hard to tell sometimes. Does this person have a justified viewpoint, or do they just hate everything? That water gets really muddied sometimes.”