Fightin' Fanboys

Fightin' Fanboys: Gregory Helms Pt. 2

The one-time wrestling super hero speaks on his sidekicks, lending comics to the Undertaker and how he almost played Gambit on the big screen.

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By Ben Morse Every comic book fan fantasizes about being a real life super hero, but Gregory Helms actually got to live the dream. A 14 year veteran of professional wrestling, Helms spent four of those years as the Hurricane, the resident masked crimefighter of World Wrestling Entertainment. With his signature green cape and over the top physical mannerisms, the Hurricane reigned consistently as one of WWE's most entertaining and popular superstars, connecting with fans—particularly children and of course comic book fans—and then backing it up with serious skills in the ring.

Gregory Helms

In 2006, ditching the Hurricane gimmick, Helms claimed his third Cruiserweight title and went on to have the longest reign of any champion in the history of that belt, holding onto the strap for a record-shattering 385 days. In May of 2007, Helms got the bad news that he had two broken vertebrae in his neck and would need to miss a year of action. Helms has never made any secret of his passion for comics, and Marvel.com caught up with the self-proclaimed "biggest comic book geek in wrestling" as he trains for his return to talk rasslin', funnybooks and his irrational love for the Beyonder.
Before you go any further, check out the first part of this interview here if you haven't already. Marvel.com: Let's talk sidekicks for second. You had two sidekicks over the course of your Hurricane days: Mighty Molly and Rosey. If you had to choose, who was the better sidekick? Gregory Helms: In the ring, in a fight, I'd rather have a 400 pound Samoan [Rosey] than a 120 pound girl [Molly]. [Laughs]

"Rosey would
probably be
the Thing"

Marvel.com: Now what comic sidekicks would you compare your sidekicks to? Gregory Helms: Humbug? [Laughs] I dunno. Rosey was a guy with a great big heart. Maybe like the Thing. Rosey would probably be the Thing. An insanely powerful guy. Rosey was a guy if you bump into him, he'll knock you down. He would run into guys and they would go flying. Mighty Molly, I don't know [who] to compare her to. She was so talented wrestling-wise, I wanted to incorporate her into all my matches but it became very hard because sometimes she was just out there cosmetically. You know she's a very pretty girl in a superhero costume, so fanboys worldwide loved that. I wish I could have done more with her in the ring she was so good. Marvel.com: What Marvel hero do you think the Hurricane would have gotten along well with?

Hurricane could
relate to Morph

Gregory Helms: Probably a Spider-Man character. Because my character was definitely a goofy guy. He'd do whatever he wanted to. Maybe Morph from Exiles. Those types of characters. I dunno. Marvel.com: On the flip-side, what Marvel villain do you think would be his archenemy? Gregory Helms: I would have to go with Dr Doom. He's been my favorite villain forever, so Dr. Doom or Thanos…I don't know if Hurricane has space powers so I dunno. Marvel.com: Finally, What Marvel team do you think you would join? Gregory Helms: Is the Great Lakes Avengers still around? [Laughs] Marvel.com: If today, Marvel came to you and said, "Hey, we're doing a Hurricane comic book," who would be your ideal choice to write and draw the book? Gregory Helms: [David] Finch [who] was doing [art on] MOON KNIGHT for a while. That guy's crazy good. I guess the art would depend on would we want to be silly or a serious kind of thing. Billy Tan [too], his stuff's hot. For writers, I gotta go with

Helms dug Finch
on MOON KNIGHT

[Brian] Bendis right now. Bendis or [Ed] Brubaker. Those two right now are just at the top of their game. Bendis has been at the top of his game for awhile. He's really in stride. Marvel.com: Do you go to a lot of comic shows still? Gregory Helms: Yeah, I mean now when I can. I wanted to go to that San Diego Comic-Con forever and I hadn't been able to scheduling-wise. And with the injury, I was in a neck brace. I was [at Comic-Con] and there was a person there dressed up as the Hurricane and his girlfriend was dressed up as Mighty Molly. Mike Dougherty, one of the writers of [the X-Men movies whom] I've known for many years told me about it. I went down and tapped the guy on the shoulder and he started freaking out and started running around in circles. [Laughs] Marvel.com: Would you say that was your most memorable fan encounter? Gregory Helms: That was fun but I would have to say my most memorable fan encounter was going to Iraq and meeting the soldiers. I've done a ton of work with

The Hurricane

children and going to children's hospitals and stuff like that. That's my most memorable stuff. Marvel.com: Now that you're over a year removed from being the Hurricane, how have you settled into your new gimmick and also do you ever miss being a super hero? Gregory Helms: I miss being the Hurricane. The one thing I do miss more than anything is seeing the kids that were dressed up as the Hurricane. I do miss that. The Hurricane was a lot of fun. Gregory Helms kind of goes back to how I competed on the amateur level. I did that for seven years [before going pro] so that part of me wants to go out there and just tie it up. The [best] part about being Gregory Helms is reminding people just how [well] I can wrestle. Because with Hurricane they wanted to see the shenanigans. So wrestling as Gregory Helms is now like, "Hey remember me? I'm really good." And people forget that because my personality was so loud as the Hurricane. Marvel.com: Who else in the WWE locker room do you talk comics with? Is there anyone who can at least hold their own with you? Gregory Helms: Not really, and it's funny because we'll go on a long tour, let's say we do an international tour, and I always have a stack with me and people are

"You creased my
comics!"

always borrowing them and reading them and stuff like that. But as far as anybody with my knowledge, not really. Actually most recently [I found out that] MVP has a great knowledge of comics. I didn't expect him to be a comic book guy, but he knew a lot of stuff. And Matt Hardy still asks me stuff. He's still curious about it but he hasn't jumped into it like I have. Marvel.com: You said a lot of other wrestlers borrow your comics—do you ever get nervous that they'll ruin them or something? Gregory Helms: Oh every time. People don't understand if you bend a comic—don't crease the cover, if you crease the cover you ruin it. And you don't want to come off as whiny, but it's your stuff, you want to take care of it. Marvel.com: You're a big dude but if someone like the Undertaker creased a comic would you still get in his face about it? Gregory Helms: No, I would just let that one slide and I would go buy another one. [Laughs]

"They made the
Enforcers cool!"

Marvel.com: In your opinion, what's the best book on the stands right now? Gregory Helms: I got my stack today and NEW AVENGERS was on the top and that's the one I read right away. I still love THE PUNISHER too. They're doing great stuff with the Punisher. And if it's not NEW AVENGERS, it's DAREDEVIL. DAREDEVIL is just so complex, man. You know, they made the Enforcers cool. If you asked me how to make the Enforcers cool, I wouldn't have had an answer. Marvel.com: What are your favorite and least favorite of the Marvel movies? Gregory Helms: The last X-Men movie was I guess my favorite. Yeah I thought the last X-Men movie was just really cool. And I hope to see Magneto come back in the books and the movies. ["Spider-Man 2"] I thought was really good. And ["Spider-Man"] was good too but I thought the Green Goblin was ridiculous. The Spider-Man movies have been pretty consistently good. But I think [in] the first and third [movies] they really "silly-fied" the villains. When people try to make comic book movies funny, that's when they mess up. "Comic" doesn't necessarily mean comedy. And I think some people in Hollywood confuse the two. Because Venom

Helms: not a
dancing Spidey fan

made Peter Parker ruthless, it didn't make him bebop down the street. [Laughs] I remember watching that and going, "What in the hell is this? What is he doing?" And Venom got defeated way too easily. They tried to cram too much in one movie. I think the Venom story would have been great by itself. Marvel.com: What Marvel character would you like to play in a movie? Gregory Helms: Beyonder. [Laughs] Beyonder is my go to answer for everything. When [Mike Dougherty was] doing the X-Men movies, I was indirectly offered a chance to do Gambit. I'm down with some of the writers there and one of the producers, Tom DeSanto. Really nice guy. He asked me where I was from and was telling me I sound Cajun and I was like, "Yeah, I get that all the time." So anyway, he looks at me and he goes, "You could be Gambit." And so I go, "I could be Gambit." [Laughs] And he asked if I wanted to read for him and I was like "Hells yeah." So I was really excited about that but then that writing team moved to Superman. [Laughs]

Helms was almost
Gambit

Maybe there's still a chance. It'd be great, I wouldn't have to train. They wouldn't have to get me in shape. Well [right] now they would, but [by] June I'd be ready. I got the accent down. That would be cool. Marvel.com: Okay, we've got some wrestling vs. comic book matches for you. First up: Hurricane & Rosey vs. Captain America & Bucky… Gregory Helms: Well if it was Bucky and not the Winter Soldier, we'd take out Bucky early on. Try to distract the Captain and beat Bucky up. If we were dealing with the Winter Soldier now, we might just have to run. He's got an attitude problem. And it depends on [if] weapons [are] allowed. If there are no weapons allowed then I think we've got a distinct advantage. But if there [are] weapons allowed, with the shield and stuff. man—Rosey ain't fast. [Laughs] He's powerful, but he ain't fast. Marvel.com: Gregory Helms vs. Gambit in a ladder match… Gregory Helms: In a ladder match, I definitely got the experience. And my experience would play a key factor in that. If he's not a registered super hero, and I don't think he is, then I don't even think he'd be allowed to compete in the match or

This Hurricane
wants no part
of Storm

he wouldn't be allowed to use his powers. With the Super {Humn] Registration Act I would [get] the DQ win. Marvel.com: Intergender Match: Hurricane vs. Storm… Gregory Helms: I'd try to make it interesting. [Laughs] I would just prolong the match. Just keep wrestling. I [wouldn't] try to beat her, just keep [it] going on and on and on. I would try to make it last an hour and tire her out. Marvel.com: When you do return to action later this year, where do you see yourself going? Gregory Helms: I had fun on [both "Raw" and "Smackdown"]. I will say I liked "Smackdown" better. For no particular reason, I did like "Smackdown" better. I want to do things that I haven't already done. I have the longest Cruiserweight title reign of anyone in history—not just in WWE, but in wrestling period. I would personally love for the Cruiserweight title to get the attention it deserves because a lot of times it doesn't. And I'd love to be a part of that if that was the case. But if

Coming back
stronger than
ever

it's not, I just want to do things I haven't done. My goal is not to repeat, just do the things I haven't done and do them even better. Right now my goal is to come back better than I was from a health stand point. My body's healing and I'm starting to feel really good so it's good to go away and then come back better than ever. For more WWE action catch No Way Out, coming to pay-per-view this Sunday! For more info visit WWE.com.

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