Shane Helms first began wrestling in 1991 at the age of 17, and wrestled in numerous independent promotions, including the Organization of Modern Extreme Grappling Arts, winning numerous light heavyweight and tag team championships.
In 1999, he signed with WCW, and gained fame as "Sugar" Shane Helms, a member of 3 Count. During his time there he won both the WCW Hardcore Championship and the WCW Cruiserweight Championship. When WCW was bought by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE), Helms' contract was kept by WWF.
Helms renamed himself "The Hurricane" and won the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. He later picked up a sidekick, Rosey, and they won the World Tag Team Championship together. He dropped the superhero gimmick in 2005, and began wrestling under his real name.
He once again won the Cruiserweight Championship in early 2006, and held it for over a year, becoming the longest reigning Cruiserweight Champion and the longest reigning champion of any kind in SmackDown history. After being out of action for over a year after neck fusion surgery Helms returned to SmackDown in September 2008, referring to himself as Hurricane Helms, before moving to the ECW brand where he reverted to his Gregory Helms name, and became the backstage interviewer.
In mid-2009, he brought back The Hurricane character, and appeared as both Gregory Helms and The Hurricane on the ECW brand. After the ECW brand ended, Helms was released by WWE in February 2010, however he returned as a surprise entrant in the 2018 Royal Rumble match.
During a long interview with Fightful, Helms discussed WWE banning his Vertebreaker maneuver: “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."