On the live edition of WWE SmackDown’s Blast from the Past on Tuesday, WWE general manager John Laurinaitis levied a fine to world heavyweight champion Sheamus in the amount of $500,000.
The fine was for Sheamus’s assault on WWE referee Chad Patton on SmackDown two weeks ago. After Sheamus was disqualified by Patton for wielding a steel chair in the main event match against Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus then delivered a vicious Brogue Kick to Patton to drop him like a bag of dirt.
After Laurinaitis issued the fine, many wrestling fans were flabbergasted on the amount that Sheamus will have to pay. To date, $500,000 is the largest fine that has ever been given to a wrestler in WWE history.
One question that most wrestling fans and members of the Internet wrestling community have been wondering is if Sheamus being fined $500,000 is too unrealistic. The answer to that question is answered with a resounding “yes.”
It is not known how much Sheamus’s actual salary is, as a contracted WWE employee, but most wrestling fans would harbour a guess that it’s significantly less than a seven-figure salary.
One of the greatest professional wrestling managers of all time, Jim Cornette, commented on more than one occasion that if a wrestler is to be fined, make the amount a number that fans will believe.
Sheamus’s receiving a half-a-million dollar fine validates the average wrestling fan's disbelief in the reality of in-ring action, as a fine that large is simply not realistic.
One of the key fundamentals of professional wrestling is to be able to suspend the fans' belief that pro wrestling storylines are scripted, and that the action in the ring is “fake.”
When pro wrestlers in storylines are fined with amounts that are so ridiculous, it makes the professional wrestling product less enjoyable for hardcore fans overall.
On the surface, it seems that the WWE writers that thought up this unrealistic fine amount think that most wrestling fans are gullible, or they simply do not care what the fans think.
There could be one possible theory as to why such an astronomical amount was levied to Sheamus. It is possible that the WWE writers wanted to book Sheamus as a massive star in the WWE, who has a large amount of cash handy as world heavyweight champion.
Hopefully that is not the case, because if it is, then the WWE writers really do not have much of an idea about what wrestling fans are all about, and why they watch professional wrestling.
If the WWE does not want to continue to lose fans of professional wrestling, it needs to take a moment, to stop and think about the fans for the moment.
For as much as the WWE and Vince McMahon do not want to admit it, without the fans, the WWE would cease to exist, and it would not have become the worldwide professional wrestling phenomenon it is today.