The term "Great White Hope" comes from a play written by Howard Sackler and was based off the life of the first African-American World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Jack Johnson.
However, in real life, racism and prejudice played a part in how white people were looking for a "great white hope" to defeat Jack Johnson for the championship after Johnson was successful in multiple title defenses.
Boxing promoters billed each contender as "The Great White Hope" to defeat Johnson, but they were all unsuccessful for seven long years. Johnson was finally defeated by a man named Jess Willard, who also went by the nickname "The Great White Hope."
Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to introduce you to a professional wrestler that I have given a fitting nickname to. While his story has practically nothing to with the brief boxing history lesson that you just read, the nickname makes all the sense in the world.
I am officially giving Sheamus the nickname of "The Great White Dope." In this article, I will explain exactly why I feel that Sheamus has had a completely lackluster run as World Heavyweight Champion and why he doesn't belong as a main-event superstar.
Since Royal Rumble 2012, Sheamus has been on a roll. He went into WrestleMania and defeated Daniel Bryan to become the World Heavyweight Champion in just 18 seconds. He has defended the championship against all comers and is all over WWE television each week.
There is no denying Sheamus' spot on the roster. And as much as I disagree with him being at the top of the card, it is a reality that I just have to deal with. However, why does it feel like he should be at the bottom?
Often times in life, the chase is better than the catch. The same thing applies to professional wrestling right now and always has.
Sheamus hasn't had the opportunity to properly chase the World Championship. When he first took on John Cena for the WWE Championship at TLC 2009, Cena fell off the top rope through a table and Sheamus was declared the winner.
This win was a complete fluke for Sheamus and provided nothing for his heat against Cena. When Sheamus lost the championship back to Cena [who subsequently dropped it to Batista in the same night] at Elimination Chamber 2010, Sheamus quickly became an afterthought.
When Sheamus won his second championship later that year at Fatal 4-Way, he once again pinned Cena, but after a vicious assault by Nexus. Once again, Sheamus was WWE Champion, but it came out of nowhere and again had no heat behind it.
After he dropped the WWE Championship to Randy Orton at Night of Champions towards the end of 2010,Sheamus was in a spot that I believe he belongs: the mid-card.
Sheamus went through a run as winner of King of the Ring and as United States Champion. When 2011 rolled around and a babyface turn was in his future, the resume of Sheamus spoke for itself. He had nearly done it all in the business and had nowhere to go but up.
Before we knew it, he went on a dominant win streak on the fast road to Royal Rumble 2012.
Everybody and their mother thought that Chris Jericho was primed to win, but Sheamus pulled off the upset and was on his way to a monumental clash with Daniel Bryan for the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania.
I know the word monumental doesn't really fit for what took place at WrestleMania 28, but it should have. A year earlier at WrestleMania 27, Sheamus was booked to wrestle Daniel Bryan with the United States Championship on the line and it was bumped from the Pay Per View and shown only to the crowd in attendance as a dark match.
When WrestleMania 28 took place, the match ended with an 18-second Sheamus victory. Even though Sheamus was the victor, Daniel Bryan left Miami a shining star with a fresh new catchphrase and a bigger fan following than ever.
This was the worst way to kick off a World Heavyweight Championship run. There was no heat built in the match and no time to make a truly memorable moment for Sheamus. The only thing anyone remembers is the "YES" chants from the thousands in attendance.
We come full circle from the beginning of the article. The chase is always better than the catch.
During his run as World Heavyweight Champion over the last few months, there really hasn't been any heat built around the reign of Sheamus. Although he has been lucky to have tremendous wrestlers to work with, there have been no personal issues that have been made and every challenge is simply a championship match with nothing else at stake.
Should Sheamus Be World Heavyweight Champion?
Most will tell you that a personal issue between wrestlers is the best way to build heat for a big match. Sheamus may have a guy like Daniel Bryan or Alberto Del Rio attack him from behind and injure his shoulder heading into their big match, but if that is the only heat that is capable of being built, there is a serious problem.
I'm not saying Sheamus doesn't deserve what he has earned. It is quite obvious that the guy works hard and is always wrestling. However, he just doesn't fit the bill at the moment. Maybe it is because there are no heel champions right now or maybe it is because I'd like to see a better wrestler carry the championship...
The fact of the matter for me is this: Sheamus is WWE's "Great White Dope." A big, muscular translucent white guy with fiery red hair that doesn't do anything spectacular. He is just "there" and says the word "fella" a lot. His shtick isn't funny and he is not that great in the ring.
We all know that Triple H is his good buddy, but how long will it take for him to notice that ratings and interest are tanking around the championship reign of Sheamus?
Let's get this trending on Twitter if you agree with my stance on Sheamus...
Do you agree with what I said about Sheamus being the WWE's "Great White Dope?" Please get the conversation started below and let me know what you think.
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