Sheamus will face off with Alberto Del Rio at Money in the Bank in his latest defense of the World Heavyweight Championship. After a dominant run over the past six months, the "Celtic Warrior" should once again retain his title on Sunday.
Things really started to turn around for Sheamus late last year when he started feuding with Christian, which propelled him toward an extended winning streak heading into the Royal Rumble. It was clear that he was once again on the rise after a brief lull.
If his push wasn't obvious before the Royal Rumble, winning the main event made it crystal clear. He entered at No. 22 and eliminated returning superstar Chris Jericho to earn his shot at one of the main titles at WrestleMania.
Ever since that point, he's been unstoppable. He started feuding with Daniel Bryan, who was the world title holder at that point, setting up their match at WrestleMania. Being the biggest event of the year, it's the best chance to steal the spotlight.
Sheamus did exactly that. He defeated Bryan in 18 seconds, with an assist from the company's newest star in A.J., to take control of the belt for the first time.
He has defended it at each of the last three pay-per-views—Extreme Rules, Over the Limit and No Way Out—which has pushed his title reign over 100 days. He's just the fourth World Heavyweight title holder since 2008 to reach that benchmark.
All told, he's right up there with CM Punk in terms of overall success this year. That should be enough to allow him to carry the belt into SummerSlam.
The same can't be said for Del Rio. His two WWE Championship reigns were less than impressive, mostly due to a lack of crowd involvement. He doesn't draw the intense negative reaction necessary for a top heel champ.
That hasn't stopped him from being pushed up the card repeatedly, but it's clear the WWE Universe still isn't completely sold on his character. No matter how hard the creative team has tried, the passion just hasn't been there recently.
He has top-notch wrestling ability. That's what originally got CM Punk and Bryan moved up the card, but both of those superstars have also excelled with their promos. Del Rio still hasn't mastered that aspect, leaving him a little bit behind.
Based on that and Sheamus' terrific build, it should be the "Great White" who walks out of US Airways Center with the belt. It just isn't a right time for a title change.