Sheamus’ title reign has come to an end.
He captured the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania when he defeated Daniel Bryan in the infamous 18-second match.
Since then, over these past six months, he’s wrestled nearly twice every week, went on a 25-match winning streak, talked about how much he loves a pint and said the word “arse” more times than you can count.
It was time for a change.
The WWE did what they could with Sheamus in a top spot right now, but it just wasn’t working.
It was far from a complete flop, but Sheamus wasn’t bringing any excitement to the SmackDown brand. With Ryback being a stark contrast to anyone else on the roster, Sheamus more than ever seemed like the poor man’s Cena.
The never-give-up attitude, the Superman comebacks and the cheesy jokes were usually at the forefront of his feuds. He basically got Cena’s leftovers and yet looked thrilled with it.
At Hell in a Cell, WWE made the right choice. Let someone else have a run with the gold.
As terrible as The Big Show is in the ring these days (though surprisingly the two had the best match on the show), he has grown into a compelling character.
He’s simply at his best when he’s an arrogant giant.
He told Sheamus to his face that he would beat him, and in a surprising move by WWE, they let a heel back up his words.
The rare, clean finish helped out so much more than had Show cheated. It makes for a much more interesting story, and now the giant can finally be taken seriously again.
Sheamus took the KO punch and couldn’t get back up. The move now looks more devastating than ever (though most fans would still just prefer the chokeslam as his finisher). In the end, it was simple booking, but effective.
With Sheamus taking the fall, there’s reason to believe that WWE will find a new challenger for the belt, with Ryback possibly taking that spot.
Maybe WWE will feel it’s a consolation prize for Ryback if he pins The Big Show, after he missed out on his opportunity against Punk. (Though with his recent troubles performing the Shell Shock on Tensai and Heyman, I’d love to see him attempt it on Show.)
If Ryback does win the Heavyweight Title, it won’t mean as much now since he failed on his first attempt at the gold. You only get that big moment once.
Regardless, WWE was wise to get more serious about The Big Show as a no-nonsense heel. The company had great success when Mark Henry was cast in that role not long ago.
With Cena, Sheamus, Orton and Ryback often booked so strongly, there needed to be someone on the heel side to be perceived as a threat.
With so many ineffective, scared heels (and Kane becoming a comedy act), the WWE was in desperate need of a monster.
Show challenging all comers could lead to weeks or months of entertaining TV (if they don't screw it up), where virtually everyone comes out of the woodwork to take him on, only to be destroyed.
Don’t feel too bad for Sheamus. I imagine he’ll be just fine in WWE. At the age of 34, though, I don’t think he’ll ever be the No. 2 babyface the company had hoped for.
He’ll most likely win the belt again in the future, but his first big push as a face just didn’t set the wrestling world on fire.
The important thing for WWE to do is get serious about Show, have him knock some people out, be a ruthless bully and build up someone new to slay the giant in an epic showdown.
Sheamus, on the other hand, should rethink his character and maybe go soak up his troubles with that pint he always talks about.