After beating Daniel Bryan for the World Heavyweight Championship in 18 seconds at WrestleMania, Sheamus went on an unprecedented roll that showed no signs of ending. Sheamus was stopped by Big Show thanks to two KO punches at Hell in a Cell, though, and his future is now somewhat uncertain.
Perhaps it was unrealistic to expect him to carry the title for a full year with CM Punk already doing something similar with the WWE Championship, but I thought The Great White had a great chance of going wire to wire with the world title from WrestleMania XXVIII to WrestleMania XXIX. The WWE obviously had other plans, though, as evidenced by Big Show's victory.
Due to the fact that Big Show is a veteran who really doesn't need a title to remain relevant, I was extremely surprised that he beat Sheamus. I was certain that Big Show would simply serve as a holdover feud for Sheamus as he just got done feuding with Alberto Del Rio and there are a couple capable heel challengers waiting in the wings such as Wade Barrett and The Miz.
Sheamus' title reign had become awfully predictable, though, and I can't fault the creative team for throwing a bit of a curveball. Big Show has been made to look like the most destructive force in WWE over the past few months and Sheamus stood toe to toe with him, so there was no shame in the way he lost. Having Big Show as world champion isn't ideal, but Sheamus didn't necessarily lose his momentum because of the defeat.
In fact, the loss could be good for Sheamus. He is a good upper-tier face and the fans seem to enjoy him, but they had to be getting bored with him to some degree. That isn't completely Sheamus' fault since his rivalry with Del Rio lasted way too long and the build toward his match with Big Show was nothing to write home about, but some type of change was needed in order to get the fans interested again.
With that said, I believe that the change is only temporary. Big Show has done a nice job as the monster heel foil to Sheamus' dominant face character, but he isn't a guy who should have the title over the long term. It worked for a veteran like Mark Henry last year, but his run felt new as he had never been champion before and his mic work was impeccable. The same can't be said for Big Show.
Big Show and Sheamus are set to face each other in a rematch at Survivor Series, and while most probably figure that the Big Show will retain, I see Sheamus taking his title back. While title changes were like an epidemic during the Attitude Era, they're much rarer currently, so you generally don't see a lot of instances where a guy drops a world title and wins it back quickly.
This situation is tailor-made for Sheamus to win, however. It feels like Sheamus was saddled with the loss simply to eliminate the chatter about him being John Cena, Jr. Whether it's a fair criticism or not, Sheamus didn't lose cleanly from WrestleMania until Hell in a Cell and many felt as though he was being built into an unstoppable force a la Cena.
What is next for Sheamus?
For as much grief as Cena gets for constantly winning, even he has lost more matches than Sheamus in recent memory, so it's tough to argue with the contention that Sheamus was becoming predictable. The loss to Big Show finally forces Sheamus to deal with some adversity, and even if he beats him at Survivor Series, Sheamus will at least be viewed as someone who is capable of being beaten.
It isn't a foregone conclusion that Sheamus is going to win by any means, but it makes the most sense. The only opponent for Big Show to feud with would be Randy Orton and we already saw them have a couple matches within the past month. Orton certainly deserves to get back in the title picture, but a program with Big Show isn't the best way to do it.
The WWE is essentially stuck with two less-than-desirable options to be world champion right now, but Sheamus is the lesser of two evils. While I like Sheamus, I'm ready for someone else to take over the reins, but Big Show isn't the answer. With Sheamus as champion, though, Dolph Ziggler can cash in soon at the very least.
I anticipate Ziggler being the World Heavyweight Champion by WrestleMania at the latest, and that means that a face must be holding the title. If Sheamus can beat Big Show, though, his stock will be through the roof and it will only help Ziggler become even more credible when his time finally comes.