At WWE’s Tables, Ladders and Chairs pay-per-view, Sheamus will have another shot to regain his beloved World Heavyweight Championship from arch-nemesis The Big Show as the two foes face off for what promises to be a brutal Chairs match.
It’s very possible that Sheamus could emerge from the Barclays Center victorious and once again World champion. Considering he was screwed out of the belt at last month’s Survivor Series—The Big Show got himself intentionally disqualified, meaning that even though he lost he still left with the gold—the star gaining revenge and winning would be a logical conclusion to the angle.
But if WWE management have any sense, they’ll refrain from putting the belt back on the Irish star. Frankly, his last title reign—he held the belt from WrestleMania to October’s Hell in a Cell pay-per-view—was such a disappointment, he probably doesn’t deserve another shot with the title so soon.
WWE clearly wanted it to work with Sheamus. The star was given a hugely prestigious victory at the beginning of the year when he won the official 2012 Royal Rumble. After that he won the World Heavyweight Championship from Daniel Bryan in the opening match of Wrestlemania, famously defeating his foe in just 18 seconds.
Sounds great, right? Surely Sheamus, with his size, charisma, wrestling talent and support of the booking team, was all set to be the company’s next top babyface star?
Eh, not exactly.
Alas, after WrestleMania, Sheamus became bogged down in an awful and lengthy feud with Alberto Del Rio. With its lame promos and average matches, this truly was one of the worst programs of the year.
It also marked the regretful emergence of “Funny Sheamus.” You know, the wise-cracking, light-hearted Sheamus who just wanted to have a good time and entertain the fans.
Yup: WWE's creative team had clearly decided one John Cena wasn’t enough; the company needed another one.
Hey, anyone remember the truly awful skit in which he “stole” Del Rio’s car from the parking lot during a Raw in San Antonio (Del Rio’s hapless sidekick Ricardo Rodriguez had stupidly left the keys in there) and even sent out several wacky videos on Tout showing him driving it around town?
Why exactly the Texas police let someone get away with such a blatant crime—especially when he was recording footage of it and broadcasting it on live television—was never answered. Nor was the question even raised (such is the flimsy nature of WWE storytelling these days).
Sheamus has a great number of positives as a character, but the ability to tell funny jokes isn’t one of them (granted, this never stopped Cena either). Fans didn’t seem to know what to make of this new, comical Sheamus either.
So, his top push hasn’t exactly turned around the ailing SmackDown brand, nor has it gotten him over like was hoped. Notably, even WWE legend Steve Austin has even been mildly critical, noting to Fighting Spirit Magazine (via Wrestlinginc) that Sheamus still has some work to do before he could become a major money-drawing star. This is one reason to keep him away from the belt.
Another reason is that, after years of floundering in WWE’s upper mid-card, The Big Show seems to have been fired up by his latest championship run, showing a new-found aggression and top heel charisma in the ring. Cutting off his title run when it’s just getting started seems unwise.
Of course, for all his flaws, Sheamus does have a great deal of talent and is still one of the company’s most promising younger stars. Indeed, some of his television matches, with Daniel Bryan and Antonio Cesaro, amongst others, have been spectacular. When WWE aren't forcing him to tell mediocre jokes or putting him against dull opponents, he remains a highlight of the show.
So the company shouldn’t demote him entirely—he can still be in the title picture, he just doesn’t need to hold the belt right now.
Of course, WWE may panic. They could decide that Sheamus needs the belt back to get him over and have him beat Big Show at TLC, meaning he heads into the new year as champion.
But let's hope they don't: At this point Sheamus and the World Championship need a break from each other, for his career and the good of the product as a whole.