When Sheamus faces The Big Show for the World Heavyweight Championship at WWE TLC, the world title won’t be the only thing on the line.
Sheamus has been a consistence force in the main event scene since winning the 2012 Royal Rumble, literally not leaving the world title picture since then. He won the World Heavyweight title at WrestleMania 28, held it for seven months and has spent the last couple of months trying to get it back.
This has undoubtedly been Sheamus’s best year, as he’s risen to the pinnacle of the WWE and firmly established himself as one of the company’s top stars.
Unfortunately for “The Great White,” the WWE TLC pay-per-view might be the end of it all.
While Sheamus undoubtedly has a bright future and looks poised to be one of the stars who helps carry the WWE going forward, his immediate future suddenly becomes a little cloudier if he doesn’t leave TLC as the World Heavyweight Champion.
For Sheamus, it’s been a magical year-long run as arguably the most dominant babyface in the WWE. He had one of the longest world-title reigns in recent memory, has hardly ever lost clean and has stepped in the ring with just about every single one of the WWE’s major stars.
A win over Big Show at TLC would ensure that Sheamus regains his World Heavyweight Championship and heads to The Royal Rumble and WrestleMania season with a lot of momentum and possibly another world title match at WrestleMania.
A loss, however, could signal the end—if, only a temporary one—of Sheamus’s fantastic run that’s lasted for a year now.
As great as Sheamus has been over the course of 2012, his match against Big Show at TLC is almost guaranteed to be the blowoff to their feud, and there seems to be little to no chance to that he walks away as the World Heavyweight Champion.
There have been tons of rumors about possible world title scenarios come Royal Rumble and WrestleMania and almost none of them involve Sheamus.
According to F4WOnline.com (via WrestlingInc.com), one rumored scenario is that Dolph Ziggler and Randy Orton “will dominate the world title picture in early 2013,” which implies that Ziggler could cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase as soon as this Sunday.
WrestlingInc.com also reports that there is a lot of talk about Ryback vs. Big Show taking place at WrestleMania 29, which presumably could involve Show putting his World Heavyweight Championship on the line.
There’s also the possibility that Ziggler loses his briefcase to John Cena at WWE TLC, which could result in Cena cashing in and throwing a major wrench into things by winning the World Heavyweight title.
The common denominator in every single one of those scenarios is that Sheamus isn’t being mentioned in any possible world title scenarios or even in talks about any major Wrestlemania feuds as we inch closer to the biggest pay-per-view of the year.
So much can change over the next several months, but as of now, it looks like WWE is building WrestleMania around only a handful of names, and Sheamus doesn’t seem to be one of them.
That’s why TLC will prove to be such a critical moment in the career of “The Celtic Warrior.”
He’s been booked to be extremely dominant over the last year-plus, hardly ever losing any matches and annihilating most of his competition in the main event and world title scenes.
Yet, Sheamus now finds himself in a position that he hasn’t been in for quite some time: Facing the possibility of being bumped down the card while others are elevated.
If Sheamus does not emerge from WWE TLC as the World Heavyweight Champion, anything that he does afterward—unless he attempts to end “The Streak” at WrestleMania—is going to pale in comparison to what he’s done over the last year or so.
It certainly won’t be doomsday for Sheamus, because regardless of what happens at WWE TLC, he’s still one of the WWE’s top babyfaces and one of its biggest stars. But, TLC might prove to be the end of the line for Sheamus’s storybook run that started nearly a year ago at the 2012 Royal Rumble.
If Sheamus doesn’t leave TLC with the world title, then Ziggler, Orton, Ryback and perhaps even Cena look poised to leapfrog over him on the WWE’s pecking order.
Sheamus will certainly be back in the main event and world title picture one day, but it looks like he’s going to be taking a hiatus from it come WWE TLC.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!