WWE Pushed to Punished, Edition 28: The Daunting Despair of Sean O'Haire
Each week, I break down the controversial careers of past and present WWE Superstars to see where they went wrong on their journey to the top of the mountain. With today being St. Patrick's Day, this week's edition of Pushed to Punished will be focusing on the rise and fall of the man formerly known as Sean O'Haire.
In 2000, Sean O'Haire made his debut on the pro wrestling scene in WCW. While there, O'Haire would win several tag team championships alongside Mark Jindrak and Chuck Palumbo before the company's demise in early 2001.
Due to WCW being acquired by WWF (later renamed WWE), O'Haire and Palumbo remained WCW Tag Team Champions as they jumped ship to WWE. The duo made their WWE debut by attacking the Hardy Boyz on the June 28, 2001 edition of SmackDown, thus solidifying their status apart of The Alliance.
In early August, O'Haire and Palumbo dropped the straps to the Brothers of Destruction and failed to regain the belts in the subsequent rematch. Shortly thereafter, the tandem would disband as Palumbo joined the WWF and O'Haire was sent down to developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling for more seasoning.
In mid-2002, O'Haire resurfaced on WWE television, but was mostly relegated to Sunday Night Heat. Although he faced everyone ranging from D'Lo Brown to Shelton Benjamin, a singles push didn't look like it was in the cards any time soon.
After months of being wasted on the Sunday night program, O'Haire was finally repacked in early 2003. Vignettes aired hyping the pending debut of O'Haire, which featured him encouraging viewers to commit sinful acts such as not paying taxes, breaking the law and other things.
This gimmick saw O'Hare portray the role of a Devil's advocate, something that had never before been seen in WWE. The most frightening part about the persona was the fact that O'Haire was extremely convincing in what he was preaching and made people think that what he was saying was the truth.
O'Haire re-debuted as a member of the SmackDown brand a few months later, sporting an all-new look as well. His makeover included him wearing a black trench coat and having tattoos of spider webs on each of his wrists, which was due to his obsession with spiders.
In various backstage segments, O'Hare used his manipulative mindset to convince Spanky (later known as The Brian Kendrick) to streak and Dawn Marie to flash the audience as well. His gimmick was pure brilliance and had the all the potential in the world to be something great.
Not only was the moniker fantastic, but O'Haire's matches were a blast to watch. He was an agile athlete that executed maneuvers that be near impossible for a man of his stature. However, his large frame didn't stop him from being one of the most exciting and innovative Superstars on the roster.
Following WrestleMania 19, O'Haire became the protege of Roddy Piper and aligned with Vince McMahon. Due to his partnership with the WWE Chairman, O'Haire scored a number of upset victories over the likes of Rikishi, Eddie Guerrero and Mr. America, otherwise known as Hulk Hogan.
Over time, Sean O'Haire's Devil's advocate gimmick gradually faded away and was no longer crucial to his character. Surprisingly enough, his alliance with Roddy Piper ultimately hindered him in the long scheme of things, as the focus was more on Piper's feud with Hogan than it was on O'Haire.
Following Piper's release from the organization in late June, O'Haire grew even more irrelevant on the blue brand. He competed regularly on Friday nights for a brief period of time before being relegated to Velocity for the remainder of the year.
Although he reigned supreme in most of his matches on the program, none of his victories were all that meaningful. In late November, things went from bad to worse for O'Haire in late November, where he was involved a motorcycle accident and was indefinitely placed on the shelf with an injury.
He returned to action in February 2004, but was sent packing to OVW for a gimmick overhaul. His stay didn't last long, however, as he was eventually released from WWE on April 3.
As previously stated, O'Haire was a tremendously talented athlete with an intriguing gimmick, but it was unfortunately cut short for unknown reasons. Although it's been a decade since O'Haire's time at the top, the fact still remains that he was treated poorly in his final few months with the company and had a lot of untapped potential.
Of course, it's too late now to rehire O'Haire and right the wrongs done with his character, but it's still interesting to think what could have been. He may not have been World Heavyweight Champion material, but he certainly could have been much more than a forgotten singles star.
Thanks for reading, Bleachers, and be sure to drop a comment below with your thoughts on Sean O'Haire and his descent over the course of 2003. Also, include any other potential topics you'd like to see me analyze on upcoming editions of WWE Pushed to Punished and be sure to enjoy your St. Patrick's Day.
But hey, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know.
Read every archived edition of Pushed to Punished here.
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