Sheamus outlasted the monstrous Mark Henry at Extreme Rules 2013 to win their strap match, a victory that signals the Celtic Warrior's ascent back up the WWE food chain and stalling for Henry's momentum.
Sheamus defeated a man who, going into Sunday, looked unstoppable, a man who beat Ryback at WrestleMania 29 and who recently dragged an insane amount of weight. Henry was built up as the king of the jungle, and then Sheamus managed to knock him off his throne.
Henry outweighs Sheamus by almost 150 pounds. Putting these two in a strap match after Henry whipped Sheamus so mercilessly on WWE Raw made it seem like the Irishman would spend Extreme Rules surviving. Instead, he thrived.
It was Sheamus who kept touching three consecutive corners before Henry prevented him from reaching the fourth. It was Sheamus who dictated the pace of the match and who got most creative with the strap. He tried to make it around the ring from the outside and at one point tied Henry to the ring post.
He led for much of the dance.
After Sheamus had touched three corners yet again, Henry tried to smash him with a World's Strongest Slam. Sheamus slipped out and countered with a Brogue Kick. The blow gave him the space he needed to finally hit the fourth corner and get the win.
Having Sheamus not only come out on top against Henry, but to win so convincingly is a major boost to his momentum.
In all likelihood, this victory is a stepping stone back toward the World Heavyweight Championship picture. Once Alberto Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler's feud comes to a close, it will be Sheamus charging toward the champion.
Ziggler needs heroes to fend off in order to make his championship run an entertaining one. Sheamus, fresh off felling a giant, looks like a mighty challenger.
Josh Isenburg of WrestleZone.com agrees.
So I said if Sheamus wins, he will battle Ziggler next. He has to. What else is the point for him winning and Henry losing?— Josh Isenberg (@JoshIsenberg4) May 20, 2013
For Henry, the loss has him in need of a victim or a series of victims.
After Sheamus robbed him of some of his indestructible aura, Henry needs to find some human punching bags to get back his mojo. Expect an even angrier Henry in the coming weeks. His opponents on WWE Raw will find themselves in the Hall of Pain as Henry looks to redeem himself, to regain his dominance.
He needs to find a slew of victims to crush, to have them so devastated by his power that the memory of being drubbed by Sheamus fades away.
It feels like we just witnessed two beasts colliding in the jungle. One now goes off to lick his wounds before setting out in search of new prey. The other is, for now, the alpha male.
Armed with the Brogue Kick, the Irish brawler is headed Ziggler's way as he looks to reclaim the title he wore for over 200 days.