WWE should view Sheamus' shoulder injury as an opportunity—an opening for change.
Word from WWE.com is that "Sheamus has suffered a torn labrum in his left shoulder and will require surgery, scheduled for next week." The report lists Sheamus' anticipated recovery time as "four to six months."
Sheamus reportedly suffered the injury during the Money in the Bank ladder match and further aggravated it in action following that car wreck of a match.
Having the company's best brawler out for that long is certainly a loss in WWE's ability to piece together its ever-moving puzzle of feuds and fights, but perhaps it's a moment to be seized as well.
The injury gives the Celtic Warrior time off from constant pounding inside the ring and affords WWE time to tweak, enhance and perhaps reboot Sheamus' character. Sheamus was treading into comedy character territory and was somewhat directionless anyway.
On the way to becoming one of the most popular fan favorites on the roster, a warrior somehow became a buffoon.
The Brogue Kick-wielding powerhouse has slowly shown more of a jovial personality. At first, it worked to add a layer to his fight-loving persona, but the balance between goofy and aggressive tilted to the former too often.
In his feud against Big Show, he had a number of segments centered around comedy. In their debate segment on WWE Raw last October, Sheamus played his fictional cousin Rey Mysterio Sullivan. This silly approach was an odd juxtaposition to how brutal their matches were together.
In that segment, Big Show said, "You need to be serious and straighten up."
WWE doesn't necessarily have to force Sheamus to follow that advice. His humor is a useful tool, but one that has been overused recently.
The oddest development of Sheamus the jokester has been his 1-800-Fella segments. Dressed in his ring gear, he has responded to calls to get rid of a man's hiccups, someone choking on their dinner or helping an old lady get her cat out of a tree.
These bits have been ill-fitting on Sheamus.
He's too big and too powerful to be this much of a comic relief character. Somewhere between angry robot and kicking cats out of trees, there is the right balance between intimidating intensity and lovable personality.
That's what WWE should be in search of while Sheamus is out of action.
When Jack Swagger returned earlier this year after a long absence, he came back powered by a new fury and backed by the controversial Zeb Colter. While one can debate the success of Swagger's repackaging, there's no denying that the change gave him far more momentum than he had before he left.
Sheamus needs an adjustment as well.
The answer for Sheamus isn't necessarily a heel turn or aligning himself with a xenophobic manager, but his long absence is a chance to reinvigorate and redefine who the big Irishman is.
The greatest Superstars have found ways to evolve and keep us engaged. Chris Jericho began donning a suit, Daniel Bryan began dealing with a Napoleon complex and Randy Orton grew from the Legend Killer to the Viper.
It's Sheamus' turn to follow that lead.
By the time Sheamus returns to kicking in heads and pounding chests red, WWE should have found a way to renew interest in him. Equal time needs to be spent on the rehab of his repaired shoulder as is spent on the rehabbing of his character.
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