Since returning from a shoulder injury in January of this year, Sheamus has been used rather sparingly by the WWE.
So far, his only meaningful feud was a lacklustre skirmish with Christian, which ultimately fizzled out and didn’t even make it to pay-per-view. The rest of his time has been spent playing supporting roles in the Elimination Chamber bout, the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal and more recently the Intercontinental Championship No.1 Contender’s Tournament.
It’s a far cry from years gone by.
In 2012, Sheamus notched more matches, victories and TV main events than any other superstar, while last year he made it to the final three of the Royal Rumble and also featured in the WWE Championship Money in the Bank ladder match.
However in the past few days, the Irishman has begun to edge himself back towards such relevance.
First there was talk of a long-awaited heel turn—something that could give a massive boost to his increasingly stagnant character. And then as recently as last week, he was crowned United States Champion following a 20-man Battle Royal on Raw.
According to F4WOnline (via Marc Middleton of WrestlingINC), though, these two events may have occurred simultaneously, with the aforementioned heel talk possibly already actualised:
Apparently when Sheamus Brogue kicked Dean Ambrose in the battle royal on last Monday's RAW, that was supposed to be his heel turn. It will be interesting to see what they do with Sheamus on Monday's RAW since a lot of fans didn't pick up on the turn at RAW.
For me, this news is rather surprising. And to say that a lot of fans didn’t pick up on the turn at Raw would be a massive understatement to say the least—I certainly didn't consider that to be a heel turn on Monday Night Raw this week.
That’s no fault of the audience, though, as Sheamus’ victory bore little resemblance to a heel turn at all.
Sure, he defeated Dean Ambrose who is now very much a good guy. But within the context of a Battle Royal, face versus face scenarios are a common occurrence—just look at WrestleMania XXX.
And beyond that, Sheamus was essentially his everyday self. Though his Brogue Kick to Ambrose was greeted by boos, his ultimate victory yielded a positive reaction, and the newly crowned champ proceeded to celebrate his win with plenty of face-like gusto.
Of course, this could simply be a slow-burn turn. With recent speculation (courtesy of ProWrestling.net, via Josh Isenberg of WrestleZone) citing Sheamus as a possible new addition to Evolution, perhaps this title win was the WWE’s way of putting the wheels in motion for an ultimate alignment with Triple H and company.
Personally, I think such a scenario would be an effective use of all those involved. If Evolution does continue once Batista has left, then the Animal will need replacing. Who better to fill that role than a rejuvenated, championship-bearing Sheamus?
It would also make sense given that Sheamus has essentially been indirectly doing Triple H’s dirty work of punishing Ambrose as part of the Shield/Evolution rivalry.
Then again, pro wrestling isn’t always about making sense…
Perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself, but having Sheamus eventually join Evolution would explain this news that the big man has allegedly already instigated his heel turn. Failing that, though, and we’re left wondering what is next for the former world champion.
Is he merely a transitional champion? Or have they put the belt on such an established star in order to regain much of the U.S. title’s lost prestige?
As ever, only time will tell—but from a storytelling perspective, the company could do much worse than have the Celtic Warrior align himself with the Game and the Viper.
Please feel free to voice your own opinions on this matter by commenting below. Let me know what you make of this news, and whether or not you agree with any of the points that were made in the article itself.