The match between Sheamus and Cesaro at WWE Payback may have faded into the background given the events that transpired later in the night, but it was a fairly entertaining contest.
Sure, Cesaro dominated the bulk of the highlight reel with his incredible feats of strength, but there was some great back-and-forth during the contest, and it was a good way to kick off the show.
However, you can't help but wonder if the WWE missed a big trick at some point during that contest. It's rare to see an attempt at a legendary double turn—largely due to the high risk factor attached to it—but perhaps it would have been a risk worth taking.
We haven't seen a double turn since Alberto Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler switched during their World Heavyweight Championship reigns last year, and perhaps that is what is putting the company off. It can definitely backfire if not executed correctly.
But the way Cesaro and Sheamus are currently working, a double turn here has to go down as an opportunity that the company failed to seize.
First, let's look at Sheamus. Sure, he still garners a relatively decent amount of popularity as a babyface, but he is nowhere near as successful as what he was when he first burst onto the scene. That Sheamus was a bustling, no-nonsense Irishman who took no prisoners when he stepped into the ring.
He instantly became a top, top heel—something the company is lacking when it comes to challengers for Daniel Bryan and his WWE World Heavyweight Championship. If he would have turned at Payback, he would have instantly had an opening to force his way back into the championship picture.
His character has been dragged out as a babyface for far too long—his aggressive style in the ring lends itself to somebody who should be generating heat from the crowd and causing mayhem.
And then there is the curious case of Cesaro. Ever since he won the Andre the Giant Battle Royal at WrestleMania XXX, everything has just felt a little bit messed up. He aligned with Paul Heyman—which is always a good move for a wrestler—but Heyman's promo work meant Cesaro had no choice but to be a heel.
That isn't so much of a problem in any other instance, but Cesaro was starting to embark on a pretty popular path when his days with The Real Americans were coming to an end. A face turn seemed inevitable, and he had all the tools in his locker to succeed.
First of all, he can wrestle—simple as that. He is technically outstanding and has incredible strength, which leads to some remarkable spots. The modern wrestling fan has a lot of time for guys who can be entertaining inside the ring. For Cesaro, see CM Punk, Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan—all technically gifted, which leads to popularity.
And then there is the swing. The swing that generates so much popularity and crowd reaction—so why is it being used on a guy who is operating as a heel? Cesaro has all the skills to be a successful babyface, and things just don't seem to be working out on this run as a heel.
The WWE had two talented guys at Payback who both seem to be heading in the wrong direction—at least in terms of their characters. It would have been a bold move to perform the double turn, but it worked out pretty well for Steve Austin and Bret Hart all those years ago.
Before the year is out, don't be surprised if Sheamus and Cesaro have indeed switched roles. However, it could have happened here and have made an immediate impact on their respective careers.