Sheamus may be competing in this Sunday’s Money in the Bank match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, but it’s highly doubtful he’ll leave with the belt.
He’s got no momentum. Nor has he been remotely positioned for a top role. Honestly, it just feels like he is in there to make up the numbers (John Cena or Roman Reigns appear much more likely to emerge triumphant in Boston).
While Sheamus may continue to occasionally dabble in the main event scene, it’s time for WWE to accept that his limitations as a performer mean he will likely never be the main event star it once wanted him to be.
That’s not to suggest the Irish star can’t be an asset to the company—he can be. He’s a very good wrestler, and his matches are often one of the highlights of Raw. His current run with the United States Championship has been perfectly respectable, but it's also been somewhat forgettable.
The problem, however, is his overall act, which hasn’t changed or evolved much over the past few years.
First he was the arrogant loudmouth bully who liked to fight. Then he was the arrogant loudmouth who was slightly nicer liked to fight. This isn’t amazing character development.
Sheamus’ act isn’t really well suited to WWE in 2014. It’s too silly and one-dimensional to be taken truly seriously by fans.
The star may very well have been born in the wrong era; his gimmick and look would have worked well in the WWF of the '80s when larger-than-life cartoon characters where all the rage.
But now it just feels dated and dull.
You could blame the bookers for not scripting a more well-rounded character, but really, if Sheamus were capable of more, wouldn’t we have seen it by now? After all, he’s been on the main roster since June 2009. He’s had more of an opportunity than most to show what he can do.
Most likely, he doesn’t have it in him.
He doesn’t have the relatable, down-to-earth charisma of someone like Daniel Bryan. He doesn’t have Cena’s star power or presence. It’s hard to see him ever getting over hugely with the fans as a babyface.
Sure, he could turn heel—and would probably be better off in that role—but he’d still have the same lingering character problems.
Of course, you could say I’m being too harsh. It’s possible that I am.
Other wrestlers have managed to improve over time and show hitherto unseen talent. Look at Mark Henry’s surprising career revival as a dominant monster heel in 2011 and 2012. The wrestling business can always surprise us.
But as of now, I just can’t see it happening.