When Sheamus won the WWE Championship back in December of 2009, the WWE Universe almost blew up in an explosion of anger and confusion.
Why in the world would World Wrestling Entertainment put their most prestigious title on a wrestler that hasn't even been on the main roster for six months?
That was the question that many fans, including myself, had on their minds.
As it turned out, the dirt sheets revealed that Sheamus was a good friend of Triple H, a WWE veteran infamously known for not only (literally) screwing his way to the top of the company, but for being a backstage politician responsible for burying the careers of his enemies and boosting the careers of his friends.
Nevertheless, after holding the WWE Championship for two months, Sheamus dropped the title at Elimination Chamber, but won it a second time four months later at Fatal 4-Way. The Celtic Warrior's second reign lasted three months, before he dropped it again at Night of Champions.
By this point, the WWE Universe (once again, including myself) had finally started to get used to Sheamus being in the main-event. After the initial (and obvious) backlash that resulted during his first reign, people began to take a second look at Sheamus once he was given the strap a second time.
The general opinion of the majority? Sheamus wasn't the greatest, and he rose to the top far too quickly...but he had earned his spot as a main-eventer.
The opinion continued to prevail when Sheamus became the 2010 King of the Ring a few months later.
While the majority had hoped John Morrison would win the tournament, we all knew why Sheamus won the crown: He was being built up to face a returning Triple H, who would be gunning for the man who injured him earlier that year. A clash of kings at WrestleMania XXVII seemed inevitable.
That, of course, is what we thought would happen.
As we soon found out, becoming King of the RIng wasn't a way to continue pushing Sheamus; it was a way to bury him instead.
The week following his King of the Ring victory, Sheamus began a humiliating four-month losing streak that succeeded in destroying any main-event credibility that he had developed over the course of 2010.
The losses ranged from losing to established main-eventers like Randy Orton...to rising upper mid-carders like John Morrison...to mid-card jobbers like Mark Henry. It didn't matter who Sheamus was losing to. The point was...he was losing.
Eventually, the dirt sheets revealed that the reason behind The Celtic Warrior's fall from grace, ironically, was the result of backstage politics. WWE executive Kevin Dunn reportedly disliked Sheamus, and apparently had enough influence over creative to cause the losing streak.
The final nail in the coffin came on the February 28th, 2011 edition of Monday Night Raw.
After Triple H cut a promo about why he was going to face The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXVII, Sheamus arrived to confront his former rival. What followed will go down for years as the ultimate example on how to turn a main-eventer into a mid-carder. If you don't know how things went down, I'd suggest you look it up.
Trust me, it's that embarrasing.
But the following week, Sheamus finally admitted to what we had all witnessed for months: He was on a losing streak. Having just lost to Daniel Bryan via count-out, he challenged the United States Champion to a title match for next week; if he lost again, he would quit WWE altogether.
And that brings us to last night on Monday Night Raw, where Sheamus not only ended his losing streak by defeating Daniel Bryan, but began to get his career back on track by becoming the United States Champion as well.
Here is a good question: Why did WWE build Sheamus up as a main-eventer for a year, only to bury him back into a mid-carder?
Was The Celtic Warrior pushed too quickly, and failed to meet management's expectations?
Has backstage politics finally caught up with The Human Jar of Mayonnaise, proving that karma is, indeed, a b**ch?
Is Kevin Dunn just an @$$hole that destroyed a WWE Superstar's main-event career because he didn't like him?
Or is it a combination of all three?
Personally, I think it's a combination of all three.
While winning the United States Championship is obviously a step down from where he was one year ago, Sheamus needed this victory more than anyone else. If the WWE Universe was ever going to take Sheamus seriously again, this was the start in the right direction. A new beginning. A fresh start.
So now that Sheamus has made a comeback, the question is...where does he go from here?