I noticed something while I was watching Raw tonight. Here's the scene: John Cena comes out to the ring playing the amazing superhero that the evil villain, Alberto Del Rio, was afraid to face. Blah, blah, blah. Finally, out comes Christian, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler and Wade Barrett to end my misery by jumping Cena four on one.
To my amazement, Cena didn't single-handedly destroy all four of them on his own.
Alex Riley, Sheamus and John Morrison (when are the powers that be going to let that guy look good? Really? Whomever didn't expect him to be the first guy eliminated hasn't been tuning in much lately) came out to defend the face of the company. It was when Sheamus made his appearance I had my epiphany. I caught myself marking out when I saw him. I care about him? When did that happen!?
Ever since Sheamus made his debut on ECW in June 2009, I never knew what in the world the IWC smarks saw in him. I saw in Sheamus what the rest of the IWC sees in Jack Swagger, a very talented wrestler thrust into the spotlight far before he was ready. To me, the WWE was shoving him down my throat with high-profile matches such as when he won the WWE Championship against John Cena, or winning the 2010 King of the Ring. Also, remember Sheamus was the guy that took Triple H off TV for 10 months. That is a lot to put on a guy so young into his career, and, to his credit, Sheamus handled it well.
When he was in a bit of a rut after he lost his United States Championship, I thought, "Well, jeeze, it's about time this guy had to work his way up."
I've pinpointed the day I had a change of heart on the Great White Irishman. It was July 29th on Smackdown. Mark Henry was doing his usual "I'mma dangerous man! Somebody gonna get they ass beat!" spiel and I was doing what I usually did when watching Smackdown at the time, waiting for the main event so I could see the latest on Christian's feud with Randy Orton. That's when it happened, Sheamus' god-awful music hit and with three little words in the thick Irish accent that we all love, Sheamus got me to like him. He said, "I'll fight 'im." Simple enough words, but the meaning behind them is what changed my mind.
Sheamus was no longer just a guy whiter than an albino with hair redder than than the Raw logo. He had a personality. He was a tough Irishman that wouldn't back down from a fight. Now, not only will he fight the biggest, baddest man on Smackdown, but he'll love every second of it.
When I saw Sheamus on Raw tonight, in my mind, he wasn't there to defend Cena. He was there because there was a brawl and he wanted in on it. When Christian slapped him, Sheamus chased him around the arena and finally caught him on the ramp and gave him a beat down. Did he care he was eliminated and Cena was left in a two-on-one situation? Not one bit.
I realize now I was never upset that Sheamus was pushed so early in his career. If he'd had more personality and been exciting to watch, I may have been much more of a fan of the push. I'm fine with Sheamus being a heel—in fact, I prefer it. But that doesn't mean his face turn isn't the best thing to happen to his career.
Sheamus' current personality could be face, heel or, better yet, a tweener. Have you ever tried to tell a fightin' Irishman that there's someone he couldn't beat up? Tell Sheamus he couldn't beat Cena or Triple H or CM Punk, I guarantee you he'd try to prove you wrong.
Many IWC smarks said Sheamus' face turn was the worst thing that could happen to him, but from where I'm sitting, he went from a boring, faceless heel to an enjoyable character. At the end of the day, shouldn't that be the focus of every wrestler?