It's safe to say that Wade Barrett and Sheamus are on track to becoming two of the biggest heels and faces in WWE, respectively.
Barrett has been involved in a main event feud with Randy Orton since Survivor Series, while Sheamus enjoyed a feud with veteran Christian which helped to put him over as a good guy.
There isn't much doubt in anyone's mind that they are both future World Champions—and Sheamus has already tasted World Title gold, although many would argue it was given to him too soon.
It's time for WWE to start pushing its younger generation; it's time for them to start building up the superstars that will carry the company into the next decade.
The most immediate names that come to mind are Dolph Ziggler, Cody Rhodes and perhaps even Zack Ryder.
Here are five reasons why Wade Barrett and Sheamus are among those ranks, as well.
Let's just get this one out of the way.
We all know Vince McMahon prefers big brutes of wrestlers—that's really the only reason I can see why the Mark Henry vs. Big Show feud has been drawn out for so long.
But in order for big brute matches not to bore the crowd to tears the wrestlers must also be agile athletes; and Wade Barrett and Sheamus both perfectly fit that bill.
Barrett is billed at 6'7" and 246 lbs. Sheamus is billed at 6'6" and 267 lbs.
Those are some big dudes.
In the case of some big wrestlers, their sheer size and mass can become a hindrance to their ability. For Barrett and Sheamus, however, it most certainly adds to their move sets.
Additionally, Sheamus has what is probably the most unique look in all of WWE—and we all know how important it is to stand out. Remember when Dolph Ziggler did away with his signature bleached blond locks? He looked like a generic, 'roided up Evan Bourne.
Anyway, it doesn't seem like WWE's preference for big guys is going anywhere anytime soon. Not so long as Vince McMahon is in charge, and probably not even when he finally does retire. Because of this, Barrett's and Sheamus's statures most definitely work in their favor.
Of course, you can't just have the look to succeed; you also have to be a good worker.
Being a good worker isn't just being skilled inside the ring—it's also being able to engage and entertain the audience. WWE is "sports entertainment," after all, and a lot of the time it seems far more emphasis is placed on the entertainment rather than the sport.
Wade Barrett and Sheamus are both engaging when inside the ring. Because of their size they are both more brawler than they are technician, but they also are both more than capable of putting together logical, entertaining matches—something which is absolutely vital in the business.
Given their recent feuds with Christian and Randy Orton, two of the absolute best workers around, they have only honed their already impressive wrestling ability.
As stated in the previous slide, for some big men it is difficult to make matches entertaining. They lumber around the ring and can hit a few big power moves, but the pace of the match itself is often slow and labored.
This is far from the case with Barrett and Sheamus. They both have impactful, exciting moves in their arsenal, and Sheamus especially has recently become good at engaging the crowd.
If their pushes into the main event continue, their skill can only increase as they work with more experienced superstars, and they will be primed to take their headlining spots in the future.
The first three slides of this article are a three-pronged attack. Wade Barrett and Sheamus have the look, they have the wrestling ability, and—what is probably the most difficult of the three to achieve—they both have the mic skills to cut engaging promos.
Wrestlers without mic skills are one-dimensional. A good example of this is Evan Bourne. As exciting and skilled as he is inside the ring, his ability to connect with the fans is hurt because of his lack of mic skills.
Being able to cut a good promo can garner a ridiculous amount of draw and worth to a wrestler. Probably the biggest reason CM Punk has overtaken John Cena in popularity is because he is the best talker WWE has.
We all know Wade Barrett can talk. If there was any doubt in our minds that he was the forerunner to win NXT, it was thrown out the window when he made his unforgettable "Winds of Change" promo. Often he joins the commentators, and he is never at a loss for a witty word.
For Sheamus, his uniqueness is what makes his promos work. He is unequivocally Irish, and while it may be difficult to understand what he's saying through his accent sometimes, I think it only adds to his appeal.
Again, being able to cut a good promo adds a lot to a wrestler; no fan wants a voiceless hero or villain. Barrett and Sheamus both have this skill, and it can do wonders to advance them in WWE.
This point may apply more to Sheamus than Barrett, but it has to be stated nonetheless.
Why has John Cena been the face of WWE for so long?
Because, in the PG era, he has done an amazing job of acting as a public representative for the company. Since turning face, Sheamus has begun making public appearances on behalf of the WWE, as well.
He has been a guest on both Conan and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. As a part of their B.A. Star campaign, he hosted a rally in Massachusetts where he spoke to middle- and high-schoolers about bullying.
Professional wrestling often gets a bad rap in the public eye. Since adopting PG-rated programming Vince McMahon has been trying to change that, and possibly the best way to do that is by getting big-name wrestlers out and doing positive things. Sheamus has started this, and as long as he remains face it seems likely that he will continue to do so.
Because Wade Barrett is a heel, it is less likely that he will become a public figure. However, because he is so good with words, he would be a good person to use for press conferences and interviews directly related to the business.
He is an intelligent, educated guy, and he does not seem like the kind of person who would say anything too brash or unconsidered; and we all know how Vince likes to keep things as reined in as possible if he can.
What makes a huge superstar is that they can bridge the gap between the wrestling and non-wrestling world, and Barrett and especially Sheamus are capable of that.
There are a lot of good, well-rounded wrestlers out there. But not all of them can hold a WWE World Title and make it meaningful and interesting.
The most recent example of a champion falling short is Alberto Del Rio. ADR is a good worker and a decent talker, but when he was WWE Champion no one really cared.
A lot of this may have had to do with the way he was booked and who he was going up against, but nevertheless, he had a tremendous amount of expectation that he just didn't live up to.
Yes, Sheamus has already held the WWE Title on two occasions, and yes, both of his reigns were rather forgettable. In addition, Sheamus and Wade Barrett have held the U.S. and Intercontinental Titles, respectively, and both of those reigns weren't the best, either.
However, Sheamus and Barrett were not in as good positions then as they are now. Sheamus was being effectively buried after becoming King of the Ring, and Barrett's star had plummeted after Creative dropped the ball with Nexus and made him ringleader of the far less exciting Corre.
But now they are both on their way back into the main event. Along with Cody Rhodes, Barrett was one of the sole survivors in his traditional five-on-five match at Survivor Series in which his team defeated the team of Randy Orton.
Now he is set to take on Orton in a tables match at TLC. Sheamus is gaining more and more popularity after his feud with Christian, and he is more experienced and therefore better equipped to carry a World Title than he was the first and second times around.
If there is one thing WWE definitely needs to do, it is to make their championships more credible. It remains to be seen whether Barrett or Sheamus actually could pull this off, but it seems like they have a pretty good shot at it.
Personally, I have been riding the Wade Barrett bandwagon since he was on NXT. He was my favorite from the get-go, and I've supported him ever since.
As for Sheamus, I've looked at him in a different light since he turned face. He seems like a much more dynamic character, and I think that he can only continue to grow.
There will always be a time and place for our favorite legends to return to the ring. People will always love The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Triple H and The Undertaker, and fans will always love to see them perform.
But it's time to start grooming new legends who will endear the ever-evolving WWE to new generations. Given the right opportunity, Sheamus and Wade Barrett can certainly be two of those men who will carry WWE into the future.