Way back in 2009, Sheamus debuted on the WWE’s ECW brand. Within 166 days of his debut, Sheamus found himself standing over a beaten John Cena, holding the WWE Championship high. He became the person to capture the WWE Championship in the second quickest span of time, falling short of Brock Lesnar’s record by less than a week.
After his short run as WWE Champion and WrestleMania 26 feud with Triple H, Sheamus dropped down the card. Over the next year or so, Sheamus engaged in a few forgettable feuds, including another WWE Championship run and winning the 2010 King of the Ring tournament. Even though he was on top of the world at the end of 2009, it seemed that Sheamus had been lost in the shuffle again. During this time, his most notable feud was with Daniel Bryan over the United States Championship. Despite the fact that he had a high-profile match with Triple H a year ago at WrestleMania 26, Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan was a mere dark match at WrestleMania 27.
A few months ago, after being drafted to the Smackdown brand, Sheamus made a babyface turn, making him one of the top fan favorites on Smackdown. His turn was one of the most natural face turns since Sheamus helped Randy Orton make the transition from heel to face in early 2010. More than anything, his move to Smackdown and face turn revitalized his career.
Sheamus’ face turn was catalyzed by the amount of cheers he was getting from the crowd when Christian cheated him out of the World Heavyweight Championship. They really pulled the trigger on his turn when he attacked Mark Henry. Following a count-out loss to Henry at this past SummerSlam, Sheamus went on an unbelievable 14-match winning streak. That, in addition to the fact that he had a high-profile feud with Christian and contended for the World Heavyweight Championship on multiple occasions, makes it apparent that Sheamus has been on fire since his move to Smackdown.
Do you think Sheamus will be a major player in the WWE in 2012?
To really put Sheamus on the map and make him a mainstay in the main event, he needs another high-profile feud with a top WWE heel. As a big, dominant babyface wrestler, it is going to be hard to find a heel that could believably defeat Sheamus. I had figured that, at some point, Sheamus would return to his feud with Mark Henry and go over him in a definitive fashion. This could have happened months ago, but it wouldn’t have worked quite as well unless Henry had established himself as the most dominant heel in the WWE, like he has over the past few months.
However, with Henry out with a groin injury, I wonder who else could fill that role. Kane seems to be on the fast track to establishing himself as the most monstrous heel in the WWE. So long as John Cena doesn’t squash him, I think Kane would be a viable candidate for playing that role.
Sheamus has a lot to offer the WWE. He’s already done a lot with the Be A Star campaign and Make A Wish foundation, I believe. He’s also had a handful of appearances on various late-night talk shows. In addition, his Irish heritage and all his past experience with competing in various European promotions makes him a huge draw over there. In my opinion as a fan, I think that Sheamus could single-handedly do much to expand the WWE’s international brand, in addition to a lot of other perks of having him as a top babyface.
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