For those who don’t listen to Classy Ring Attire on a weekly basis (which you should totally be doing) I seem to have managed to, at least once a podcast, for the past month or so, spent at least a little bit of time complaining about how much I truly hate Sheamus these days. As Chris would say, it’s a bit uncharacteristic of me. After all, I’ve said good things about John Cena on numerous occasions. I still think that if used correctly, there could be something great for Randy Orton to do. And though I have had complaints about it, in the long run, I’m still glad that The Rock came back to the WWE. So if I so frequently go out of my way to find good in wrestlers and storylines where there is only bad to find, what is it about Sheamus right now, that I find so unforgivable?
There are a whole lot of reasons that it could be. It could be that he got an unreasonably huge push right out of the gate based on looks instead of talent. After all in less than six months (June 30th to December 16th) this guy went from his ECW debut to winning his first WWE championship. But that’s not really a problem for me personally. At the time, I was actually more impressed that the WWE was able to create a story where a guy could believably go from his debut to champion in half a year. Plus he defeated Cena cleanly (though didn’t pin him) something that arguably didn’t happen again until The Rock at WrestleMania 28. Sure I might not have been all about Sheamus back then as a character, but I was impressed in the attempt to create such a character, regardless of how it would eventually turn out.
Another complaint I could have about Sheamus is his ring work. And while there are negative things to be said there, I don’t necessarily condemn the guy for it. Yes his matches can be formulaic and uninspired, but that doesn’t automatically make them bad, and while Sheamus isn’t the greatest of sellers, one advantage of his skin tone, is that even the lightest of hits, will leave an impressive mark on him.
So what is it about this guy that makes me truly despise him? Because right now, I can very assuredly say that of the entire roster (a roster I might add that includes Khali) Sheamus currently reigns as my least favorite.
Honestly it’s no one thing. Yes, I denied the reasons already mentioned as being the dominant reason for hating Sheamus but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I get a bit upset when comparing the WWE’s treatment and nurturing of Sheamus, when comparing it to that of say, Daniel Bryan. And there’s no question that Sheamus rarely if ever is in a match that would even be up for consideration of a match-of-the-night title. But it really is more.
See, Sheamus right now is a character that, like John Cena is catered toward the youngest members of the fan base. I get that and, while I might gripe about that from a creative perspective, I get it from a business one. But when I watch Sheamus on the show, I can’t help but marvel that the guy is truly a terrible role model for a kid to have. Sheamus is the shining example of a guy that the WWE wants us to cheer for no other reason than they say he’s a face. Sheamus constantly not only displays heelish tendencies but commits outright full-blown heel style acts, which we’re supposed to laugh about and cheer because he’s Sheamus. The best example of this is obviously when Sheamus recently stole Del Rio’s car and took it on a “joyride” through the city while systematically destroying the thing. And this isn’t a “tweener” type of thing, where Sheamus will sometimes be a little rough around the edges when dealing with his heel foes. No, Sheamus continually seeks out and torments his opponents, so that he can laugh at their misery. This is the very definition of a bully, and one of the current faces of WWE’s “Be A Star” campaign. Right now, the feud that Sheamus is in with Damien Sandow seems to surround the fact that Sheamus has chosen Sandow as a foe because his character is one that values intelligence, and Sheamus can get away with physically assaulting him and laughing about it. We’re two steps away from Sheamus cutting a promo that simply him pointing at Sandow and yelling “NERD!!”
There is an art to working a crowd. Just as the best heels can get a crowd to really hate them, the best faces in the business can tap into emotion in a way that can get a crowd to genuinely care for a character, root for them, believe in their motivation, all while being fully entertained by them at the same time. In no way is this the case with Sheamus. Dolph Ziggler gives the impression that he thinks he’s going to win a match because he genuinely believes in his talent and abilities. The same goes for CM Punk. Hell, even Brock Lesnar comes out looking like he believes he’ll win thanks to his build and sheer strength. Sheamus? Sheamus gives the impression that he thinks he’ll win because he read the script. Sheamus never works the audience. He knows that they’re going to cheer him. That’s what their supposed to do, because he’s a face. It doesn’t matter that his character is, quite frankly, a terrible human being that is utterly unlikable. He gets cheers, because the WWE said he should get cheers. And that’s good enough for him.