Maybe it’s my old age talking, but I much prefer these 90 minute bite-sized collections to the mammoth 9 hour marathon sessions that WWE pumps out on a monthly basis. Five matches, and it’s only $7 on Amazon right now, no fuss no muss. Yeah, the cheaply produced cover makes Sheamus look like he’s constipated, but it’s the content that counts. Plus this is the kind of disc that’s perfectly suited to Netflix or PPV. And there’s no documentary or anything, just a quick video intro and then the matches…
RAW World title, Tables Match: John Cena v. Sheamus
From TLC, December 13 2009. This was of course very early in Sheamus’s run as a heel, as he was basically just up from ECW and beating midcard guys. Cena had been trading the belt with Orton for the previous few months, including overcoming getting blown up (literally) to win an Iron Man match. Why was this a tables match? Good question. Cena gets a MIGHTY negative reaction for his entrance. It was kind of funny, because leading up to this I was wondering why Sheamus was getting pushed like this when he wasn’t over, and the people in WWE at the time who were talking to me about it basically said “Oh, well, HHH likes him, so he’ll probably get a pretty good push in a while.” That was about two weeks before this. Cena attacks him in the corner to start, but Sheamus takes him down and pounds away on the mat. The crowd is booing both guys, and they brawl outside and try to retrieve a table. Cena gets it first and puts Sheamus on it, but shockingly 2 minutes is enough for him to recover and Sheamus comes back in the ring. Sheamus with a powerslam and Cena bails to the apron and we get a goofy spot with Cena JUST BARELY able to hang on and not fall through his own table. Matt Striker notes the irony of that, showing what an insufferable clod he was becoming. THANK YOU CAPTAIN OBVIOUS. They fight on the floor again and Sheamus works on the back and tries a powerbomb through that darn table, but Cena fights back again with a suplex on the ramp. They brawl into the crowd and back to ringside, but Cena takes too long setting up the table and Sheamus catches him with a brogue kick (called “the Irish Curse kick” by Cole, as he cycled through four or five moves with that name before finally settling on the backbreaker for good.) Sheamus puts a table in the corner and tries to powerslam him through it, but Cena OVERCOMES THE ODDS and it’s the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM. He sets up another table and puts Sheamus on top for an FU, but Sheamus fights him off and John slips on the proverbial banana peel and falls through the table at 16:23 to give Sheamus the belt. What kind of a bullshit fluke finish was that? Sheamus hung in there with Cena pretty well, but this was pretty dull stuff and it did nothing to establish Sheamus as a top guy. **1/2
RAW World title: John Cena v. Edge v. Randy Orton v. Sheamus
From Fatal 4 Way 2010. Michael Cole listing off all the World titles between the competitors is supposed to sound impressive, but really all it does is emphasize how cheap and meaningless the titles have become. Cena starts with Orton and almost gets the FU, but Edge and Sheamus toss Orton and double-team Cena. They stretch it out so the crowd can do a dueling Cena chant, but Edge turns on Sheamus and rolls him up for two. Second rope clothesline gets two. He goes up again and Orton follows for a superplex attempt, but Sheamus breaks that up. The end result is Edge getting a high cross on Sheamus for two. Orton clears the ring, but Cena returns from the dead and gets suplexed back into the ring for his troubles. Orton slowly works him over, but Sheamus comes back in and takes Orton out with a clothesline. So now Orton gets to roll out and play dead for 10 minutes while Cena and Sheamus do their sequence. Sheamus with a backbreaker for two and sets up for the finish, but Edge breaks it up and then gets tossed again. Orton hits Sheamus and Cena with the hanging DDT and gets two on Sheamus, but Cena comes back with his VINTAGE CENA offense on Edge. Orton dumps him and goes after Edge, but Sheamus dumps Orton and beats on Edge himself. This match is going nowhere. Cena clears the ring now and puts Edge in the STF, but Sheamus breaks it up and gets two on Edge. Clothesline gets two. Can we just skip to the NXT run-in already? This is boring. So magically the ring gets down to two guys again, with Cena trying the FU on Edge, but Orton sneaks in with the RKO on Cena for two. Sheamus grabs the ref to stop the count, and Cole points out that there’s no DQ in a Fatal Four-Way match. Really? Sheamus with the bicycle kick on Orton for two. Everyone brawls to the floor and it’s a big trainwreck, but backstage the NXT guys attack the poor guys who have to stand there pretending to watch the match instead of showering. So with Cena alone in the ring, the NXT crew storms out and destroys everything, and Sheamus pins Cena to win the title back at 17:27. *** The whole match was just the setup for the run-in, much like the nWo days.
King of the Ring finals: Sheamus v. John Morrison
I don’t know who the chick doing ring announcing here is, but the less said about the job she does here, the better. Morrison gets booted to the floor and we take a break, and return with Sheamus covering for two. Sheamus works on the injured arm with a divorce court for two. Sheamus pounds away on the mat and goes to an armbar as Cole notes that the winner will be crowned the nineteenth King of the Ring. I was initially questioning that one, but Wikipedia confirms it. Meanwhile I miss a bunch of the match while doing that research, but it’s pretty dull anyway. Sheamus goes for the Razor’s Edge, but Morrison fights out and gets a tornado DDT for two. Morrison goes to finish with the Shining Wizard, but Sheamus blocks it and sends him into the corner. Morrison goes up, and Sheamus slams him onto the bad shoulder for two. Sheamus slaps on a Fujiwara armbar (called as such by CM Punk, something I never thought I’d hear on this show), and he’s really cranking on it, but Morrison uses the POWER OF PARKOUR to escape. Starship Pain misses, however, and the Brogue Kick and Razor’s Edge crowns Sheamus at 8:31. Good “Big heart in a bad situation” effort from Morrison here, but this didn’t end up doing much of anything for either guy. ***1/4 Sheamus and his kingship seemed to be setting him up for a beating from “King of Kings” HHH, but he just turned into kind of a joke.
US title: Daniel Bryan v. King Sheamus
From RAW, March 2011. So weird to see clean-shaven babyface Bryan now. Sheamus was doing a losing streak gimmick at this point, one of the few that actually ended up paying off for the guy doing it. Bryan evades him and kicks him to the floor, then follows with a suicide dive. Back in, missile dropkick gets two. Sheamus bails and we take a break. Back with Sheamus holding a chinlock and then throwing the forearms on the apron. Back in, that gets two. Bryan cradles him for two and backdrops him to the floor, injuring the ankle. Bryan takes him down wit the YESLOCK, but Sheamus makes the ropes. Bryan reverses the Razor’s Edge into a rollup for two and they slug it out, with Bryan kicking him down for two. Bryan goes up…and lands in a brogue kick to give Sheamus the US title at 5:45. That of course wouldn’t be the last time Bryan felt that kick. This did nothing for Sheamus, as he quietly dropped the belt to Kofi Kingston a few weeks later and then finally caught fire after a babyface turn around Summerslam.
Royal Rumble 2012:
Sorry, but this is clipped to Sheamus making his entrance at #22. I kind of figured they wouldn’t be able to put the entire match on a 90 minute DVD. So you get the last 20 minutes of the match and the big sequence at the end with Jericho and Sheamus, leading to Sheamus winning his first Rumble.
Oh well, still a pretty decent set of stuff for a few bucks, featuring most of Sheamus’ big title wins, although couldn’t they fit the 18 second win over Daniel Bryan on there as well? Cheap and lazy collection from WWE, but it’s a hell of a deal for the price, especially if you’re a fan of his. I think this is exactly the kind of format they can use to showcase guys like Kofi and Ziggler or Miz, who wouldn’t otherwise get a DVD set, but who newer fans might be interested in enough to drop $8 on a DVD primer. Zack Ryder just got one of these last month, in fact.