No Chance – Why I Hate Sheamus
by Joel Leonard on June 28, 2013

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.



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Joel Leonard

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  • CB40

    You’re right! Sheamus is like Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds! HA!!

  • Steven Gepp

    Sorry, haven’t you been reading the comments here? Only certain people are allowed to hate Sheamus, and you’re not on the list. Hell, I’ve never liked the guy and I’m not on the list! Be careful – the Interwebz Trolls will be after you!

  • Mike Gojira

    Part of the problem with Sheamus easily falls upon the McMahons. Remember: they’re heavily involved in the writing for the character in his actions and his script, so your hate should also be directed at Creative.

  • BD

    I’d agree with this. I said way back when I started my anti-Shaemus tirade that the fault ALWAYS lies somewhere between the wrestler and management, never just one or the other. And Shaemus does seem to work hard, and does whatever is asked of him, so you can’t really fault him on that front.

    My only thing is that I think you can give some guys the best gimmick or storyline ever, and they still won’t take off. And I truly believe Shaemus is one of those guys.

  • BD

    Actually, this is a result of my guest appearances on the Classy Ring Attire podcast. I’ve been slowly turning those guys against Shaemus with logic and reason forever now. On my first appearance they had STARTED to sour, now they’re totally sour.

    I do good work. And, Gepp, you’re totally on the list. My man Swayze may not remember your support, but I do!

    Nice article, Joel, and I enjoyed another 10 minutes of anti-Shaemus this week on the podcast as well. You gents are doing good work (and not just because it’s anti-Shaemus [although that does help]).

  • Chris Sanders

    “Sheamus gives the impression that he thinks he’ll win because he read the script.” i’m sort of jealous you said that on here and not on the podcast. Very well said, Joelface

  • Pat

    Dude I have always liked your columns in the past but after this garbage you wrote I have lost respect for you as a columnist. Sheamus has earned his spot and his push by busting his fucking ass and he is great to watch. Why dont you do us all a favor and either write something decent or shut the fuck up. I have liked Sheamus ever since he was in ECW and he is one of the best on the roster now. He is a smart ass and I love it when he insults others and acts like a heel. I get so irritated at you columnists who have to write bad stuff directly about a wrestler. I can now say that as a columnist you are my least favorite.

  • CB40

    Please submit a comment like this in the Interinactivity thread!

    Or Blair, please use this!

  • DonkeyKong

    I’ll chip in here and say that I like Sheamus and think he’s a hell of a talent. He’s the kind of guy that Paul Heyman would have done incredible things with back in the original ECW. He can’t cut promos as a babyface (and as a heel he isn’t much better) but that shouldn’t be a fatal flaw when WWE has guys like Heyman on the roster who can act in a managerial capacity on the show and help develop promo skills backstage.

    That said, Sheamus’ biggest failing is his inability to make it look like every match he’s in MATTERS. That’s the biggest difference between guys like him and guys like Bryan. DB makes every single match, whether it’s a ppv main events or a Raw curtain-jerk, look like it really, truly matters to him. Like winning is the most important thing in the world. Punk’s the same. Look at the match Punk had with Darren Young last week… it was Darren Freaking Young, but Punk made the match look as important to him as anything else. His body language, his facial expressions, the moves he used.. it all told a (short, impactful) story.

    That kind of intensity and commitment is something that Sheamus hasn’t shown since his matches with Mark Henry a few years ago. He’s got it in him, but he hasn’t worked out how to express it outside of major storylines. That’s not a knock solely on him, because he isn’t the only one who struggles with that kind of thing. But Leonard’s right to say that Sheamus doesn’t do enough to make his matches matter. That’s what’s holding him back more than anything, imo – even more so than his (undeniably) crummy booking.

  • BD

    YES!!! TAKE THAT!!! YOU SUCK JOEL!!!

    Welcome to my entire second year on Pulse. I’m taking off the crown here, Joel is the new Shaemus king for Pulse. YOU’RE THE MAN JOEL! DON’T LET ME DOWN!

  • BD

    I’m kinda hoping that Joel will respond either here or on the podcast, but with his permission I’ll tackle it.

  • Chris Sanders

    I vote for both!

  • FDSwayze

    No, actually Gepp is not on the list. I like Gepp. He’s awesome. But he’s not on the list. Here is the UPDATED list now of people who are allowed to make fun of Sheamus.

    PEOPLE WHO ARE ALLOWED TO MAKE FUN OF SHEAMUS
    FDSwayze
    BD (Also known as Blair)
    CB (Also known as Not Cynical Bastard)
    Joel Leonard (for his fantastic article, especially the final paragraph)

    PEOPLE WHO AREN’T ALLOWED TO MAKE FUN OF SHEAMUS
    Everyone else

  • FDSwayze

    Sheamus is so sucky, I honesty can’t tell if this Pat guy is being sarcastic or not.

  • Chris Sanders

    I would really like to be on this list but alas, I just can’t compete with my podcasting partner on this one. Maybe one day my hatred towards Sheamus will allow me to go on an eloquent rant like Joel. One day, friends, one day.

  • Zork

    Be a Star fella, not a hater.

    I used to think he was okay but after a while I caught on to how boring he actually is. I’ll admit that he works better as a heel character and should probably stay that way. “I’ll fight ya fella!” only went so far, there’s really not much else to it…or his character period.

  • FDSwayze

    Chris, you are now on the list. I hope you two devote the entire podcast to how lame Sheamus is.

  • Chris Sanders

    Agreed! Although we might save that for the next Blair episode just to make sure we truly hammer the point home.

  • mj

    Let’s be fair.

    Positives:

    - Good look.
    - Solid on the mic.
    - Good size. Not too tall so he’s walking a stiff like Khali. Not too wide so he’s a walking stiff like Henry (although, to Henry’s credit, he can get the job done). He has a Cena-esque build, where he has great strength, but does not have to sacrifice much speed.
    - Good in the ring. He’s not a punch-stomp guy. He has a large arsenal of moves and he works hard and fast in the ring. He doesn’t stop to do restholds all the time. His “workrate” is off the charts. He has believable, high-impact offense and even managed to pull out a great match from the Big Show (might be the only guy on the roster who can). Whether it’s Bryan or Big Show, Sheamus looks good out there.

    Negatives:

    - Corny as hell.
    - Bullies heels. His character is that of a brutish Irish stereotype. Since heels rarely get any kind of edge over him, he seems unjustified in his actions.
    - Wins in an aggravatingly clean fashion nearly every time, just burying his opponents along the way.
    - Wrestlers who work better than him and are genuinely more over with the crowd, get booked a lot worse.

    So, once we examine this, we see that the real problem is how he’s booked. Sheamus, the wrestler, is a diamond in the rough. He’s the kind of guy TNA wishes they had. If he’d lose more, and actually take some beatings (the announce team loves to harp on how he can bravely withstand punishment), his character would be much more improved.

    For example, what if in the Sandow-Sheamus rivalry, Sheamus actually kept winning the intellectual challenges and it was Sandow who turned to brute force? Perhaps only on the 3rd engagement of such a challenge, Sheamus turns to violence to give the bad guy some comeuppance. That would make more sense.

    Blame the bookers.

    -

  • FDSwayze

    Now let’s get back to reality and be fair…

    Positives: tough guy who doesn’t fold when he gets hit for real
    he’s been able to find the arena every night
    he’s a hard worker
    better than Cena

    Negatives: horrible look
    horrible on the mic
    horrible in the ring
    character sucks
    tires easily

    So seeing this, we can see the problem is with Sheamus. Anyone who would claim it’s management’s fault is insane. Sheamus has won King Of The Ring, Royal Rumble, two main title runs, and has squashed more than half the roster. Fans STILL don’t give a fuck about him.

    Blame Sheamus. Thank you.

  • BD

    First off, YES Gepp is on the list Swayze, because he stood up and said it back when we actually did. I’m vetoing your veto on that. I’m all for bringing our CRA boys in because of their LEVEL of disdain for him now. Especially Joel, I feel like he may be at “voodoo doll” level of dislike for the guy now. Shaemus should probably walk around with a clove of garlic.

    Second of all, I’m down for that CRA ep, but I’m pretty sure between my appearances we at least have an hour of material on that already, haha. NOT that it ever gets old.

  • BD

    “he’s been able to find the arena every night”

    To be fair, we don’t know this for sure. He may have someone driving him.

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