Sheamus has seemingly been on a rocket ship to the top of the WWE since his debut in June of 2009, and now has a list of accomplishments that can rival many veterans in the WWE There truly aren’t many superstars in the WWE that have a resume as impressive as Sheamus’. In just three short years, Sheamus has been King of the Ring, won a Royal Rumble, been the U.S. Champion, captured two WWE Championships, and is the current World Heavyweight Champion. You’d think with so much talent, and obvious backing from WWE management, that people would find his character more interesting than they do.
I understand this might be a tad controversial, and I may be in the minority, but the fact of the matter is that Sheamus, while a very good worker, has failed at capturing the hearts and minds of the WWE Universe, despite his many accomplishments over the last three years. There seems to be a disconnect between Sheamus’ character (heel or face) and the fans. He got pretty good heat as a heel, and gets decent to pretty good pops now as a babyface, but do people really care about character. The answer in my humble opinion is no, and there are a few reasons why I believe Sheamus’ character isn’t resonating with the masses.
If you haven’t already deduced it, this week’s A Matter of Character will focus on Sheamus. I will analyze his character, highlighting his various strengths, and pointing out the weaknesses that I believe are his hindrances. Following my analysis, I will suggest a way to improve the character moving forward. Let’s Do This!
Having a distinctive look goes a long way in the WWE, and boy does Sheamus have a distinct look. With his extremely pale skin, fiery red hair and handlebar moustache, Sheamus looks much different than all the other superstars on the WWE roster. That aesthetic along with his powerful physique is his biggest strength. He has a look that is memorable and sets him apart from everyone else, and standing out aesthetically is a very important part of getting over with the WWE Universe.
In the ring, Sheamus is also very capable. While his move set is comprised of mainly strikes and throws, Sheamus more often than not does a great job of telling a story in the ring. He uses power as well as uncanny agility for a man his size in the squared circle, and his Brogue Kick is quite frankly one of my favorite finishing maneuvers in the WWE today (I’m partial to quick striking finishers that can be hit out of nowhere).
This is an area where Sheamus is seemingly lacking. He has some personality, at least enough to make me want to like him, but he leaves a lot to be desired as well. He can be funny at times, but more often than not it’s the material and not the delivery. Other times he is dead serious and has violent tendencies. One of Sheamus’ biggest problems is that I can’t get a gage on his personality. I do not know who he is anymore. Is he the generic wisecracking babyface, or is he the tough Irish bastard that is looking for a good fight? As a heel, it was much simpler to discern Sheamus’ personality. He was a bully, meaning that he was violent, unfair, and cowardly. I should be able to summarize his personality in a few sentences, but with Sheamus, I’m not sure what characteristics accurately reflect the personality of his babyface character.
Sheamus should be portrayed exclusively as a tough, no nonsense, ass-kicking hero (or anti-hero if you will), who’s always looking for a fight. Yes, what he fights for is generally heroic, and you’re on his side, but he’s always looking for a fight first and foremost. Basically make him like Marvel Comics’ The Punisher. What he does is technically “good” but, he doesn’t do it fore the sake of being a good guy, he does it because he is a violent person who enjoys hurting other people. He should be violent, confrontational, and unapologetic, but also have a sense of justice and honor. This character has flaws that make him vulnerable, and more human, thus making Sheamus more relatable.
Words and Actions
I honestly tune out most of what Sheamus says as a babyface, because it’s usually so generic. He makes some jokes about the guy and threatens to kick his teeth in, all the while calling him a “Fella”. This isn’t exclusive to Sheamus though. If you’re a babyface and your name isn’t CM Punk or John Cena, I generally tune out your generic babyface promos, because all babyface promos are basically the same. I may be wrong, but I feel that heels get more creative license in their promos than the babyfaces. All that being said, Sheamus’ promos are not bad. In fact he is a pretty good promo guy. He’s got some charisma, but I wish he’d harness it in more entertaining ways.
As far as Sheamus’ actions, since turning babyface, I found that Sheamus was aimlessly wandering through filler storylines that had no bearing on his character, or his opponents, until he won the title at Wrestlemania. Even now, Daniel Bryan, not Sheamus, is emotionally charging their upcoming match at Extreme Rules. Bryan is adding heat to the match; Sheamus is just going to be in it and is bringing nothing to the table emotionally, which unfortunately isn’t much different than 95% of Sheamus’ feuds over the last three years. Sheamus brings the emotional resonance of a mid card superstar and feud, into the main event (in fact there are some mid card feuds that are far more emotionally charged than anything Sheamus has done). He’s got charisma, and I want to like Sheamus more than I do, but he doesn’t bring anything emotionally, and because of that, the character simply doesn’t resonate with me.
What is Sheamus’ Motivation? What drives him, other than every superstar’s desire to win championships? This to me is one of the very biggest reasons his character doesn’t resonate with people. He doesn’t have any real discernable driving force. Sure he says he likes to fight, but he doesn’t seem very passionate about it. If what motivates you is the opportunity to test you mettle against the biggest and baddest the world has to offer, I need to feel how intensely you need it. I need to get the sense that you need that competition more than anything. Instead, I feel like Sheamus is listlessly meandering his way through the WWE week to week. His character lacks the heart that a truly impassioned motivation provides.
As I stated earlier, I feel that Sheamus should be more of an anti-hero, one with an obsession with violence and fighting. About this he is unapologetic and though he has a sense of honor, justice, and generally occupies the moral high ground, he is relentless and even brutal in his execution. This character can be PG, there doesn’t need to be swearing or blood, but if you claim to like beating people up, then beat them up like you need it.
As much as a lack of impassioned motivation his hindering Sheamus’ character, it’s the seemingly complete and utter lack of resistance that makes it hard to identify with him. Most people have to deal with hardships in their lives on a daily basis. An obstacle that makes reaching their ultimate goal more difficult, an obstacle they must overcome in order to succeed. What real obstacles has Sheamus had to overcome in his three-year career?
Other than a short-lived losing streak after winning the King of the Ring or his current issues with referees (which is becoming more meaningless as the weeks pass), everything in Sheamus’ career has seemed like a cakewalk. His character completely lacks any real external or internal conflict, which amplifies the overall aimlessness his character exudes. With no real resistance Sheamus just lackadaisically wanders from program to program, wins championships and earns accolades, all the while providing very little energy and emotion.
Sheamus has been by far, the most difficult superstar I have tried to come up with something for. In my previous pieces, there is a characteristic or trait that the superstar in question truly excels in and in an attempt to get people behind them, I try to amplify and focus on that trait/strength. With Sheamus, I have not been able to find that trait, that thing that he can do so incredibly well. Sheamus in many ways is a jack-of-all-trades, but master of none. He’s good at a lot of things, but isn’t brilliant at any of them. That being said, I did come up with something after brainstorming for a while.
As I have stated above, Sheamus’ biggest problem by far is a lack of resistance or conflict. No one can identify with a man that has faced so little resistance in his rise. What the WWE needs to do, is emotionally charge his upcoming program with Alberto Del Rio. It’s easier said than done, but we need to see Alberto as a truly dangerous obstacle for Sheamus. We need to see Sheamus tricked, duped, fooled, and out maneuvered by Del Rio. We need to see Sheamus on his heels, and forced out of his comfort zone, so that his character can begin to resonate more with the WWE Universe. Through this feud, you could also identify and highlight what motivates Sheamus, in contrast to what motivates Alberto. The two are so different in their ideologies that if booked properly could be a stand out feud for both superstars.
There you have it, but what do you guys think? Are you completely satisfied with Sheamus’ character? Or do you feel like he’s missing passion/emotion? Does Sheamus’ character lack Motivation? Conflict? Do you find his character somewhat passive or indifferent?
Until next time folks, I’m Matty J. Douglas saying I can’t wait till the NBA Playoffs tip off in less than a week. Go Spurs! Have a Great Week Everybody!