I’ve got some good news and bad news for Sheamus fans. The good news is that Sheamus won the WWE United States champion. The bad news is that Sheamus is the new U.S. champion. How this turns out is anyone’s guess.
My first inclination is to think that Sheamus is in the dog house. The U.S. championship has been greatly devalued in the WWE. This is hardly the championship that Ricky Steamboat and Ric Flair feuded over. A list of former U.S. champions under the WWE banner reads like a roll call of low-mid carders. Sheamus is probably the most prominent name that has held the championship since Chris Benoit in 2006 (sans a seven day reign by Bret Hart).
The WWE are careful not to associate their big guns with secondary championships like this one. It is quite clear when you watch WWE television that there is an elite level of wrestlers and those guys don’t go anywhere near the U.S. or intercontinental championships. Sheamus is not a name you would ever expect to be near this title, especially wearing it.
Like Batista, Sheamus came back at the wrong time. Sheamus left the WWE in 2013 due to injury as one of the top stars in the company. He was slotted for the same spot when he came back as he was advertised in main-event six-man tag team matches on house shows immediately. He was booked to turn wrestle Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania and then came the Yes Movement. That match was shut down when Bryan was promoted and Sheamus has been left lingering ever since.
Sheamus definitely needs some kind of a makeover. I loved him as a heel but he got old fast as a babyface. He got way too corny for my tastes and smiled a little too much to be taken seriously. He was almost a parody of what a babyface is supposed to be in wrestling. He lost his edge and it was his edge that appealed to me as a fan when he played the villain.
But what if this is not a demotion after all? What if this is a promotion…a promotion of the U.S. title. What if the WWE are trying to elevate the title? Secondary titles were prominent and important in WWE history. Maybe with the launch of the WWE Network Vince McMahon is feeling a little nostalgic? Maybe Sheamus will bring that rich history back to the title and elevate it near the top of the cards?
Whether this is good or not for Sheamus is something that can’t be answered today. If it means that Sheamus’ character is getting his edge back, well then that is definitely a good thing.
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