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WWE is dropping the ball on Sheamus

Philip Rivers can be deadly in the playoffsThe breakout of Sheamus last year in the WWE was so impressive. Sheamus was on his way to becoming an elite main event wrestler. Over the last few months the WWE has done a great job of slowing down his momentum which begs the question, why in the world are they dropping the ball with Sheamus?

I will admit that I really didn’t get Sheamus at first. Yet after a few months he grew on me. Sheamus came out of ECW obscurity immediately in the main-event picture with a strong showing at Survivor Series 2009. Sheamus continued to ascend by being shot into a feud with WWE poster boy John Cena and shocked the world by winning the WWE championship at TLC 2009. Closing out 2009 the sky was the limit for the Celtic Warrior.

Sheamus put any thoughts of being a fluke WWE champion to rest with a succession of successful title defenses. Not only was Sheamus going over the elite WWE superstars, he was bulldozing his way through them with credible wins. On top of that, his character was fresh and the WWE universe bought into him faster than anyone else in the last few years that was pushed to the top of the cards. Sheamus was money and everyone could see it…well everyone except the WWE apparently.

Sheamus dropped the WWE championship back to John Cena at the Elimination Chamber show. While most big pushes (CM Punk, Jack Swagger) usually end once the wrestler drops the title, Sheamus actually got stronger. Sheamus was thrust into a feud with Triple H. The two would wrestle in a highly anticipated WrestleMania match. The obvious result here was Sheamus going over to continue his stronghold at the top. A win would have turned him into the most successful push of a young WWE superstar since Randy Orton. Of course that win wouldn’t come and ladies and gentleman, that was the night the party ended for Sheamus.

Sheamus did get his wins over Triple H but it wasn’t the WrestleMania win that would have done him wonders. Sheamus not only got his win, but ran Triple H out of the WWE due to injury. It looked like Sheamus was back on track to reclaim his spot. Even with the WrestleMania damage done, Sheamus reclaimed the WWE championship and had a real strong summer feuding with John Cena and other WWE superstars. It looked like a solid bet that Sheamus wasn’t just your average WWE superstar anymore, he was one of the elite or as they like to say in wrestling a “top guy.” (Obvious joke here of course)

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Sheamus finally dropped the WWE championship, this time to Randy Orton at the WWE Night of Champions show in the Six Pack Challenge. No problem, the next step for Sheamus would be some rematches and a new feud with a top guy either on RAW or SmackDown right? Nope. Sheamus started a slow, subtle, drop back down to the mid card level of WWE superstars. The WWE superstar who was positioned for a long run at the top at the beginning of the year was now doing jobs for Santino Marella on RAW.

There is nothing wrong with doing a job for Santino Marella but Sheamus he never even got his heat back. Sheamus suddenly found himself in a feud with perennial mid carder John Morrison. Sheamus and Morrison had a hell of a match at TLC 2010 but Sheamus lost. One year ago Sheamus was the breakout star delivering a fresh presence at the top of the cards where today he sits far removed from the main event picture and his wins over Triple H and title reign are all but forgotten.

I know he won King of the Ring but what does it matter if he loses a big match a week or so later? Going into 2010 the top of the WWE RAW cards feature John Cena, Wade Barrett, The Miz, and Randy Orton which just isn’t going to cut it. What made Sheamus so special was that not only was his character different, but in the ring he wrestled like a main-event pro wrestler which is more than I can say for Barrett and Miz. Sheamus was the WWE’s best bet at a new breakout superstar and now he lingers in a world of parody.

In my opinion Sheamus’ lost momentum was the biggest disappointment of 2010 and a complete failure by the WWE. It just doesn’t make sense. Of all the attempts to push younger WWE stars to the elite level in the last few years, Sheamus was by far the most successful. I don’t know if there is an underlying story here outside of the ring or it is the standard WWE booking method of parody but somewhere between WrestleMania 26 and the WWE Night of Champions Sheamus fell out of favor with the top brass and Vinnie Mac.

WWE Survivor Series came in with its lowest Survivor Series domestic buyrate ever. The reason the numbers are down across the board is the same repetitious main-events on both RAW and SmackDown. It is one thing to elevate someone and then bring them back to the pack if they don’t get over. But to elevate Sheamus, see him get over, set him up for a future on top, and then pull the rug out from under him just makes zero sense. If Sheamus can’t get a fair shake at the top than who can?

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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