Updated: Apr 12
I know you’re already judging the title of this article, but hear me out. Sheamus has been in WWE for almost 10 years and has held multiple championships so on the one hand, it might be considered weird to say he’s underrated. While he’s accomplished a lot, he’s never been the top guy or much of a fan favourite. Most of that is down to how he’s been presented over the course of his career. A quick look at his time with the company has shown they’ve never done much to help endear him to fans. In fact, a lot of what people don’t like about him isn’t even his fault.
Sheamus debuted in 2009 on the rebooted ECW before moving to RAW a few months later. When he arrived, things appeared to be going well as he looked like an aggressive and arrogant heel and in December of that year he won the WWE Championship from John Cena. What should have been a moment to elevate a new star really didn’t mean anything in the long run. First off, it was a table match so it looked like he just got lucky; he then retained it by DQ and then lost it in a multi-man match. A few months later, he won it back in even less convincing fashion, pinning Cena after the Nexus laid him out and from there, his second reign mirrored his first. In between these first two title reigns, he would also lose to Triple H at WrestleMania 26 - not a good showing for his first Mania. Things did look up briefly when he took on Triple H at the next PPV which was supposed to lead to a rematch at the next years Mania. However, it was seen as not a big enough match so Triple H got his revenge by laying him out on a random episode of RAW. Instead Sheamus went on a pointless US title reign that included being relegated to the dark match of Mania 27. In the Summer he turned face and was saddled with the Irish guy who likes fighting gimmick.
He won the Royal Rumble in 2012, but only because the wild internet rumours stating Jericho would win deemed it too predictable. Regardless, it looked like he was set to have great match with Daniel Bryan. Instead it ended in 18 seconds which did more to gain support for Bryan than it did for Sheamus. He was put in a no-win situation and he knew it, but it involved him winning the world title, so he wasn’t going to say no. His world title reign was okay but involved a feud with Alberto Del Rio which felt like it lasted 10 years. His reign was ended in a feud with the Big Show that included a comically big steel chair.
He was pretty much a nonentity for most of 2013 and 14. His babyface character was one dimensional and he suffered a couple of injuries. Things changed in 2015 when he returned once again as a heel with his now famous mohawk. The fans quickly crapped on it, but he used that to help gain as much heat as possibly. He went after smaller guys like Ziggler and Bryan and things seem to be going well; that was until it was ruined by those 4 little words: Kiss Me Arse Match. His Money in The Bank win was underwhelming. Instead of using it to give someone their first world title they gave to a guy whose credibility has been hindered by having people kiss his arse less than a month earlier. The potential of him finally having a decent reign and for the League of Nations to be a legitimate faction were quickly dashed when it became painfully clear it was a shallowly veiled attempt at getting Roman over for the umpteenth time!
Post brand-split Sheamus was so far down the roster you could have easily forgotten about him. He became involved in a best of 7 series with Cesaro, with a great final match that ended in a double count out. This lead to them becoming an unwilling tag team which everyone hated at the time, but now they’re undoubtedly one of the best teams in WWE and a highlight of RAW. They definitely bring out the best in each other. As much as I like Cesaro he’s not the best on the mic but that’s okay: Sheamus is more than capable of being the team’s mouthpiece allowing Cesaro to let his in ring ability do his talking for him. So, all in all, most of the bad stuff associated with Sheamus has been down to WWE’s presentation of him. He’s been put in situations that didn’t help him - mostly due to their desire to have him as a face when he’s a natural heel. Whatever he’s given he tries to make the best of it. With the news that he’s struggling with a neck injury we might not see him on WWE TV for much longer which is a huge shame - while he might not have been our favourite in the past I honestly believe that people won’t realise how much of a talent he is until he’s gone.