Irish wrestler Sheamus O'Shaughnessy will battle for the WWE title against popular champion John Cena in a pay-per-view event that is expected to draw millions of viewers worldwide.
Sheamus is really Stephen Farrelly, a 31-year-old Dubliner, and is a former bodyguard for Bono.
Sheamus, who speaks fluent Irish, was a complete unknown a few months ago — but all that is set to change. WWE chairman Vince McMahon is gambling heavily on the unknown Irish wrestler — who is very far from a household name.
But McMahon has been known to wok plenty of Irish magic.
If he defeats Cena, it will be the biggest upheaval in WWE ranks since the Undertaker got floored and Triple H got double-teamed.
Sheamus' meteoric rise has stunned the wrestling world, and set up a showdown with a an incredibly popular champion who is considered unbeatable.
If Sheamus wins, he will have enjoyed the quickest rise in professional wrestling since — well, Hulk Hogan.
A few months ago, Sheamus was taking part in Florida Championship Wrestling, a minor league for the WWE.
Now he will face the WWE champion for all the marbles after winning a series of elimination bouts.
Sheamus made his debut as a villain on the June 30 edition of Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), calling himself the Celtic Warrior.
He won several bouts before making his debut in the major brand "Raw" — and then on pay-per-view. There he defeated Jamie Noble, and later sent Noble into temporary retirement with another whipping.
Still playing the bad guy, Sheamus won an elimination match to everyone's surprise, and will face Cena in the WWE championship match on pay-per-view.
He began wrestling in his home town of Dublin but was forced into a two-year layoff after damaging his neck.
Farrelly played the role of "Two Ton" in the 2008 movie "The Escapist," alongside Joseph Fiennes and Brian Cox. He had a small role in the 2006 Irish film, 3 "Crosses," and was a Celtic Warrior Zombie in the opening sequence of the 2009 movie "Assault of Darkness" opposite Vinnie Jones.
Aside from "The Chairman" McMahon, an Irish American, WWE has a fairly full docket of wrestlers who are either Irish, Irish American, or who use an Irish theme as part of their persona. The stocky Finlay is perhaps best-known among this crew, as is his midget counterpart Hornswoggle, who dresses as a leprechaun.
Log in with your social accounts:
Or, log in with your IrishCentral account:
Don't have an account yet? Register now !
Join IrishCentral with your social accounts:
Already have an account ? Log in
Or, sign up for an IrishCentral account below:
Make sure we gathered the correct information from you
You already have an account on IrishCentral! Please confirm you're the owner.
Our new policy requires our users to save a first and last name. Please update your account: