His reign as WWE champion wasn’t as long as he would have liked, but Irish pro wrestling superstar Sheamus is battling on all the way to Wrestlemania at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona this Sunday, March 28, where he’ll face off against the redoubtable legend Triple H in one of the pay-per-view event’s main matches.
Victory over Triple H -- winner of more than a dozen various WWE belts, and the son-in-law of WWE Chairman Vince McMahon – will once again set Sheamus up for a crack at the championship he covets.
And yes, the Dubliner is certain that Triple H will be history with a capital H after their brawl on Sunday at Wrestlemania, the WWE’s World Series equivalent which is in its 26th year.
“Of course I’m gonna beat him. I wouldn’t think anything else!” an excited Sheamus told the Irish Voice during a recent interview.
“I admire and respect Triple H for everything he’s done, but this is my chance. I’m going to use him as a stepping stone. I’m going to use him to launch myself back into the number one contender spot for the WWE championship.”
Sheamus surrendered his WWE belt during the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view in February after an epic battle in a steel cage against five challengers, among them Triple H, who dumped Sheamus over the metal with a concussion that kept him out of competitive action for several days.
But revenge is a dish best served cold in front of 70,000 screaming fans and a worldwide audience of millions, and Sheamus, known as the Celtic Warrior, is relishing the chance to finally get even.
“It’s going to be like two bulls locking horns, two of the biggest guys going at it,” says Sheamus.
“It’s not going to be pretty, it’s not going to be technical. It’s going to be a brawl. Triple H is the king of Wrestlemania, and to be honest with you, to me it’s as big as the WWE championship.”
The former WWE title holder was down after losing the belt he held for only two months, and suffering the concussion to boot. “It was a pretty tough match and I hit my head pretty hard. It’s still a bit of a blur,” Sheamus admits.
Making matters worse was that the Irish superstar would have faced his old nemesis John Cena the following night on the WWE’s live Monday show Raw on the USA Network, with the winner guaranteed a title match against new champ Batista at Wrestlemania. But medical clearance wasn’t forthcoming, so all Sheamus could do was watch on the sidelines as Cena earned the title challenge.
But that was then and this is now. Sheamus is fully healed and has resumed a regular schedule, and he’s determined to prove to the naysayers that his reign at the top was no fluke.
“A lot of people were saying about John Cena that he fell through the table, that I didn’t push him through the table,” Sheamus said of his December victory over WWE champ Cena at the Tables, Ladders and Chairs event.
“You get these critics, but this time when I go to Wrestlemania and I beat Triple H, this is really going to cement my place in the top tier in the WWE.”
Sheamus is one of a new, younger crop of wrestlers with attitude who have been making waves in the WWE. The 6’6”flame-haired, pale-skinned Celtic Warrior admits to watching and admiring the venerable veteran Triple H while growing up in Dublin, but that’s where the flattery ends.
“Well, I don’t know about being friends. We’re not real friends,” Sheamus said when asked about his off-screen relationship with Triple H.
“There are no friends in the WWE. Everyone is out for themselves. Basically what this match is to me is a chance to take my career to another level.”
On Monday night during the Raw telecast, Sheamus gave Triple H a preview of what to expect at Wrestlemania on Sunday when he put his big boot to the head of a rampaging Randy Orton to secure the win for his side in a handicap tag team match. Though Triple H was also in action and bounced Sheamus out of the ring after the contest ended, the Irishman is brimming with confidence and promises that he won’t be denied at Wrestlemania.
Sheamus’ career since joining the WWE, the most famous pro wrestling/multi-media business in the world, has been on fire. He first debuted as part of the WWE’s ECW brand in June, and moved to the top-rated Raw broadcast in October. Since then he’s mowed through a succession of high-profile opponents, culminating with the championship victory over the WWE’s top draw, Cena, at Tables, Ladders and Chairs in December.
“Everything’s going fantastic. If you think about it I debuted on ECW in June, and in less than a year I’ve been WWE champion. I’ve done main events on pay per views, and now I’m going to Wrestlemania,” Sheamus says.
“I don’t think I could have written it better. I’m just glad to represent the Irish. For such a small country for me to do that, I’m lovin’ it. I wouldn’t change a thing.”
The schedule is intense – tapings of Raw followed by several WWE live appearances throughout the country each week – which doesn’t leave much time for Sheamus to visit his home base in St. Augustine, Florida. But he is looking forward to finally making it home to Ireland next month, as the WWE has shows set for Dublin and Belfast.
“I can’t wait. My only regret is that I’m not bringing the WWE championship home with me, but if bring a win over Triple H, that’ll be great,” Sheamus said.
“Wrestlemania is going to be my biggest encounter yet, so if you’re Irish and you’ve got that pay-per-view service order it now because you’re not going to want to miss it. History is going to be made when this fella from the small country of Ireland topples one of the biggest names ever in sports entertainment!”
For more information on the four-hour live Wrestlemania event, which starts at 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 28, visit www.wrestlemania.com, or check with your cable provider for ordering.
Jackie believed Lyndon B. Johnson had John F. Kennedy killed