Sheamus' stock in WWE is once again at an all-time high. While receiving a monster push out of the gate in 2009, Sheamus found himself teetering in mediocrity mid-way through 2011 as a Supplemental Draft pick, moving him from Raw to Smackdown.
Following his move to Smackdown, WWE began an initiative to re-build Sheamus as one of the top babyfaces on the brand. Working in the main event since June with the support of Triple H, Sheamus has continued to impress WWE officials both in and out the ring. Not only has the company been very pleased with the way his babyface turn has gone over, many are very high up on his media appearances outside of the ring. One of the high marks has to do with his "old school" mentality of remaining in-character when dealing with the media.
Chris Jericho was the favorite to win the 30-man Royal Rumble match and considered to be the "obvious" pick, especially given the fact WWE wants to do Jericho vs. CM Punk in the "best in the world" feud for Wrestlemania XXVIII. Sheamus was ultimately decided on as the winner of the Rumble match to continue to build him back up with the feeling they can still program Jericho with Punk. As WWE creative often does, they changed on Jericho going over to keep from being "too predictable."
One note of interest that I mentioned in Richard Reacts to WWE Royal Rumble, is that if Daniel Bryan makes it to Wrestlemania XXVIII as World Heavyweight Champion, the match that was bumped to dark at last year's Wrestlemania, would be one of this year's main events. Sheamus and Daniel Bryan wrestled to a no-contest dark Lumberjack match prior to Wrestlemania XXVII last year.