What is with all the heat Sheamus is getting from fans over winning the Money in the Bank ladder match? I’m not talking about heel heat, I’m talking about “X-Pac heat,” where there seems to be genuine displeasure over him winning the briefcase. I felt it was unexpected and provided a platform to help and restart on Sheamus a main event heel. Care to weigh in?
Putting Sheamus over in the Money in the Bank ladder match was not a bad creative decision. It was unexpected and Sheamus can be perceived as a credible threat for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Sheamus was not the company’s first choice and in fact, was option C, behind Roman Reigns and Dolph Ziggler. Apparently the reluctance to put Reigns over had to do with continued discussions about turning him heel, which is something that could still happen in his program with Bray Wyatt.
Ziggler, a 2012 Money in the Bank winner, was never believed to be a serious contender to win it this year and I continue to hear rumors about him possibly departing WWE before the end of 2015. Whether or not they’re true remains to be seen but it’s clear he’s simply a mid-card talent at this time.
Sheamus’s booking on Raw, which saw him go under clean to Dean Ambrose, showed me WWE isn’t sure where they are going with him. It’s not that he looked bad losing to Ambrose but it’s clear to me this isn’t necessarily a reset on Sheamus as a top main event star.
As for fans not liking Sheamus as the Money in the Bank winner, I don’t believe it’s because it’s a bad creative decision as much as it’s a boring creative decision. We’ve seen Sheamus’s ceiling. Sheamus is an upper mid-card talent that can perform in the main event when called upon. He’s reliable and consistent and can work as heel or babyface. Sheamus is not a transcendent talent.
A good comparison would be former WWE star Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio was a guy that was internationally known, had adequate in-ring work and enough personality to be an upper level guy but he never drew as a top name. He was good but not great. The same can be said for Sheamus. Sheamus is a proven upper mid-card guy but he’ll never be Seth Rollins or Brock Lesnar.
The thing about the Money in the Bank ladder match is that it creates opportunities for guys with untapped potential. Roman Reigns has been one of the most polarizing names for over a year, however, most will agree we haven’t seen his ceiling. Is Reigns just an upper mid-card talent or is he a transcendent guy that can draw on his own? That’s a question that hasn’t been answered, even though he was in the Wrestlemania 31 main event against Brock Lesnar.
Reigns was handpicked by WWE officials as the next top guy over a year ago yet every time they get close to bringing him to that level, they pull back. I don’t know why but it’s a strange situation. Consider the fact WWE was willing to ruin the Royal Rumble the second year in a row by putting Reigns over when everyone and their brother (and their mother) knew fans were going to reject the outcome. WWE knew it and even brought The Rock in to help quell it. Not even The Rock could save him but WWE didn’t care and stood firm. However, when they finally got to Wrestlemania, they gave Rollins the rub and saved Reigns for later.
Since then, Reigns has been slowly building back to that level when many felt the Money in the Bank ladder match was going to be his avenue to the top, much like it was for Rollins. For whatever reason, WWE decided to have him work another mid-card program with Bray Wyatt and give the briefcase to Sheamus. Again, it wasn’t a bad move, it was just a boring move. We’ve seen the ceiling of Sheamus. We haven’t seen the ceiling of Roman Reigns.
The majority of fans like the concept of the Money in the Bank briefcase because it provides an opportunity for an intriguing prospect to prove their worth. Seth Rollins is a perfect example. While most of us knew Rollins was very talented, few knew he would get over like he is today. I know people that are friends with Rollins that are surprised with how well he’s developed. What’s crazy with Rollins is we’re still on the way up and haven’t seen his ceiling. All we know is that he’s very high up and is going to be a big star for many years to come.
The disappointment in Sheamus winning the 2015 briefcase is that it’ll be another year before someone gets the opportunity and there isn’t much unknown to Sheamus. Even if he successfully cashes in, most of us know what we’re going to get him - a reliable upper mid-card guy that isn’t going to be a transcendent talent on his own.