Sheamus is a legend in the WWE and the greatest Irish wrestler in company history. He is a multi-time world champion and is only one title away from becoming a grand slam champion in the company.
From Sheamus WWE debut in 2009 all the way through 2023 he has continued to up his game and be one of the top stars in the roster. He proved that in 2022 when he had a five star match with Gunther in Cardiff during Clash at the Castle. However, he failed to win the Intercontinental championship and complete the Grand Slam that he so desires.
In this article, we’ll explain how Sheamus made his WWE debut, his draft to war and how he broke records when he won the WWE Championship for the first time.
Sheamus debuted In WWE In 2009
Sheamus debuted in the WWE in 2009 as part of the ECW brand. During this time, the company was using ECW as part of an initiative to bring through young stars that could become WWE Superstars in the future.
One of these wrestlers was a 6 foot 5 pasty white wrestler called Sheamus. Previously known as Sheamus O’Shaunessy, he was signed after a good spell on the European Independent circuit where had rivalries against future WWE stars like Wade Barrett and Drew McIntyre. Sheamus spend three years in developmental before making his debut in ECW in 2009.
Sheamus wrestled his first match in WWE on 30 June 2009 on ECW. He debuted as a heel, or villain, against jobber Oliver John in a short squash match. His huge frame pale skin and spiked ginger hair made him immediately recognisable. He also employed a hard-hitting style that made fans cringe as he laid fist after fist into the chest of his victim.
He cut a short promo before the match to announce himself before taking all his pent up anger out on Oliver John. He dominated his much more tanned opponent, hitting a big Brogue Kick and a white noise to put away John and win his first match in the WWE. He would continue to dominate in WWE until he was moved to Raw unexpectedly later that year in October.
He Won His First WWE Championship From John Cena
Soon after debut in WWE, Sheamus won the WWE Championship from John Cena in one of the biggest upsets in the companies history. Having been wrestling on the main roster for less than a year, the Irishman had no business becoming world champion so soon. However, it was clear Vince McMahon had big things in mind for Sheamus and did not want to wait before giving him his big push.
On the episode of Raw following Survivor Seires 2009, Sheamus won a battle royal to determine the next opponent for WWE Champion John Cena. The match was during an “old school Raw” episode and featured Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura on commentary. Despite being dubbed the “Breakthrough Battle Royal” and claiming to have only wrestlers who had not been world champion competing, Randy Orton took part in the match.
Sheamus won the match by last throwing out Kofi Kingston to earn a shot at the WWE Championship at TLC 2009. In the contract signing following the win, he put John Cena through a table and announced his intentions to take the belt off The Champ in a tables match.
On 13 December at TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs pay-per-view, Sheamus defeated Cena to win the WWE Championship, his first championship in WWE. He pushed John Cena from the top rope and the champion fell through the table. The finish of the match looked like a botch but it was later revealed it had been the planned ending all along. WWE wanted it to look like a mistake to protect John Cena from losing clean to the up and coming star.
When Sheamus won the WWE Championship from John Cena, he became the first ever Irish WWE Champion in history. While Vince McMahon claims to be Irish, he and all his immediately family were born and raised in America and you’d have to go back generations to find any Irish blood in his roots. Sheamus was the first Irish born WWE Champion and the first of two Irish world champions (Finn Balor won the Universal Championship in 2016.
Sheamus took only 166 days from his WWE debut to becoming WWE Champion. An astonishing feat for the young Irishman. He was only beaten by Brock Lesnar (126 days) and Ric Flair (113 days) as the shortest time from debut to championship. However, Flair was already a multi-time world champion outside of the WWE before his debut so should really not be discussed as part of this list.