Refuting The "Super Sheamus" Label

Let's cool it with the Super Sheamus stuff, kay?
There's no getting away from it: Sheamus has been portrayed as nigh unstoppable over the last year or so.

His win-loss record leans heavily on the win column, and he's looked like a beast throughout much of 2011 and all of 2012. That has led to some resentment within the IWC, and Sheamus has now been given the moniker “Super Sheamus” by certain pockets of internet wrestling fans.

To contextualise this, we need to look at where this “Super” prefix was first handed out: John Cena. Since Cena has become a bonafide mega-star, the company have him win a lot. This in and of itself isn't a bad thing – no-one wants to cheer a loser – but the problem lies in the fact that Cena wins even when the situation doesn't necessitate it, or the win makes no sense.

When you're at the level John Cena is, you can afford a few losses here and there. And in certain situations, a character needs to lose to either enhance or further a story. But also, sometimes a John Cena level guy losing helps his opponent gain much needed credibility and/or momentum.

A good example of where a Cena loss would've helped was SummerSlam 2010. It was a 10-man tag team match between Team WWE vs. Team Nexus, and the match was down to John Cena vs. Justin Gabriel and Wade Barrett. Near the end of the match, Barrett rips up the thin layer of protection over the concrete floor and DDT's Cena onto it. At this point, Cena not only got back up in under ten WWE seconds1 but he won the match moments later.

It infuriated a lot of people – myself included – because not only was it unreasonable to expect that ANYONE could get up after that (especially so quickly), but Cena could've afforded to lose the match. In fact, the story demanded Team Nexus win as they needed the win to look credible. Their loss began the downward spiral of what was – up until this point – a critically acclaimed storyline.

Other times, Cena ends up winning a match he has no right winning. And when I say “no right”, I don't mean to say he's “BURYiNG PEOPLE!!!1”. I mean he's taken so much damn punishment, it's unreasonable that he suddenly manages to come back and win.

A good example of this was Over The Limit 2011, where Cena was involved in an “I Quit” match with The Miz. Miz, being a crafty heel, realized that “I Quit” means there are no rules and decided he could get his buddy Alex Riley to help him. What followed was 20 minutes of a two on one beat down on John Cena. They literally tortured Cena with a kendo stick, smacked him with a camera, and otherwise beat the ever loving shit out of him. To no-one's surprise (and yet more frustration), Cena made a come back at the end of the match as if the past 20 minutes didn't happen, and took the match for himself.

The final reason Cena has been labelled “Super Cena” is because of his propensity never to show weakness under any circumstance. It's still an issue which plagues Cena's character now (with a few notable exceptions). It doesn't seem to matter what anyone says or does to Cena, he'll either come back with some kind of joke, or he'll just beat the crap out of the person and make them look like a dork. And when the company are trying to sell Cena's villainous opponent as a credible threat days before a pay-per-view, it doesn't help. (See: Del Rio, Alberto).

To sum up: the idea of someone being “Super” refers to them winning in pretty much every circumstance (despite narrative or opponent), and them never seeming to show any sign of weakness whatsoever.

This is why I don't get people throwing mud at WWE for having Sheamus win regularly.

Firstly, Sheamus is nowhere near the level of John Cena. WWE are still in the process of getting Sheamus to that promised land where winning and losing isn't even relevant to him and he could lose to anyone. That's not to say Sheamus has to win all the time, nor does he. As far as match result goes, John Cena's credibility is impenetrable. Sheamus isn't quite there yet.

Also, unlike in Cena's case the majority of the time, the Sheamus character does show weakness. It was just on the most recent episode of SmackDown that the show ended with Alberto Del Rio locking Sheamus in the Cross Arm Breaker on the entrance stage. The week before, Del Rio took Sheamus out of the main event using the hood of his car. Plus, I seem to recall Sheamus wearing a bandage on his arm at least two weeks after his 2 out of 3 Falls match with Daniel Bryan at Extreme Rules.

What's most infuriating about people labelling Sheamus like this is the hypocrisy. Right now, Sheamus is World Heavyweight Champion. I can guarantee you that if he were losing to all and sundry, the same people bashing him would be having a proverbial cow. Whatever, but I'll take a champion who wins a lot over a champion who loses a lot every day of the week. Also, if Sheamus were to lose often, these same folk would be bashing WWE for “burying” him.

Look, I'm not refuting this Super Sheamus stuff just because I'm a fan of Sheamus (though I am). I'm refuting it because the opposite is counter productive. A healthy win-loss record is an important factor in making a wrestler look good. (His incredible winning streak was a huge part of the reason Goldberg became so popular.) Again, no-one wants to cheer a loser.

But I'm also refuting this label because contextually it's wrong. Sheamus is not in the same bracket as a John Cena, so people lumping the two together is just ridiculous. Look, Sheamus is beating guys ON HIS LEVEL, not beating guys on levels below him even though a loss to those people would be productive. So, when I see Sheamus brush off a DDT on concrete or come back after 20 minutes of wrestling torture, then I'll concede to the Super Sheamus stuff.

Until that happens, he's not “Super” - or even close.

 1. Because WWE referees have no concept of seconds when they make their counts.