Tomorrow night marks the final pay-per-view of the year and the match on everyone’s minds is the Sheamus/Roman Reigns tussle for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match. One could see this match coming from the very moment Sheamus cashed in his Money in the Bank contract on Sheamus to conclude last month’s below par and almost universally panned Survivor Series. It is not the most tantalising proposition in the world and you can be sure of the crowd, for good reason, to let their feelings be known and to turn on the match.
For starters, it is as obvious as a baseball bat to the face that the creative “machine” are hell-bent on pushing Reigns as the heir apparent to John Cena as the face of the company, and will go by whatever means necessary to accomplish this task, utilising out of desperation every known trick in the book to get him over whether we like it or not. Hell, they are even resorting to the exact same formula with Reigns as they did to Daniel Bryan in 2013; a first taste of the title, followed by a celebration with confetti falling from the ceiling, only to have the moment taken away from them via a cash-in, with Triple H playing a significant role in both outcomes. And we can expect Reigns to continue to get screwed over by The Authority for months on end, probably till at least WrestleMania 32, again just like Bryan. But what worked extraordinarily well the first time and helped Daniel Bryan in the eyes of the fans has not come close to catching fire on the second attempt, a situation that will only continue to backfire the longer it goes on.
Secondly, no one is exactly clamouring to see Sheamus in the main event either. It is quite an ask for the audience to suddenly reinvest in and take seriously “The Celtic Warrior”, having seen him go unsighted in the world title scene since losing the World Heavyweight Championship in 2012 and fade greatly into irrelevance after that, wrestling mainly in the lower-card. After fans had grown sick of witnessing the same shtick for the previous few years, his return and subsequent heel turn in March after a four month absence through injury, complete with a new look including a braided beard and mohawk, should have acted as a catalyst for a reversion to his ruthless early days of 2009-2010 in order to create renewed interest in the Irish superstar. While he did win the Money in the Bank contract to provide some glimmer of hope that he was on the way back, in true WWE fashion he was not made to look like a champion in waiting in the months he had possession of the briefcase, losing many matches of little to no consequence, posing not even the slightest threat whatsoever to the title holder, a far cry from those heady early days. His eventual cash-in therefore has had the effect doing nothing to convince the sceptics that he warrants a return to the main event. And his character, for all the talk of a reinvention, remains largely the same.
All things considered, there will be more than likely nothing wrong with the match itself. With the rules thrown aside and both men being equally matched in their brawling, powerhouse styles of wrestling and with all the available weapons at their disposal, they are sure to put on an excellent match with Sheamus coming out as the winner, with assistance from the recently formed the League of Nations, of which Sheamus is the leader. Just do not expect the crowd, despite the best efforts of the two combatants, to give the match the credit it deserves.