If you heard the name Stephen Farrelly, you wouldn't think much about it. It sounds fairly nice, potentially someone of Irish heritage. We wouldn't spend time imagining the person who has that name being all that tough either. However, what if we said Stephan Farrelly was someone who has spent the better part of the last 12 years developing his craft inside and outside the ring? Many fans that follow the WWE may not know that Stephen Farrelly has gone by primarily one alias throughout his career: none other than the Celtic Warrior, Sheamus.
During his time in independent promotions, Farrelly was known for his size and strength, plus his ability to captivate an audience due to an unrelenting skill set. He was noticed, and it was only a matter of time before he transitioned from the independents onto a much grander stage. Once the opportunity presented itself, Sheamus O'Shaunessy was born.
Farrelly's career has certainly seen more ups than downs. Farrelly's travels from promotion to promotion throughout his career led him to go to a number of different of places all over the world. Whether it was competing in Britain, Ireland or North America, Sheamus really ran the gamut of looks, while trying to evolve. Today he is among the most recognized names within the WWE, where he has performed since 2009. He is the current WWE World Heavyweight champion, but was an athlete in several different sports other than wrestling prior to coming to the WWE. He is an accomplished champion throughout his tenure with the company. We give you 15 things the WWE want you to forget about Stephen Farrelly, better known as Sheamus.
15 He Played Gaelic Football and Rugby
Gaelic Football is played primarily in Ireland. It is a form of football (the North American version) that actually evolved from other traditional ball related games in Ireland. It is played between two teams of 15 players on a rectangular grass pitch. The objective of the sport is to score by passing the ball through the other team's goal (3 points) or a set of two upright posts separated by a crossbar. In a number of ways, it is similar to rugby, which Sheamus also competed in. He played both sports actively while he was in his teenage years.
14 He Is a Former FCW Heavyweight Champion
Florida Championship Wrestling is famous for what came from it: from the ashes of FCW rose NXT. What is remarkable about FCW was that a number of today's WWE talent appeared there before moving on into NXT. Sheamus first appeared with FCW in 2006, and after three years faced and defeated Jack Hager for the FCW championship. He may have only held the title for a few months, but other notables wrestlers such as Seth Rollins, Drew McIntyre, Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas also held the title prior to being called up to the main roster.
13 He Was A Bodyguard For U2
Prior to wrestling, Sheamus' imposing size lent itself to a number of different opportunities. One of these opportunities was acting as a bouncer in a nightclub. The role of the bouncer, or ‘security,' is to ensure fights don't break out among patrons. That ability to provide security also led to the chance to look after members of the legendary band U2, in Bono and Larry Mullen. While it isn't known whether or not he was a fan of their music, it didn't matter because I'm sure he could convince people who might have thought otherwise to enjoy it.
12 His Fandom For Liverpool
One of the biggest sports, if not the biggest sport, in Europe is football, or soccer as it is known in North America, Sheamus has had an allegiance to one team his entire life. One of the biggest leagues in the world is the English Premier League, and within that league is Liverpool F.C. The team is rich in tradition, as it has been in existence a remarkable 123 years. Sheamus' fandom for this team has followed him since his childhood, and the same unbridled passion that he has for this legendary team is there when he steps in the ring.
11 He Feuded With Drew McIntyre Prior To Coming To The WWE
Sheamus first earned a name for himself in the United Kingdom prior to coming to the WWE. While he was there, he captured the IWW (Irish Whip Wrestling) Heavyweight championship. It was also while he was there that he had a long-standing feud with Drew Galloway, who went under the name Drew McIntrye when he was competing in the WWE. What was remarkable about their feud was that it stemmed from both men's allegiances to their country's football (soccer) teams. With Galloway being from Scotland and Sheamus being from Ireland, there was no love lost between them.
10 He First Appeared In The WWE as Part of a Security Team
Wrestlers will take on any role if it means an opportunity to be with the number one promotion. In 2006, Sheamus (who was competing in Britain as Sheamus O'Shaunessy at the time) first appeared on Monday Night Raw when the company did at show at the Manchester Evening News Arena. Sheamus appeared as part of the security team that was brought in to eject DX from ringside during a match. This resulted in a pedigree at the hands of Triple H. It was a bit part for Sheamus that led to his wrestling tryouts in the company.
9 He Was Once Ranked #5 By PWI
One of the most recognized publications for wrestling is Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Each year, they examine everyone in wrestling, whether they are competing on the independent circuit or in a major promotion. Each year brings the publication's list of the top 500 wrestlers of that calendar year. While some may think that ranking 500 wrestlers isn't a challenge, it is when you consider how many wrestlers are competing all over the world. In 2012, Sheamus ranked #5 in PWI's 500. A top five ranking, considering where he was competing only eight years earlier, is a tremendous accomplishment for the Irishman. His poor booking recently would be something the WWE wouldn't give much credence to today.
8 He Made His Main Roster Debut as Part of the ECW Brand
Upon making his main roster debut, Sheamus didn't join either the Smackdown or Raw brand. Upon his debut, his name was shortened from Sheamus O'Shaunessy to simply Sheamus. At the end of June 2009, he appeared on ECW and engaged in his first feud while he was there. He was put in a program with veteran, Goldust who could help him along. This then led to a feud with another former Intercontinental champion, Shelton Benjamin. ECW is no longer there, but anyone that had the opportunity to compete there relished their time there. If we often can't remember it, then the WWE will just have us pretend it didn't happen.
7 He Was Named The 100th WWE Champion in Company History
It's a claim no one else can ever make. During the Fatal Four Way PPV event, Sheamus won the match by pinning John Cena, and walked away with the title. This was the second time Sheamus captured the WWE Heavyweight championship as well. It's incredible that the WWE has had as many champions as it has, but for the Celtic Warrior he has the distinction of being the 100th champion in company history. Sadly, it was just a number regardless of how much it may have meant at the time. It's a forgotten memory now.
6 He Was the First Irish-Born WWE Champion
The WWE has long been recognized for having champions whose origins are from all over the world. For example, Calgary, Alberta, Canada's Bret Hart won the WWE title. Yokozuna, advertised as being Japanese, but actually from Samoa, and won the WWE title. Iran native The Iron Sheik captured the title, as did Puerto Rican Pedro Morales, and Andre the Giant who was from France won the WWE championship as well. With all these different countries being represented, it is interesting that Sheamus holds the distinction of being the first Irish born champion. What have you done for me lately, seems to be a more common trend around him.
5 He Will Play Rocksteady in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2
Heroes in a half shell! Turtle Power! The popular 1980s cartoon has seen several reboots. There have been animated versions, and even live action films where the characters are able to jump off the screen. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will once again be on the big screen, and this time the movie will include a familiar face. For someone possessing Sheamus' size, strength and onscreen character, the opportunity to appear in movies is a natural transition. In the upcoming film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Half Shell, Sheamus will play the role of Rocksteady, which was a rhinoceros in the animated program.
4 He Was Listed as Most Improved Wrestler by the Wrestling Observer
Among the criticism's about Sheamus is that he remains the same that there isn't anything new about him when he comes to the ring. Last year, fans were screaming for a heel turn for him because it made the most sense and would really benefit him. In 2010, popular wrestling news publication The Wrestling Observer Newsletter listed Sheamus as the most improved wrestler of the year. If you think back to that time and his transition from ECW to the Raw brand, it was quite significant. He went from feuding with credible veterans to facing John Cena for the WWE Heavyweight championship.
3 His Career Was Put on Hold for Two Years After Suffering an Injury
Injuries are a risk wrestlers face each and every day. In the case of Sheamus, he has suffered injuries a few times during his time with the WWE. However, there was a time before he even made it to the company, early on in his career, where he faced such an injury that sidelined him for nearly two years. While training, he failed to take the bump of a hip toss effectively, and seriously injured his neck in the process. It is incredible to believe that his career would have never happened, had his neck not fully recover from the injury.
2 He Was An IT Technician
With someone the size, shape and frame of Sheamus, a number of possibilities for what he could do for work outside wrestling come to mind. Given his build, he was a natural as a bouncer, and certainly could work construction or some kind of trade. However, for Sheamus, the adage of never judging a book by its cover could not more be true. Prior to wrestling and going to the WWE, he was an IT technician. Remember, this near 300 lb WWE World Heavyweight champion is just as recognized for his brain as much as for his brawn.
1 He Has Multiple Victories Over World Champions
When you think of the near seven years that Sheamus has been in the WWE, he has racked up numerous accolades. He has earned them not only because of the titles he has won, but who he has beaten to win them. John Cena, Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan are all multiple time World champions, and three of the most prominent names to win the title over the last 15 years. Sheamus holds the distinction of defeating all of them for the title. That's quite impressive, considering each will more than likely go into the WWE Hall of Fame.