Remember When: A "Do or Die" Night for Sheamus

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April 19, 2012

The curse of “too much, too soon”?

The Extreme Rules 2010 Street Fight between Triple H and Sheamus drastically changed the course of both Superstars’ careers. For The Great White, the trajectory alteration could not have come at a better time.

Not even a year removed from his June 2009 debut, The Celtic Warrior had reached the highest heights, and he was already falling – fast. Within the first six months of his WWE career, Sheamus toppled John Cena to win the WWE Championship.

Yet, as quickly as Sheamus built his momentum, he lost it. His title reign ended two months later in an Elimination Chamber Match after Triple H Pedigreed and pinned him. In a crucial bout at WrestleMania XXVI, The Game again got the better of the 2009 Slammy Award-winner for “Breakout Superstar of the Year.”

I had to show people I wasn’t a fluke.

Not only had Triple H dealt Sheamus his second consecutive pay-per-view loss, but he did so by surviving the Irishman’s dreaded Brogue Kick, tarnishing Sheamus’ mystique among his fellow competitors.

The bloom was off the rose. Suddenly, the highly touted Great White was looking more like The Great Lost Cause. The fact that Sheamus’ brief title reign started in a Tables Match – meaning he never technically pinned John Cena – caused some WWE fans to question his legitimacy as champion.

The problem of achieving too much success too quickly plagues athletes in all sports, and Sheamus sensed his place among main eventers may have been coming to a close.

“It was make-or-break for me, considering I rose to the top very fast,” the current World Heavyweight Champion said. “If I was going to stay in the top tier, I had to show people I wasn’t a fluke.”

Only one obstacle stood in Sheamus’ way: The King of Kings, Triple H.

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