WWE referees up-in-arms; update of Chad Patton's condition; consequences for Sheamus

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April 06, 2012

With a chance to compete for the World Title on the line, Alberto Del Rio defeated new World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus via disqualification Friday night on SmackDown. The victory was wrought with controversy, however, as WWE referee Chad Patton mistakenly disqualified the champion for using a chair in the bout.

Red-hot with rage, The Great White proceeded to deliver a devastating Brogue Kick to Patton, sending the official crashing to the canvas. The SmackDown crowd was hushed as a group of referees surrounded their wounded coworker and eventually helped him to his feet. A medical team then examined Patton backstage.

WWE physician Dr. Chris Amann commented on the incident, saying, "As [Patton] fell backwards, he sustained some trauma to the back of his head." Dr. Amann added, "We found that he had some dizziness and disorientation ... He’s currently undergoing further evaluation and treatment for his head trauma and we’ll have further updates when they’re available."

Even before his match against Del Rio, Sheamus wasn’t exactly on John Laurinaitis’ good side. The new Raw and SmackDown General Manager hasn’t been happy with the World Heavyweight Champion’s attitude of late. Accusing Sheamus of being too reactionary, Laurinaitis told The Great White that he "expects more out of a champion" and that he can’t go around "kicking people’s heads off."

In response, Sheamus told Laurinaitis that, "The only people that get their heads kicked off are the ones who truly deserve it."

But The Celtic Warrior’s actions later that night spoke louder than his words. Although he certainly made an error in judgment, one can argue that Patton didn’t truly deserve the punishment dished out by The Great White.

After the shocking incident, the WWE Universe is left to wonder what will happen to the new World Heavyweight Champion. Laurinaitis can’t be happy with Sheamus, and WWE.com has learned that the champion will indeed be fined for his actions.

Laurinaitis is also considering further disciplinary action, though no one yet knows what that might entail. The new GM of both Raw and SmackDown has not been shy about doling out penalties to those who have crossed or disappointed him, and the WWE Universe can only guess what he may cook up for Sheamus.

After WWE.com spoke with several WWE referees, it is clear that there is an overwhelming call for some further action — possibly a suspension. But with Laurinaitis’ penchant for harsh punishments, could The Celtic Warrior face a fate even worse than suspension?

Laurinaitis “owes” Del Rio one for the aristocratic Superstar’s support over the past few months, and it’s clear that Del Rio wants Sheamus’ title. Could Laurinaitis go as far as firing The Celtic Warrior, strip him of his championship and award it to the No. 1 contender?

For the moment at least, the WWE Universe can only speculate.

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