Sheamus def. World Heavyweight Champion Big Show by disqualification

INDIANAPOLIS — The punishment unleashed Sunday night by Sheamus left World Heavyweight Champion Big Show in a wholly unfamiliar state of helplessness, but it fell short of earning The Celtic Warrior his second World Heavyweight Championship. ( VIEW PHOTOS | WATCH EXCLUSIVE)

Though it was Big Show who was left exhausted, battered and crawling back to the locker room after the closing bell rang, the cagey veteran used an underhanded tactic to retain the title. ( VIEW PHOTOS)

Capping off a fortnight of despicable acts that included concussing Sheamus’ mentor William Regal and spilling many a frosty pint of brew in an English pub, Big Show pulled official Scott Armstrong into the path of Sheamus’ Brogue Kick during a critical moment in the title bout. The illegal maneuver, which became apparent to all upon viewing the replay, scored Big Show some breathing room as well as a valuable distraction. Sheamus joined WWE referees and medical personnel in checking on Armstrong, and as soon as The Celtic Warrior returned his attention to the champion, it was too late.

Big Show was lying in wait, and he pounced with a KO Punch the instant Sheamus turned around. Though a referee who entered the ring to assist Armstrong originally counted the pinfall in Show’s favor, official John Cone later ruled Sheamus prevailed via disqualification because Big Show intentionally put an official in harm's way. From there, Sheamus — equipped with a steel chair — began a post-match assault the World Heavyweight Champion and the WWE Universe won’t soon forget.

Nearly 20 minutes earlier, however, both Superstars were upright and trading stiff blows in the opening moments of the championship encounter. Picking up right where their Match of the Year candidate from last month’s WWE Hell in a Cell left off, Big Show and Sheamus clobbered each other. The Irishman tore into the 440-plus-pounder with rib-bruising knees, and Show brought his XXXL-sized mitts down upon Sheamus’ chest with weltering effect.

Facing a larger opponent, The Celtic Warrior was able to put his speed advantage to use, yet the strategy did not always pay off. Sheamus launched himself off the top rope, but Big Show simultaneously propelled himself into his challenger with a giant spear. The subsequent mid-air collision created a ring-trembling impact and, according to Jerry “The King” Lawler, was a potential turning point in the match.

Sheamus def. World Heavyweight Champion Big Show by disqualification

INDIANAPOLIS — The punishment unleashed Sunday night by Sheamus left World Heavyweight Champion Big Show in a wholly unfamiliar state of helplessness, but it fell short of earning The Celtic Warrior his second World Heavyweight Championship. ( VIEW PHOTOS | WATCH EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

Though it was Big Show who was left exhausted, battered and crawling back to the locker room after the closing bell rang, the cagey veteran used an underhanded tactic to retain the title.

Capping off a fortnight of despicable acts that included concussing Sheamus’ mentor William Regal and spilling many a frosty pint of brew in an English pub, Big Show pulled official Scott Armstrong into the path of Sheamus’ Brogue Kick during a critical moment in the title bout. The illegal maneuver, which became apparent to all upon viewing the replay, scored Big Show some breathing room as well as a valuable distraction. Sheamus joined WWE referees and medical personnel in checking on Armstrong, and as soon as The Celtic Warrior returned his attention to the champion, it was too late.

Big Show was lying in wait, and he pounced with a KO Punch the instant Sheamus turned around. Though referee John Cone, who entered the ring to assist Armstrong, originally counted the pinfall in Show’s favor, he later ruled Sheamus prevailed via disqualification because Big Show intentionally put an official in harm's way. From there, Sheamus — equipped with a steel chair — began a post-match assault the World Heavyweight Champion and the WWE Universe won’t soon forget.

Nearly 20 minutes earlier, however, both Superstars were upright and trading stiff blows in the opening moments of the championship encounter. Picking up right where their Match of the Year candidate from last month’s WWE Hell in a Cell left off, Big Show and Sheamus clobbered each other. The Irishman tore into the 440-plus-pounder with rib-bruising knees, and Show brought his XXXL-sized mitts down upon Sheamus’ chest with weltering effect.

Facing a larger opponent, The Celtic Warrior was able to put his speed advantage to use, yet the strategy did not always pay off. Sheamus launched himself off the top rope, but Big Show simultaneously propelled himself into his challenger with a giant spear. The subsequent mid-air collision created a ring-trembling impact and, according to Jerry “The King” Lawler, was a potential turning point in the match.

Sheamus def. World Heavyweight Champion Big Show by disqualification

After the huge spear, Big Show began to methodically work over Sheamus with headbutts and a jumping elbow drop before stepping his size-22 5E boot onto the red-haired skull of his opponent. Never one to give in, Sheamus fought back valiantly as the WWE fans in attendance supported their hero with chants of “Let’s go Sheamus!”

The Celtic Warrior, his right bicep still bruised from his barroom scrape-up with Big Show, clutched onto the champion with a sleeper hold. The giant shrugged him off, prompting an incredulous JBL to ask, “How do you counter the strength of a giant?”

Sheamus, it turns out, had an answer.

As Big Show prepared for his patented splash off the middle rope in the corner, Sheamus got to his feet and lifted the massive champion onto his shoulders before dropping him to the canvas with a high-voltage electric chair.

Slowly, both men fought to a vertical base. With the WWE Universe solidly behind the challenger, The Celtic Warrior built a head of steam, delivering a high knee, ducking the KO Punch and dropping Big Show with a clothesline and brutal double ax-handle. The World Heavyweight Champion countered a Brogue Kick into a chokeslam, but that, too, was reversed into a devastating White Noise.

When Show amazingly lifted his shoulder at the two-count, all Lawler could muster was the word “Unbelievable.”

From there, Sheamus pounded his chest like a gladiator readying to finish off a foe and rushed toward Big Show with the Brogue Kick, only for his boot to strike the referee. The initial announcement that Show had won the bout was not without controversy, and Michael Cole and JBL debated the fairness of the decision.

Once Sheamus regained consciousness post–KO Punch, the irate Irishman brought the fight — and a steel chair — to Big Show, repeatedly blasting the champion with the weapon. Though fans in attendance clearly wanted The Celtic Warrior to continue his onslaught, a battered and beaten Big Show begged off and Sheamus threw the chair aside.

Discarding the weapon was not a merciful decision, though, as Sheamus immediately Brogue Kicked the grounded Big Show seconds later.

The World’s Largest Athlete may have made good on his guarantee that Sheamus would not dethrone him as the World Heavyweight Champion, but considering the manner in which he did so, did Big Show do anything to discredit Sheamus’ accusation of cowardice?

More to the point, is this rivalry destined to go a third round, and if so, what in the world can the WWE Universe expect the next time these two behemoths collide? With each brawl, this grudge has only grown more barbaric. Can either Sheamus or Big Show survive another showdown?

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Sheamus def. World Heavyweight Champion Big Show by disqualification

INDIANAPOLIS — The punishment unleashed Sunday night by Sheamus left World Heavyweight Champion Big Show in a wholly unfamiliar state of helplessness, but it fell short of earning The Celtic Warrior his second World Heavyweight Championship. ( VIEW PHOTOS | WATCH EXCLUSIVE)

Though it was Big Show who was left exhausted, battered and crawling back to the locker room after the closing bell rang, the cagey veteran used an underhanded tactic to retain the title. ( VIEW PHOTOS)

Capping off a fortnight of despicable acts that included concussing Sheamus’ mentor William Regal and spilling many a frosty pint of brew in an English pub, Big Show pulled official Scott Armstrong into the path of Sheamus’ Brogue Kick during a critical moment in the title bout. The illegal maneuver, which became apparent to all upon viewing the replay, scored Big Show some breathing room as well as a valuable distraction. Sheamus joined WWE referees and medical personnel in checking on Armstrong, and as soon as The Celtic Warrior returned his attention to the champion, it was too late.

Big Show was lying in wait, and he pounced with a KO Punch the instant Sheamus turned around. Though a referee who entered the ring to assist Armstrong originally counted the pinfall in Show’s favor, official John Cone later ruled Sheamus prevailed via disqualification because Big Show intentionally put an official in harm's way. From there, Sheamus — equipped with a steel chair — began a post-match assault the World Heavyweight Champion and the WWE Universe won’t soon forget.

Nearly 20 minutes earlier, however, both Superstars were upright and trading stiff blows in the opening moments of the championship encounter. Picking up right where their Match of the Year candidate from last month’s WWE Hell in a Cell left off, Big Show and Sheamus clobbered each other. The Irishman tore into the 440-plus-pounder with rib-bruising knees, and Show brought his XXXL-sized mitts down upon Sheamus’ chest with weltering effect.

Facing a larger opponent, The Celtic Warrior was able to put his speed advantage to use, yet the strategy did not always pay off. Sheamus launched himself off the top rope, but Big Show simultaneously propelled himself into his challenger with a giant spear. The subsequent mid-air collision created a ring-trembling impact and, according to Jerry “The King” Lawler, was a potential turning point in the match.

Sheamus def. World Heavyweight Champion Big Show by disqualification

INDIANAPOLIS — The punishment unleashed Sunday night by Sheamus left World Heavyweight Champion Big Show in a wholly unfamiliar state of helplessness, but it fell short of earning The Celtic Warrior his second World Heavyweight Championship. ( VIEW PHOTOS | WATCH EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

Though it was Big Show who was left exhausted, battered and crawling back to the locker room after the closing bell rang, the cagey veteran used an underhanded tactic to retain the title.

Capping off a fortnight of despicable acts that included concussing Sheamus’ mentor William Regal and spilling many a frosty pint of brew in an English pub, Big Show pulled official Scott Armstrong into the path of Sheamus’ Brogue Kick during a critical moment in the title bout. The illegal maneuver, which became apparent to all upon viewing the replay, scored Big Show some breathing room as well as a valuable distraction. Sheamus joined WWE referees and medical personnel in checking on Armstrong, and as soon as The Celtic Warrior returned his attention to the champion, it was too late.

Big Show was lying in wait, and he pounced with a KO Punch the instant Sheamus turned around. Though referee John Cone, who entered the ring to assist Armstrong, originally counted the pinfall in Show’s favor, he later ruled Sheamus prevailed via disqualification because Big Show intentionally put an official in harm's way. From there, Sheamus — equipped with a steel chair — began a post-match assault the World Heavyweight Champion and the WWE Universe won’t soon forget.

Nearly 20 minutes earlier, however, both Superstars were upright and trading stiff blows in the opening moments of the championship encounter. Picking up right where their Match of the Year candidate from last month’s WWE Hell in a Cell left off, Big Show and Sheamus clobbered each other. The Irishman tore into the 440-plus-pounder with rib-bruising knees, and Show brought his XXXL-sized mitts down upon Sheamus’ chest with weltering effect.

Facing a larger opponent, The Celtic Warrior was able to put his speed advantage to use, yet the strategy did not always pay off. Sheamus launched himself off the top rope, but Big Show simultaneously propelled himself into his challenger with a giant spear. The subsequent mid-air collision created a ring-trembling impact and, according to Jerry “The King” Lawler, was a potential turning point in the match.

Sheamus def. World Heavyweight Champion Big Show by disqualification

After the huge spear, Big Show began to methodically work over Sheamus with headbutts and a jumping elbow drop before stepping his size-22 5E boot onto the red-haired skull of his opponent. Never one to give in, Sheamus fought back valiantly as the WWE fans in attendance supported their hero with chants of “Let’s go Sheamus!”

The Celtic Warrior, his right bicep still bruised from his barroom scrape-up with Big Show, clutched onto the champion with a sleeper hold. The giant shrugged him off, prompting an incredulous JBL to ask, “How do you counter the strength of a giant?”

Sheamus, it turns out, had an answer.

As Big Show prepared for his patented splash off the middle rope in the corner, Sheamus got to his feet and lifted the massive champion onto his shoulders before dropping him to the canvas with a high-voltage electric chair.

Slowly, both men fought to a vertical base. With the WWE Universe solidly behind the challenger, The Celtic Warrior built a head of steam, delivering a high knee, ducking the KO Punch and dropping Big Show with a clothesline and brutal double ax-handle. The World Heavyweight Champion countered a Brogue Kick into a chokeslam, but that, too, was reversed into a devastating White Noise.

When Show amazingly lifted his shoulder at the two-count, all Lawler could muster was the word “Unbelievable.”

From there, Sheamus pounded his chest like a gladiator readying to finish off a foe and rushed toward Big Show with the Brogue Kick, only for his boot to strike the referee. The initial announcement that Show had won the bout was not without controversy, and Michael Cole and JBL debated the fairness of the decision.

Once Sheamus regained consciousness post–KO Punch, the irate Irishman brought the fight — and a steel chair — to Big Show, repeatedly blasting the champion with the weapon. Though fans in attendance clearly wanted The Celtic Warrior to continue his onslaught, a battered and beaten Big Show begged off and Sheamus threw the chair aside.

Discarding the weapon was not a merciful decision, though, as Sheamus immediately Brogue Kicked the grounded Big Show seconds later.

The World’s Largest Athlete may have made good on his guarantee that Sheamus would not dethrone him as the World Heavyweight Champion, but considering the manner in which he did so, did Big Show do anything to discredit Sheamus’ accusation of cowardice?

More to the point, is this rivalry destined to go a third round, and if so, what in the world can the WWE Universe expect the next time these two behemoths collide? With each brawl, this grudge has only grown more barbaric. Can either Sheamus or Big Show survive another showdown?