Monday 23 October 2017

Ryan McCann: Dramatic return but no victory for Sheamus in WWE

Ryan McCann

WWE superstar Sheamus made a dramatic return to action at last night’s Royal Rumble in Pittsburgh but the Cabra-born powerhouse had to settle for third a third-place finish as Batista eliminated the incredible Roman Reigns to book his world title shot at Wrestlemania XXX.

Sheamus suffered a torn labrum on August 7 2013 and his comeback was highly anticipated by the WWE universe. Unfortunately for the 2012 Royal Rumble winner, it was another one of wrestling’s prodigal sons- Batista- who was the last man standing in the Consol Energy Centre last night.

After his cameo appearance and announcement on Monday Night Raw earlier in the week, everyone was eager to see how Batista would fare. The 300lb phenomenon did not disappoint.

CM Punk- one of the event favourites despite being entrant number one- eliminated Damien Sandow and Kane early on as the ‘straight edge’ superstar signalled his intent. The opening stages of the Rumble always tend to be the most conservative periods, as eliminations become lengthy tactical battles. Despite eccentric superstars like Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kingston and Jack Swagger being in the ring, it wasn’t until the in introduction on Roman Reigns as entrant number 15 that the Rumble sparked into life. The former Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle eliminated the aforementioned trio, Kevin Nash, the 7 foot 2 inch Great Khali and Goldust mere minutes after entering the ring. 

The Celtic Warrior- Sheamus- entered two places later. The former WWE world-champion was greeted by rapturous applause from the 15,000 strong crowd and Big E Langston was immediately clotheslined over the top in what would the Irishman’s only elimination.

Reigns then disposed of El Torito and JBL before Batista entered the fray after three years in wrestling wilderness. ‘The Animal’ didn’t seem physically phased by his three-year hiatus as he speared, power-bombed and suplexed any superstar that got in his way. Eric Rowan was the 2005 Royal Rumble winner’s first victim before Ryback and Alberto del Rio followed suit. Reigns went on another rampage and after firing Luke Harper, Antonio Cesaro, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose over the top rope it was his elimination of Sheamus- his 12th of the night- that broke Kane’s 13-year long WWE Royal Rumble elimination record.

In a very unjust finale, Batista flipped the oncoming Reigns over the rope to cap a spectacular return to the WWE.

“Awesome night! And @VinceMcMahon walked away from my Royal Rumble win healthy and happy.. Love me or hate me thanks to everyone who watched.” tweeted Batista after the show.

Even being crowned the Royal Rumble winner for the second time in his career wasn’t enough to numb the pain of a big boot from Sheamus though.

"By the way if anyone finds my head please return. I believe @WWESheamus kicked it into the front row somewhere.” he added.

Elsewhere on the bill, Randy Orton defeated John Cena to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship albeit with a little illegal assistance from The Wyatt Family. This will not be the last we’ve seen in what is undoubtedly the wrestling rivalry of the decade.

Former UFC star Brock Lesnar defeated Big Show, Bray Wyatt defeated Daniel Bryan and  The New Age Outlaws defeated Cody Rhodes and Goldust in their Tag Team champioship match.

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