Saturday 20 January 2018

Sheamus wins world title shot with WWE Money in the Bank ladder win


Michael Verney

Sheamus earned a contract for a World Heavyweight title match when climbing highest to win the Money in the Bank ladder match last night.

The Dubliner outlasted six star-studded opponents including 2015 Royal Rumble winner Roman Reigns, 12-time world champion Randy Orton and English high flyer Neville in the show’s opening match.

Reigns looked a certain winner when perched atop the ladder with no man in sight but the intervention of Bray Wyatt left Irish eyes smiling and the door wide open for the Cabra native.

The Celtic Warrior’s triumph at the WWE pay-per-view in Columbus, Ohio ensures he can cash in the lucrative briefcase at any time in the next year.

With 13 of the previous 15 winners, including current champion Seth Rollins, having used the contract to collect the biggest prize in sports entertainment, Sheamus looks well placed to add a fourth title to his impressive CV.

The real life Stephen Farrelly has been a permanent fixture on the WWE roster since 2009 and could be part of a historic period for Dublin grapplers in both the WWE and UFC.

With Conor McGregor challenging Jose Aldo next month in Las Vegas for the Featherweight crown, Ireland’s capital could soon possess two world champions in the fighting discipline.

Crumlin’s Notorious has enjoyed a meteoric rise through the ultimate fighting ranks and could well follow through on his predictions “to take over” the world of mixed martial arts.

Not to be outdone Bray’s Finn Balor is number one contender for WWE’s NXT Championship with a July 4 contest in Tokyo, Japan on the cards while female wrestler Becky Lynch is doing Baldoyle proud and is a top talent in the NXT women's division.

Elsewhere on the Money in the Bank card, Kevin Owens was unable to follow up on his Elimination Chamber win over the franchise John Cena but the pair produced another Match of the Year candidate through a chorus of "this is awesome" chants.

The 15-time champion eventually got the better of Owens and after accepting a handshake of respect in the immediate aftermath, the Canadian delivered a devastating powerbomb to the ring apron setting up a mouthwatering feud-ending finale in the process.

The main event of the night, which was dedicated to the memory of the late great American Dream Dusty Rhodes, between former Shield brothers Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose was a brutal affair reminiscent of the old ECW.

Rollins retained without any help from the Authority but the finish was shrouded in controversy as both men grabbed the belt at the same time before falling to the mat and the strap ending up in Rollins' grasp.

Norwich's Paige was left seeing double after being duped out of the Divas Championship once again by the Bella twins while the Prime Time Players finally got their hands on the Tag Team Championships when besting The New Day.

The only real blotch on an otherwise entertaining night was the Intercontinental Championship between Ryback and The Big Show which ended in a pointless disqualification after interference from guest commentator The Miz.

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