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Jimmy Redman

[2012-10-28-WWE-Hell in a Cell] Sheamus vs Big Show

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I mentioned this match and my reaction to it on the podcast, so I wanted to dig it up and post it here, mainly so I could read it again, but also to try to get across just how I feel about this match and why I love it so much.

As I said, this might be my favourite thing I've ever written about wrestling. Not that it's the best writing I've ever done, but because I have never been happier writing about wrestling than I was in this moment. I can still clearly remember sitting at a terminal at uni pretending to do work and instead watching the match again and writing this out, and the pure, unbridled joy I felt as I was doing so.

 

 

When I watch a match again within 24 hours you know it is good. I am still in complete and utter expletive-laden shock at Show/Sheamus.

 

WARNING: ESSAY TIME

 

You know how you get those movies or albums or other forms of art where you can clearly see the influences that went into creating it and how they shape and deepen the final product? That is how I feel about this match. A lot of the time watching it I was struck with thoughts of "That was straight out of _____" It is derivative of, and progresses beyond, the recent monster matches that have come before it. The concept is Orton/Henry from last year. The structure is Cena/Show '09. The escalation is Henry/Show. It was all of those things, and so much more than that as well when you factor in the story of Sheamus as well, which is absolutely crucial.

 

Sheamus has been the World Champion since Wrestlemania. He never loses. He has beaten everybody put in front of him. He's a asskicker who beats the utter crap out of people. He takes shots to throw his own because his one blow hurts more. He kicks out at one until you start to put a dent in him. He's clearly the top dog on Smackdown. He's the ace, and he's a different kind of ace than Orton is, than Cena is. Cena is about taking punishment and overcoming the odds. Orton in the ring is more about finesse and counters and pouncing with his offense. If Orton is a snake, to use the available analogy, then Sheamus is more like a grizzly bear, a big burly brawling machine who will paw your face off.

 

But the problem is, he is a grizzly bear who has run into a Tyrannasaurus Rex.

 

Big Show is the Other. He is a monster, unlike anyone else on TV. Just like Henry was last year, he is a completely different animal and does not play by the same rules as everyone else. You dont compete with him. You dont trade with him. You dont play Even Stevens with him. And you dont beat him.

 

And so Sheamus, who not only beats everyone in his path but also is dominant against everyone in his path, comes up for the first time against the giant. I LOOOOOOOOVED that "for the first time ever!" wasnt just a buzzword they used on TV, it actually gave meaning and purpose to the match. This was the first time Sheamus had faced the giant, which put him at a huge disadvantage because, as JBL said, you are not prepared for it. You cant train for him, you cant get ready for him, you have no idea what it is like until you are in there. Sheamus had no idea what he was getting into. All of the jokes and comedy and trying to aggravate the Big Show, it all just goes to show that Sheamus had no idea what he was getting into. And he had no idea what to do when he got there.

 

Sheamus selling for the vast majority of this match was even more effective than with a guy like Cena, who sells for a long time in most matches. Even Orton sells in matches. But, again, Sheamus is a guy who is usually dominant, he doesnt sell all that often or for all that long. And Show beat the UTTER SH*T out of him for 20 straight minutes. Sheamus got almost zero offense in. He was beaten and tossed around like a cruiserweight. That has NEVER happened to him before. He is in a position where he is entirely outmatched, physically dominated, and he has no answer.

 

But what he does have is heart. Heart, guts, resilience, intestinal fortitude, whatever. He has it. In spades. He has no answer to Show's offense, he cant compete with him. Anytime he tries to get something going, he gets cut off or tossed outside. BUT, he doesnt give up. He takes the beating and keeps getting back up. You watch him. No matter what happens, he gets back up. He gets knocked down, he gets back up. He keeps throwing hands any time he can. He keeps kicking out. He is John Cena taking a beating and just like Cena, he keeps fighting and surviving. This new challenge has shown a new side of Sheamus - not only can he be dominant and beat people up, he can also fight from underneath and overcome odds as well. Your babyface world champion ace, ladies and gentlemen.

 

As an aside to all this, I have to say Show was just great on offense and "I suck?" *BAM HEADBUTT* "Say I suck now!" was an awesome moment.

 

So anyway, Show beats the crap out of him FOREVER. He starts throwing bigger bombs - hitting the Vader Bomb, the Chokeslam - and Sheamus wont stay down. Sheamus FINALLY did enough to knock the big guy down, and PICKS HIM UP FOR WHITE NOISE. But its not like Show will stay down either. But the bombs are getting bigger and something will have to give.

 

The build to the match was all about two things: the Brogue Kick and the KO Punch. The two silver bullets, the two sure fire weapons in the arsenal. This is a shootout - whoever manages to hit his finish first will win. So Sheamus goes to the corner, beats his chest, head of steam, runs up and just like on TV THE KICK IS CAUGHT, BAM KO PUNCH OF DOOM. Ball Game.

 

KICK.
OUT.
MOTHER.
F*CKER.

 

He kicked out of the punch. NOBODY has EVER kicked from the punch. Randy Orton didnt. Mark Henry didnt. John Cena didnt. Undertaker didnt. NOBODY. Ever. But Sheamus kicked out. THAT is your babyface world champion ace, ladies and gentlemen. He can do what nobody else has ever been able to do. He can do the impossible. And he just refuses to stay down.

 

Show, because he is a smart giant goes right back to the punch. Because nobody can kick out of two punches. Not even Sheamus. Swing, miss, BAM BROGUE KICK. KICK OUT. Nobody has kicked out of the Brogue Kick in this run (I have a feeling they have but shush!) but Big Show, if you remember, is a GIANT MONSTER and cannot be stopped.

 

So, both guys have fired their shots and havent finished. These are shots that put down normal men, but we have left the mortal plane and are in the land of the gods here, Andre/Hansen style. All that is left for them to do is stand at ten paces and finish it - it is now literally a gunfight and only the quickest draw will survive. Sheamus goes back one more time, he beats his chest, he builds a head of steam, he runs and BAM KO PUNCH OF ABSOLUTE CERTAIN DOOM.

 

(And Holy Sh*t, when he was doing this I was going out of my mind screaming "You're going to run into the punch!!!11!" ...and he did. And I couldnt do anything about it. You remember that shot post-match of the kid with his head in his hands in shock? If they had a cam in my house they could have shown me sitting there with my head in my hands in shock just the same. I was out of my mind.)

 

Sheamus survived the biggest beating you ever saw, and achieved the impossible by surviving the Punch. But he still couldnt beat the giant. And if THAT guy couldnt beat Big Show, who the f*ck IS going to beat the Big Show?

 

Show tearing up was awesome too. Through all his character changes Big Show has always remained a real person who has real emotions. He just won the world title, in his mind erasing the humiliation he had endured with the 45 second reign. Even heels can have redemption, and this was his.

 

I am getting old writing all this, but I just cannot get over how awesome that was, how brilliant of a story they told and how much they accomplished. Sheamus, Show and the title all looked like a million, billion dollars after this. This was the most 'heavyweight title fight' feeling match since God knows when.

 

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I am not a fan of either guy so I was skeptical but this was really good. I liked the story of the dominant champion running into something bigger and more dangerous. Show's offense is actually pretty weak looking but his size compensates for it I guess. His character work was great though. Sheamus's selling was strong. The two major nearfalls were really well done and treated with importance, which was nice to see. Show in the postmatch put over the importance of the win well. *** 1/2

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From my PTBN GWWE daily match thread:

7. Big Show vs. Sheamus (WWE Hell in a Cell 2012)

Really strong case for both guys. Show was having the run of his life at this time and was talking trash and kicking ass in the ring. Meanwhile, heavyweight Sheamus shows us that he can put in an incredibly compelling babyface performance--bumping around and selling like crazy for the bigger man. They paced it perfectly with a strong spot in the middle (toss into the table) and a hot set of nearfalls at the end (not overdone either). Fantastic heavyweight hoss battle.

****1/2

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Its cool that other folks thought this was a classic match but, I'm with Microstatistics. It was a good one. I appreciated the intensity early on, the finishers looked great including the one that sealed the deal. However, the rest of the match felt like every other "big" WWE ppv match. Big wear down with a couple hope spots including some horsing around on the floor, big comeback, a fake out or two, then the finisher shootout that never really pays off because everyone has to kickout once or twice, then the real finish that you & I can see from a mile away.

It's a formula for a good ppv match, don't get me wrong. This match just happens to follow that formula. If they fought this with a bit more urgency, it would have been loads better. This big match formula starts things out well enough but, the pace crawls along with extended writhe in pain or exhaustion selling BUT moments later the guy pops back up like Mia Wallace ready to live another day. It gets old seeing it throughout these big matches...and this was sadly no different.

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World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus vs Big Show - Hell In A Cell 2012

I love Power Wrestling! This match is straight from Bill Watts playbook of two big uglies throwing hammocks and each other. Power wrestling is so refreshing in the WWE, which is so highspot-oriented. The year 2011 was a great year for Power Wrestling with the push of Mark Henry & the Hall of Pain and his matches against Sheamus, Randy Orton and Big Show. The Hall of Pain was a grand spectacle of anti-workrate. Sheamus vs Big Show representing the closing of the triangle. What if the other two best power brusiers in the WWE wrestled? I loved the story going into the match, so simple, so elegant, who is the toughest SOB and who has the best KO shot: Brogue Kick vs KO Punch. Good shit!

The match itself is better than any of Mark Henry's output in 2011, which is say a lot because I love those aforementioned Mark Henry matches. This match is all about timing. The hope spots and cutoffs are so well-paced. The selling is executed to perfection. It is all about the gradualism and Sheamus never dies thus never undercutting his own comeback. Sheamus is the best brawler in WWE and usually has considerable size and power advantage. This is all negated by Big Show's mammoth size and Sheamus is a fish out of water. They do a great job establishing this. Big Show picking up Sheamus while Sheamus has a headlock clamped on Show was such a great visual. It made Sheamus look small, which is weird. I love how Sheamus tried to meet Big Show head on with a ton of body shots to no avail. He is a valiant champion and is going to back down from the challenge. It establishes Show as an Everest worthy of climbing. Show absorbs the blows. He registers them, but fights through them. Loved the short knee and all the big overhead chops.

Eventually Sheamus goes for the knee, but Show wisely powders. This is another great aspect of the match is how well the outside the ring is used in King of the Mountain spots. Sheamus is knows he is at disadvantage and attacks Big Show when he is vulnerable when Show is trying to re-enter the ring. Sheamus makes some headway, but Show throws him hard to the outside. Again, the outside the ring become critical. Big Show becomes the Biggest Nick Bockwinkel constantly playing King of the Mountain. Sheamus has to take hard falls to the outside. Big Show gets to rest and has the high ground OR he go outside and throw Sheamus around. This is when the Bill Watts style comes in as Show ragdolls Sheamus into barricades and announce tables. Sheamus does such a great job of selling. You believe he is beaten up and worn down, but he is not out of it. Show wisely has not hit him in the head so Sheamus' hope spots are all credible. Sheamus tries his best to mount comeback but meets a big boot from Show or a bearhug. Show gets two big nearfalls in the form of a Vaderbomb and a chokeslam (he had to earn that Chokeslam it took three attempts). I liked how Sheamus' comeback proper really began from Show missing moves like an elbow drop and then slamming himself into the post on a charge. Then Sheamus repeatedly drove him back into the ringpost. Awesome! White Noise! Solid nearfall! So with all this out of the way, it is put up or shut up time! Thats when it becomes KO Punch vs Brogue Kick and I wont spoil it from there. 

Loved this match so much. Great power wrestling with awesome timing on the hope spots and cutoffs. Sheamus wrestled so well as an outgunned, game babyface showing great fire in the hope spots. Big Show was such a force of nature and excellent in his cutoff. Show also did a great job registering the hope spots but not bumping. I thought when he did bump they could have built it a bit more. I think they could have done a more interesting finish. I am not going to hold this against them but I think teasing each finish (Brogue Kick, KO Punch) would have been great. Anyways, this feels so different than so much of 2010s WWE and it is worked so tight. The pinnacle of the early 2010s bruising, power style wrestling in WWE. ****3/4    

 

  

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