P-C: The Sheamus character is an intense, hard working Irishman. Is that a shtick or is that really you out there?
Sheamus: It’s just me. I’ve always been very intense in what I do and I’m definitely intense when I want to do a job or I want to go to work. Every time I’ve worked, I’ve always wanted to give it everything I can and I try to bring an intensity that no one else can bring. I look for a good time and I look for a laugh, but when it comes to a fight, when my buttons are pushed in the wrong way, it honestly brings out a different side of me. Maybe it’s ’cause I’m Irish. Maybe it’s because I’m a redhead with a fiery temper, but that’s who you see. I’m not pretending to be anybody. That’s really who I am and I’ve become a lot more relaxed since I’ve first started. … I didn’t want to be one of those people who came into the WWE and went through a revolving door and was gone six months later. … I was determined to make an impact, to give everything I have, 110 percent. I hate to use that cliché but I think people respect that. They know every time I go out there I’m going to give everything I have. I think I’ve earned a little bit of respect in WWE universe and that’s why they stopped booing me and started cheering me, but they could easily turn on me again tomorrow. Boo me or cheer me, as long as I’m getting a reaction, that’s really all that matters.
P-C: It can be hard for a new superstar to break into the WWE. When did the fans start taking you seriously?
Sheamus: It was the first couple of months. I won the Breakthrough Battle Royal (in 2009) and just thinking about it now, I think it was when I became WWE champion. There was no choice but to take me seriously because I also had that tables match with John Cena and I think people were like, he’s never going to beat Cena and when I did everyone was like, what the hell? Everyone was just stunned. I think that’s when people realized this is going to be a major player here.
P-C: You began taking your sports entertainment career seriously in 2005. Were there any special moments or athletes in particular who took you under their wing during your run in the independent circuits?
Sheamus: The biggest match I had at that time in my career was against D-Lo Brown because he’s a former WWE superstar and that’s where I wanted to be, so that was a huge deal for me. I remember being pretty nervous. … When I went to England is where I started getting some great experience and a guy called Robbie Brookside who used to be William Regal’s old tag partner took me under his wing and kind of looked after me. He helped me along and it was just a great experience knowing him. … Me and Drew McIntyre were also best mates. We wrestled a lot in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and after every match we had, we tried to make each one better and better. We’d change it up and it was just a great experience and we kept pushing each other.
Sheamus: I really liked the Daniel Bryan feud. We’ve had so many matches. Don’t get me wrong, the feud I have with Big Show has been unbelievable and a lot of fun and each feud is special because you learn and you grow from each one. It’s like you never stop evolving, you never stop getting better and you’ve got to keep pushing yourself. They’re two completely different opponents. I guess I’ve kind of enjoyed them equally, but with Bryan, the way it sparked off was a great experience because we had the emotion from the crowd. It’s hard to pick, man. This one with Big Show has definitely been an experience for me. I’ve gotten knocked out a couple times and I’ve lost my World Heavyweight Championship to him in that feud as well. He’s as physical as he’s ever been so it’s been great for both of us. Even though I lost, you can’t win them all.