Over the past year, WWE Superstar Sheamus has changed up his look, brought a new swagger to his onscreen persona and put on some of the best matches of his career. And while he did lose the United States Championship to Damian Priest at SummerSlam "The Celtic Warrior" now finds himself taking on WWE Champion Bobby Lashley on this week's Monday Night Raw. Sheamus spoke with ComicBook in Las Vegas a day before SummerSlam and got the chance to reflect on where he's at in his professional wrestling career.
"Listen, the last year and a half I've got a chance to mix up with a lot of the new talent coming up from NXT," Sheamus said. "For me, it's been a fun experience. [The Under]taker said to me on Monday... He's like, 'Oh, you're one of the old crew now. One of the older guys, senior guys now.' It took me a second to process that because the last 12 years feels kind of like a blur, you know what I mean? But yeah, you know I love it."
Do you think this has been the best run of your career in terms of in-ring work?
I think it is. I absolutely do. I feel like, even on the mic, even in the ring, for a long time I was... You know, I wouldn't say I doubted myself, but I'd second guess sometimes. I guess sometimes it was in my interest to emulate this persona that wasn't me. So for the last year and a half, I've really been able to just throw all that aside and just be me, and go out there and do what I do best. I've always been a physical competitor in the ring, and for me it's never been the "oh, you just want to take liberties". You hear all that stuff in the past. It's always about bringing the best out of my opponent, bringing the fight out of my opponent, because I know at the end of it all, whoever I'm in there with when the match is over, I've had that physical encounter.
I know they love it. You know what I mean? The crowd loves it. It brings people in. For me, this year and a half has been incredible. I've gotten to mix it up too, with people like Riddle, Priest, Keith Lee, Humberto, Drew. A lot of the younger talent. Jeff, obviously big league. Yeah, mate. Look, I love what I do. I love the physicality of what I do, and I love being in that ring. For me, I just feel like I'm starting my career right all over again.
After you and Cesaro parted ways you were off TV for a while. Did you think you were done at that point?
Yeah, I did mate. I did. I'm not going to lie. I had a really, really bad concussion, and I had some other issues going on. But, I went through the physical therapy. I got myself in great shape. I went to the dietitian Jerry Ward so I could get fast and carry the ice out. I was determined to get myself in the best shape possible. Not just from a cardio perspective, but also physical and to also fix what's going on with me. I worked really, really hard to get back in the ring. I've never felt better. I feel better than ten years ago when I debuted, just because I know a lot more about my body. I do a lot more dynamic stretching. Ask any of the guys in the locker room. I'm there doing all these mad stretches and rolling around. All these dynamic movements and stuff. Just warming myself up and it's definitely... Since I've been back, no problems whatsoever. I literally feel better than I did when I debuted though, which is crazy.
Between you, Drew and Miro, it seems like all the wrestlers are moving to Nashville. Why is that?
It's a great place! It's the best place in America to live, I think. I lived in Florida ten years. I'm not mad about it. Nothing's happened. It was prime in the beginning, but I'm not a sun guy. You know what I mean? I'm pasty as hell. Nashville's great. It's got the seasons. It feels a little bit more like home, in Ireland. There's hills, it's green. People are really friendly. Drew knew how much I loved the place, so Drew joined us. Me, Miro, Drew, Eric Young lives there too. I wouldn't be surprised if more of the guys start moving down to our neck of the woods.