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    Friday, August 16, 2019

    Sheamus in Manila: Setting the Bar At A Sports Bar

    WWE returns to Manila on September 20 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum and it's an understatement to say that we're all very excited for this show. As a way of promoting the event, four-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus was in town to have a meet & greet with the WWE Universe in the Philippines, along with a Q&A session with members of the media at Skinny Mike's in BGC, Taguig.

    The big question on everybody's mind is his in-ring status. While he couldn't give a concrete answer regarding his return to the ring, he did have an open response about retirement. When asked if he was officially retired, he just quipped "I'm retired?" while saying that he was dealing with injuries at the moment.

    The Celtic Warrior went through a broad range of topics during the Q&A session including his love of video games to his love of football and Liverpool FC and even his usage of social media as a tool to remain relevant.

    He was very comfortable and answered in an affable manner, which delighted everybody in attendance. Naturally, Smark Healthy columnist George Carlos Pastor and I focused on the wrestling bits and Sheamus' YouTube channel, Celtic Warrior Workouts, so here are a few of the things we learned during the roundtable.

    On his very first WWE Championship: He was thankful to John Cena for not only giving him the opportunity to take the title but also because Cena had supported this championship run. He said that this was his favorite and most memorable title reign if only because it was what gave him a starting push and put him in the main event.

    What he wants to do when he comes back: He mentioned that the only title he needs to win is the Intercontinental Championship so he can have a "Full House" (Not a Grand Slam as he said). Fortunately for him, he is still a SmackDown Live Superstar and the Intercontinental Championship is on that brand so there's a chance.

    Who he thinks are the next big things in WWE: He admitted that he has a certain bias for the following Superstars: Drew McIntyre, Rusev and Cesaro (obviously). 

    He was very optimistic about the chances that they can still get, even mentioning Kofi Kingston's current WWE Championship run. He stated that anything can happen under the right circumstances and the timing. He mentioned how Kofi got his current push and opportunity just because Ali got injured. He even jokingly said that we should watch out for Heath Slater because an opportunity could possibly open up for him, too.

    On working with Cesaro: Teaming with Cesaro was way better than having him as an opponent. Part of the reason he said this was because the Swiss Cyborg gave the stiffest shots and one hell of an uppercut. He talked about Cesaro as one of the toughest men in the roster right now.

    On his favorite rivalry: As expected, his answer was the one with The Bar teammate Cesaro prior to their formation as a tag team. He even cited that their Best of Seven series as memorable because he enjoyed working with The King of Swing so much.

    Who he wants to face from WWE's new stars: Surprisingly, his choices were SmackDown Live's Aleister Black, NXT's Tommaso Ciampa and NXT UK's Wolfgang, which had the crowd in applause. He mentioned that he had actually faced Black before and that he had fun doing so. He also praised Ciampa and Wolfgang as great workers who don't get enough appreciation and that he would enjoy having matches with them.

    On his dream match: He didn't have to think hard for this one. Two words: Brock Lesnar.

    On the return of the King of the Ring Tournament: He said that becoming King of the Ring was a great opportunity which also entailed a great responsibility. He added that he actually enjoyed wearing the crown and the robe. As for his pick, going with his previous responses, he hopes that the King of Swing, Cesaro, becomes this year's King of the Ring.

    On being from Ireland and working for WWE: He said he hopes to see more Superstars from different parts of the world. If it were up to him, he said he hopes to see one from every country. He doesn't think that being from a non-wrestling country is an obstacle and that his advice was to work hard, train hard, and to not give up. While talking about the challenges of making it to WWE from Ireland, he showed some love for his fellow Irish Superstars, Finn Bálor and Becky Lynch.

    On fellow Irishman Becky Lynch's success: He loves both Becky and Seth but he doesn't really approve of their real-life relationship being used on-screen and the two teaming up. Part of the reason is that he thinks it takes away from both Superstars' successes even going as far as stating that while the two are great in their own right, mixing two great things doesn't always yield great results.

    On his favorite Celtic Warrior Workout: He tried to not play favorites as he gave the most diplomatic response by saying he loved them all. However, he did add that his most recent episode involving Edge was very special to him and he had fun working out with The Rated-R Superstar.

    On his #BraveChange advocacy: His channel has allowed him to embrace change in the way he works out and looks at training. It has also allowed him to build relationships better because he said that working out helps bring people closer. His advice was for people to keep growing and to do their best to impact and influence others positively.

    On his plans after wrestling: Sheamus mentioned that he would love to take more acting roles, implying that he has taken notice of his peers who've made their mark on the big screen.

    On his experience here in the Philippines: There was a small pop when he mentioned that his girlfriend was actually of Filipino descent. He enjoyed his stay and the enthusiasm of the people in the Philippines and that he hopes to see everybody soon when WWE visits Manila this September.

    And with that, the media Q&A portion of the event was over and the fan meet & greet was underway.

    Dozens of fans flocked to get their items signed by Sheamus along with a photo opportunity. Funko Pops, championship belts, posters, and magazines were some of the more common items that Sheamus signed and he seemed to enjoy chatting with the fans as well. Familiar names from the local wrestling scene were also present and they got to have their own quick interactions with the Celtic Warrior.

    All in all, the event was a success and everybody went home with smiles on their faces. It seems the WWE Universe is pretty hyped for when WWE comes back to Manila this September.

    We're more than ready. It's time to scratch that three-year itch.


    WWE returns to Manila on September 20, 2019, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, presented in partnership with Wilbros Live. Tickets are available via ticketnet.com.ph.

    Will you be watching WWE Live? Who are you most looking forward to? Hit us up in the comments section below.


    Miguel “The Migz” Llado is your supposed style icon and NXT reviewer at the Smark Henry offices. A lover of everything music, wrestling, videogames, and food, he lives his life tweeting his mind off (@the_migz) and ‘gramming random food items and locations (@tha_migz) as he sets on his journey to completely do things spontaneously. You can also add him on PSN (MigzLlado) to show your WWE2K19 (or any PS4) skills. When not being a smark, he lives his life being (and trying to be) an awesome architect, musician extraordinaire and armchair fantasy booker.
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    Item Reviewed: Sheamus in Manila: Setting the Bar At A Sports Bar Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Migz Llado
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