Tuesday 1 December 2015

Sheamus 5:15

We've all come across Austin 3:16, haven't we? That's the phrase that got Austin to click with audiences, which in turn helped him crack the WWF main event and become a monstrous success. It sold him a bunch of T-shirts and various other lines of merch. Many of those have been parodied and used as inspiration by other wrestling promotions.

Sheamus 5:15 says "Match times, fella!"
Surprisingly, given how good they are at finding ways to both make money and drill any given idea or co Celt into the ground, WWE have never really used the 3:16 thing as inspiration. That changed on Monday's RAW. On that show three time WWE champion Sheamus bragged about how, because of his Money in the Bank cash-in, Roman Reigns' first ever title win resulted in a reign (the repetition of reign here is why "Roman Reigns" is not the best ring name Leati Anoa'i could have chosen) that lasted just five minutes, fifteen seconds.

It's a nice idea. It was used to set up an interesting scenario on RAW, Reigns getting a title shot but having to win in 5:15 or less, but it feels somewhat like WWE have missed the point. Austin's line worked not because it was numbers but because it was an off-the-cuff remark that fit with the promo he was giving at the time. It was a shot at Jake Roberts but it could be used without his inconvenient because it was, in essence, a quote from the fictitious Book of Austin.

Sheamus's version is a putdown related to Reigns and Reigns alone. It will make little sense outside of a programme with Reigns. Its success, measured in crowd heat, is largely dependent on people caring enough about Reigns to boo Shaymo's dastardly bragging. Some people will do that. Some people won't. Most won't care either way because Reigns is largely uninteresting and hard to sympathise with and Sheamus's biggest source of heat is a daft haircut.

This isn't a bad effort by any means. It's actually rather inspired. But this being the best WWE can come up with for the new champion and, presumably, top active heel demonstrates how creatively shallow things are right now.

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