Earlier this month, veteran WWE superstar Sheamus returned to action on Friday Night SmackDown after an extended period on the sidelines, debuting a similar gimmick to the bully character he played when he returned from injury early in 2015. Much like he did close to five years ago, the “Celtic Warrior” appears to be targeting smaller wrestlers such as Shorty G, thus potentially reestablishing himself as one of the blue brand’s top heels. However, as he admitted in a recent interview, the Irishman came close to hanging up his wrestling boots ahead of his return.
Speaking to Sportskeeda‘s Gary Cassidy in an interview published Wednesday, Sheamus revealed that retirement was something that was always in the “back of [his] mind” during his nine-month period away from the ring. As noted, the longtime WWE mainstay suffered a concussion in a match shortly after WrestleMania 35 in April 2019 and hasn’t wrestled in an actual bout since then.
“It’s no secret that I had a couple of issues physically, a few injuries, because it is physical what we do — and then my style as well, it trebles that, you know?” he continued.
“There were a couple times when I thought, “Will I make it back in there?” Especially when I got a concussion in that match after WrestleMania.”
— Sun Sport (@SunSport) January 15, 2020
Despite his obvious concern about potentially having to walk away from professional wrestling, Sheamus used his hiatus from in-ring competition to get back into shape, attending physiotherapy sessions, training rigorously, and losing 40 pounds in the lead-up to his return. As such, he also told Sportskeeda that he believes he’s in the best shape he’s been in quite some time.
“For me, the first ten years were just a warm-up. This is the real deal now. I’m just starting, mate. I’m telling you, [my] body feels amazing. I feel better at 42 than I did at 32.”
Although it was noted that Sheamus was going to make his “unofficial” in-ring return against reigning United States Champion Andrade at BT Sports’ WWE launch party on Wednesday night, the company has yet to announce an official return date or matchup for the veteran grappler. However, with the Royal Rumble fast approaching and the next episode of Friday Night SmackDown scheduled to air tomorrow, it’s highly possible that he may announce his entry in the pay-per-view’s eponymous main event, while also furthering what appears to be a fresh new storyline with the aforementioned Shorty G.