New WWE World Heavyweight champion Sheamus took part in a conference call with various media outlets Monday afternoon, less than 24 hours after winning the WWE World Heavyweight championship in shocking fashion at Survivor Series.
After Roman Reigns defeated Dean Ambrose to win his first world title, Sheamus cut the celebration short by cashing in his Money in the Bank contract and ending Reigns' title reign only moments after it began. It was the Ireland native's first world title victory since WrestleMania 28 back in 2012 and his fourth overall.
"I've been in this position before," Sheamus said. "I've faced a lot of scrutiny, as everybody over the last couple of years as a heel and a babyface, but right now I've been raring to go for such a long time, especially since I won the Money in the Bank contract.
"I started off with Daniel Bryan and [Dolph] Ziggler. I just got stuck in and I was raring to come back as a heel and the last couple of months I feel like I've been just stuck in first gear just raring to go," he added. "As far as pressure goes, there's no doubt about it. There's always pressure, but I actually look forward to that. The opportunity I have now is one I have been waiting a long time for.
"It's a different part of my career now. I'm six years in. I'm a different person. When I first came into WWE, I really was like a deer in headlights. Everything had happened so quickly. I was in there with [John] Cena, [Randy] Orton and Triple H, and I was learning on the fly. I was taking it all in. There was this huge amount of pressure back then.
"Right now, I'm much more comfortable with where I'm at. I know what I'm doing. I've waited for this opportunity for such a long time and I'm not going to let it pass me by. It's obvious that a lot of superstars are on the sidelines right now. What happened with [injured Seth] Rollins was very unfortunate and I know that he's going to be back stronger and better than ever because that's the type of person he is. He's very committed to what he does. He trains hard. He's world-champ material. That's why he had been WWE world champion for such a long time. At the same time, I'm not going to let an opportunity pass me by. I've been on the sidelines. I'm going to take this and I'm going to run with it as far as I can. I want to give it everything I possibly can as well. To me, this is an opportunity of a lifetime, as I said; I've never felt better or more comfortable in my own skin."
"Last night was such a surreal moment for me. I've been in that position many times, but this just feels a lot more special," he later said.
Sheamus was then asked how he celebrated his world title victory at Survivor Series. Because of the hectic schedule of a main-roster talent in WWE, Sheamus didn't get to celebrate as most would think.
Instead, Sheamus said he embarked on a four-hour drive from Atlanta (the site of Survivor Series) to Nashville, Tenn. for Monday Night Raw. All he had to drink was Monster Milk.
However, before starting that journey, Sheamus said he sat in the locker room at Philips Arena by himself for about an hour after everyone else had left just to soak in the moment of winning another world championship.
"I've been a fan my entire life, ever since I was a little kid," he said. "I watched the first Survivor Series and being part of that 25th anniversary last night of The Undertaker, a boyhood fan and being there and involved in such a moment like that is unbelievable."
He was then asked about some of the scrutiny WWE stars such as himself and Reigns face on social media.
"I think Roman's been dealing with it pretty well, to be honest," Sheamus said. "He still goes out there and he works his [butt off] and he leaves nothing in the ring. There's nothing left in him after his matches. He's very passionate about what he does and I think he's a great athlete and a great superstar. I think he's a great poster boy for WWE."
"I've been there," he added. "I became World Heavyweight champion after 18 seconds. I went out there with a smile on my face and cracked the Irish jokes trying to endear to crowds. The harder I tried, the more they turned on me and I realized I was just fighting a losing battle. No matter how much I went out there, no matter how much I beat myself up, no matter how many crazy falls I took, the WWE Universe had made up their mind.
"For Roman, I think the most important thing is to stick to his guns, to stick to who he is and not try to be somebody else, not try to endear to anybody. If he believes in himself, if he believes in what he's doing, as long as he sticks it out I think he'll be fine."
He was asked a similar question later on to which he said, "If you analyze every single thing that every person is saying, you'd go mad. You would absolutely lose your mind."
"Social media is a great tool, but it can also be a negative tool depending on how you use it," he added. "If you spend your whole time on Twitter … like some of the comments I woke up to this morning were absolutely hilarious. The only opinion that really matters is my own."
Sheamus was then asked whether he was afraid that he would be one of the few to cash in his Money in the Bank contract and come up short.
After a chuckle, he said, "I'd be lying if I said that didn't go through my mind."
"We're all human beings at the end of the day and sometimes when things aren't going your way you can have doubt in what you're doing. But anytime I step through the ropes, anytime I walk into that ring, I'm very passionate about what I do. I always make sure I leave nothing left."
Sheamus' faith in himself has been tested over the years, as it had been since 2012 since his last world championship. However, Sheamus said that he somehow maintained that faith and knew that it would pay off in the long run.
"I've been through this a couple of times since I started," Sheamus said. "I came in strong, was WWE World Heavyweight champion in a couple of months then I went down. After I lost the title to Randy [Orton], I went down again. I remember when Raw was two hours, I was literally involved in three-minute segments with John Morrison and that was hard."
"Being in the position of being up and being down again, the most important thing is to have faith in your potential and your ability and patience," he added. "Patience sometimes is very, very hard and I'm a very impatient person, and there are times where I got really impatient and get frustrated. You've got to just keep your head and know that an opportunity is going to come back around again because it always does, especially when you know what you're capable of.
"Yeah, it was tough. It was hard, but I've been waiting for this moment like a caged lion. I knew this opportunity was going to come. I knew when it came I wasn't going to let it pass me by. I knew I was going to seize it. I knew I was going to run with it. Last night was my opportunity and fella I am back and I have never been happier. I put on the passenger seat of the car when I was driving 4 1/2 hours to Nashville last night and it just reminded me why I do this, why I love what I do, why I keep coming back."
Notes: Sheamus said that he would love to have a match with Brock Lesnar. … Sheamus mentioned Triple H, Arn Anderson. Fit Finley and William Regal as a few of his mentors … Sheamus is proud of the Irish-born stars in WWE and believes Finn Balor will be a future World Heavyweight champion. … Sheamus is open to continue teaming with King Barrett.