Sheamus was interviewed by DirecTV to promote WrestleMania 29. Here are some of the highlights from the interview.
On what he’s looking forward to with this year’s WrestleMania: “Everything about WrestleMania. I mean, I remember as a kid my fondest memories were of watching ‘Mania and dreaming of becoming a WWE superstar. That’s probably cliche because a lot of people say it. But I’ll tell you something fella, I was the kid coming from Ireland that snuck down a 2 a.m. to watch pay-per-views when my dad and ma were asleep.
“I was creeping down these wooden stairs and these wooden floors. It was actually brutal, it was great when they had carpets, no problem at all. But when they got rid of the carpet and varnished the floors, I’d literally be treading down on tippy-toes all the way down so I wouldn’t be heard on the day before school.
“I was in for every pay-per-view but WrestleMania was special. To be involved in WrestleMania 26 when I was there with Triple H — first of all, I can’t believe I’m here and two, I can’t believe I can get paid for this. And of course, last year was special with Daniel Bryan.
“But every year you evolve and every year you strive to push the boundaries. That’s what is going to happen this year I think. It won’t be with The Undertaker, it won’t be for the World Heavyweight championship, but I guarantee you that whatever I’ll be involved in is going to be very special.”
On the difference between performing on Raw or Smackdown! compared to WrestleMania: “Every time I go out there, I get those goosebumps and I get that feeling in my stomach of nerves. I think that never goes away because you’re always with a different crowd and it’s special to you and it means so much to you. You always get nervous, I always get nervous.
“But for ‘Mania, it was incredible. I remember being at the stadium and being all hyped up. I’d literally been on Raw for maybe four months, I’d already been WWE champion — I’d done a awful lot very quickly. This was another step being in there with such a superstar like Triple H.
“I just remember walking the ramp and looking around and going, ‘Wow, this is unbelievable, it’s like a huge football stadium.’ Then, I remember going down and…I was blown away. I remember my knees, for just a half a second, just got weak. I actually thought I was going to go down. I composed myself and I went down that ramp. It felt like it took me 5 minutes to get to the ring. That’s how long that entrance way was for that ‘Mania.
“I remember getting in there and seeing Irish flags and trying to pick people out. It was absolutely incredible.”
On some of his favorite WrestleMania moments: “I loved the Roddy Piper vs. Adrien Adonis match with Jimmy Hart involved. It wasn’t a long match but it was an exciting and fun match with guys like Jimmy Hart being pulled in by Adrien Adonis, Roddy Piper being on fire and both of them being pulled over the top rope. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake coming down and cutting Adonis’ hair and him freaking out. That, to me, was a great match.
“I also loved Bret and Shawn at WrestleMania XII. I was really torn, I liked both of them but I was more a Bret Hart fan at the time. When he lost, I was gutted. Another great — well, I don’t know if it was great, but a hyped-up match — was Ultimate Warrior vs. Hulk Hogan. I was never a Hogan fan, I was an Ultimate Warrior fan. I just like Warriors’ energy in the ring. I just remembering hoping Warrior would beat Hogan.
“Those are the type of matches that are great, where you’re torn between the two.”
On Bret Hart motivating him to become a WWE superstar: “He was the first person, it was unbelievable. I always wanted to be a WWE superstar, I just knew it was the route to go. I remember I was working at a club called Lillie’s Bordello where I worked part-time just to get some extra cash.
“He came in to the club in Dublin and I asked him a question about getting a career in WWE. First, he sat down and he was there with his daughter. He sat me down and gave me some really great advice.”
What is his personal fantasy match-up for himself: “Undertaker. Absolutely Undertaker. I was absolutely gutted [when I lost the four-way between myself, C.M. Punk, Big Show and Randy Orton]. That was the match I wanted. The ‘Dead Man’, he’s one of the biggest legends and greatest superstars there ever will be in our business. To be able to step into the ring with him at WrestleMania, fella, there would be nothing bigger.
On the International Olympic Committee taking amateur wrestling out of the Olympics: “I think the people on the committee have completely lost their marbles. I think that is the most bizarre, ridiculous thing I have ever heard in my entire life. They’re literally removing one of the core sports of the Olympics that’s been there since the very beginning: Greco-Roman wrestling. And they’re taking it out to put in, what? What’s in there now? Badminton? Table tennis? Fly-fishing? Stamp collecting? Is stamp collecting in the Olympics now?
“I’ll be honest, that’s lost all credibility with me. I think that should be one of the core sports. Taking it out is ridiculous. I think they should be removed from their position in the committee because they have no idea what they’re doing.”