Damien Sandow vs. Sheamus
Can the Duke of Decency thwart the Celtic Warrior in the one contest at which they have yet to match wits - a professional wrestling match?
The Road to Payback
Since his arrival in the WWE last year, Damien Sandow has been on a quest. A quest to enlighten the WWE Universe; broaden their horizons beyond simple physicality and lead them on a path of more diverse pursuits.
Three-time World Champion Sheamus represents the opposite end of the spectrum. The fan favorite is known for his hard-hitting style, and will Brogue Kick a fella's face in as quickly as he'll say, well, "fella".
So when the Intellectual Savior of the Masses re-started his crusade in earnest a few weeks ago on Smackdown with the challenge of Gordian's knot, it was a little surprising to see the Irish brawler rise to the occasion. When the Celt didn't like Sandow's attitude, or clever means of solving the puzzle, or both, he resorted to his bread and butter.
The following week, and the thimblerig challenge (better known among the unwashed as "the shell game") again befuddled the former King of the Ring. Not willing to laugh off a little showmanship, Sheamus attacked the Lord of Literacy once more.
When Sandow brought out the supercomputer "Deep Blue" for a game of chess, he waited for the 2012 Royal Rumble winner to assault the steel and silicone system. When Sheamus predictably took the bait, Damien attacked - giving the Great White a taste of his own medicine.
Sandow has proven that he has some brawn to go with his brains. Will Sheamus be able to match his opponent's intellectually in order to even the odds?
What's at stake?
Kind of shocking to see a guy with as many trophies as Sheamus on the free pre-show, especially when at this time last year he was rumored to be a potential replacement for John Cena at the top of the company. For his sake, the stream had better draw a lot of eyeballs, as the thinking must be that a name such as his will raise the profile of what has become a standard feature of pay-per-view (PPV) Sundays.
Damien Sandow has drifted around the card, but the character actually hasn't been around that long. This angle has given him ample opportunity to do what he does best - entertainingly condescend the audience. He probably doesn't stand a chance at a victory at Payback, but this mini-feud has raised his profile, and a good performance on June 16th would be the proverbial icing on the cake.
Cost is no barrier to seeing this battle of strength versus strategy. Check out the Payback free streaming pre-show, and keep checking out Cageside Seats for all the news and fallout from WWE's latest big show.