Shortly after WrestleMania 35 Sheamus suffered a concussion and hadn't been seen on television since. That changed last week when he appeared in a SmackDown vignette and announced he will return very soon.
"I've been in the States now for over 12 years, left Ireland in 2007 and been on the main roster for over 10 years. It's strange when you have a lot of time on your hands because you are on the road for a minimum of four days a week between live events and TV, before the draft you had two TVs, so it's strange having that much time but it's really a matter of how you use that time off," said Sheamus.
In addition to his concussion, Sheamus was also dealing with a neck injury and that was reportedly one of the reasons why he was kept in a tag team with Cesaro instead of having to carry a match on his own. He talked about his current health status following his time off.
"I think everybody on the main roster is dealing with injuries. There has definitely been a lot with me with my neck being one of those rumors, but honestly Corey, the last seven months that I have been off I have used it really well," stated Sheamus. "I have been in the gym hitting it really, really hard focusing on my fitness, well-being and nutrition. I have gotten the chance to travel around the globe. I was down in Malaysia and the Philippines for a tour with the WWE. I have been to Ireland a couple of times and also in Japan for The Rugby World Cup. Time off is great.
"A little bit of time off can definitely heal the body because God knows, from my perspective, WWE Superstars with the guys and the girls there is no harder job. People can talk about other sports until they are blue in the face but there is no one that works as hard as we do. There is no athlete that can do what we do.
"As everyone knows or doesn't know on the podcast, on YouTube I have a page called Celtic Warrior Workouts where I work out with different WWE Superstars and extraordinary people. I have been focusing a lot on that channel and have started to apply some of those new techniques in some of my workouts, which definitely has changed the game for me. I have worked on parts of my body that I normally overlooked. Strengthening different parts of my body like my neck and things like that, but honestly man, I have never felt better. I feel better now than I did 10 years ago."
When you are off programming for as long as Sheamus was, it's easy to lose touch of what's going on with the WWE product. Sheamus admits he took a step back from keeping up with the day-to-day of WWE but did keep an eye on his close friends.
"I unplugged. I obviously kept tabs on what Cesaro was doing, or Drew McIntyre was doing, or Rusev was doing. I am really proud of those three guys. With Drew McIntyre, I came up with him through the indies. We started working together in 2005. We wrestled each other a bunch of times in England, Scotland and Ireland before we were both signed on the same day after a tryout in London, England in 2007. It was me, Drew McIntyre, Wade Barrett and a couple of lads who never made it to the main roster. I always check out what he is doing," stated Sheamus.
"Obviously, Rusev too. My next-door neighbor. Shares the same love of shish kabob and whiskey that I do. Cesaro, who I have tagged with for a few years with one of the most successful tag-teams of all time, The Bar. So generally, I've wanted to get my head straight, but when I knew that I was going to make my return I started watching it and getting into everything with Raw, SmackDown and NXT, just to see what is going on. But honestly, after watching Survivor Series, my appetite to get back was as stronger than ever."
This is the longest break Sheamus has taken since joining WWE in 2007 and he talked about the difficulty of essentially sitting on the sideline while everyone else is getting the shine.
"It is actually worse when you are sitting on the sidelines then when you are on the roster sitting backstage. That has been the hardest part of my career; when you are not being used and you are just a substitute sitting back there sitting on the bench and watching other guys tearing it up, especially during a massive pay per view or a Network special," said Sheamus.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit After the Bell with Corey Graves with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.