Sheamus and Big E battled back-and-forth for several months until the latter ended their rivalry in a Falls Count Anywhere match a few weeks ago on Friday Night SmackDown. After the brutal match, both men took to social media to show off their welts.
According to Sheamus, the old-school contest was to prepare Big E for bigger things to come, including a rumored push on the blue brand.
"The world saw a different side of Big E [during that match], a guy that should be world champion," Sheamus told Sports Illustrated in a recent interview. " I hit him as hard as I could, and he hit me back even harder. That's a credit to him. He brought it, and I still have the marks on my back to prove it."
Sheamus said that although WWE fans had been accustomed to seeing Big E as a jovial character with The New Day, he wanted to change that perception by the end of their feud.
"My intention, as soon as I learned I was working with Big E, was to show he is a tough bastard. I wanted to show a side of him that no one had ever seen. We all know he can joke and crack people up, but when it comes to a fight, he can also hold his own against anybody."
Sheamus, a former four-time World Champion, also went onto call Big E "the full package" and one of the most charismatic guys in WWE.
During the just-concluded WWE Draft, Sheamus moved over to the red brand and lost to Kofi Kingston this past week on Monday Night Raw. Meanwhile, Big E is set to restart his singles career after spending nearly five years with The New Day.