Wrestling fans know all about Sheamus, the Celtic Warrior, who is one of only two men to win the King of the Ring, Royal Rumble and Money in the Bank.
The only other World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) wrestler to achieve that feat is the legendary Edge.
Sheamus is also a four-time WWE World Heavyweight champion – the first Irish world champion in WWE history – two-time United States champion and a five-time tag team champion (four Raw and one SmackDown) with Cesaro.
He had been part of the WWE since 2006 working as ‘security’ and wrestling in dark (untelevised) matches under different names before his ‘debut’ on June 30, 2009.
Sheamus (real name Stephen Farrelly), who hails from Cabra in Dublin, Ireland, has been out of action since suffering a concussion during a match in April.
He, however, has kept busy by doing promotional work for WWE and was recently in Kuala Lumpur for a quick visit where he discussed his career, rumours of his retirement and his love for Liverpool.
Nor ‘Phoenix’ Diana has been making waves in Malaysia as its first hijab wrestler. Do you think she has what it takes to make it in WWE?
Sheamus: I was asked a similar question when I was in the Philippines the other day. I don’t think it is an impossible dream (for a Southeast Asian to wrestle in WWE). We are always looking for new talent around the world. Whenever she is ready, if she gets in touch with WWE, and if they see some potential in her, then definitely, there’s no reason why she can’t make it. Not just her. Anybody (from this region) can make it (if they have the talent).
Are you returning to action soon or are the retirement rumours true?
Sheamus: I do want to wrestle again but I honestly don’t know when I will be given the all-clear to return (Like the retired Edge, he is also reportedly suffering from spinal stenosis, the same condition that forced the latter to retire.)
If and when you do return to the ring, do you see yourself regaining the world title?
Sheamus: Most definitely. When I get back into the ring, I have plans to be world champion again, for sure.
Which title run gave you the most satisfaction?
Sheamus: The tag title runs with Cesaro were a lot of fun but every title has its own meaning. I can’t say one is better than the other. Each (of the titles) is special for a reason. I don’t understand people who say ‘oh this is the favourite moment of my career’. You can’t do that. Different stages mean different things to you.
Share with us your love for Liverpool.
Sheamus: I have been following Liverpool since I was seven (1985). I was drawn to the Irish players (Jim Beglin, Mark Lawrenson, Ronnie Whelan, Steve Staunton and John Aldridge among others) who were in the team. I have been in love with them ever since.
You were at the Champions League final. How was that experience?
Sheamus: I was there with Cesaro. We bought our plane tickets, we bought our own Champions League match tickets, paid for our own hotel. No freebies. We went there as fans and it was amazing. The game itself was not very exciting but the whole experience of being there when Liverpool lifted the European Cup was unbelievable. It is a moment I will never forget in my life. Just awesome.
Who do you think will win the Premier League this year?
Sheamus: Liverpool! You have to believe. I was there (at Anfield) when they last won the league in 1990 and it’s crazy it’s been 30 years since their last title victory. The drought will end this year, believe me.
EPL fixtures (Malaysian time)
Southampton vs Manchester United (7.30pm)
Crystal Palace vs Aston Villa (10pm)
Chelsea vs Sheffield United (10pm)
Newcastle vs Watford (10pm)
Manchester City vs Brighton (10pm)
West Ham vs Norwich (10pm)
Leicester vs Bournemouth (10pm)
Burnley vs Liverpool (12.30am)
Everton vs Wolves (9pm)
Arsenal vs Tottenham (11.30pm)