Though he wasn't booked for a match at Night of Champions in Saudi Arabia, Sheamus still has a title match on the books in the not-too-distant future, as he will be facing off against none other than Austin Theory for the United States Championship on SmackDown, marking his first-ever singles match against the current United States Champion and his first shot at that particular title since all the way back in 2021, when Damian Priest held the title pre-Judgement Day.

Stopping by The Bump to discuss his forthcoming match on SmackDown, which is curiously coming from the same venue as the last edition of SmackDown despite many of the company's top talents having press conferences booked in Saudi Arabia on the same day, Sheamus acknowledged that unlike Theory, who will cut an extended promo without another soul in the arena, “The Celtic Warrior” prefers to do his talking with his fists, his forehead, and his Brogue Kick too.

“Sometimes, there’s a lot of talking on the show, but I think the time for talking was kind of over. I just wanted to make a statement. It’s been a real roller coaster year for me so far in 2023. Everyone knows how much I wanted to get my hands on the Intercontinental Title, and I was so close again at WrestleMania. So I’ve just kind of run out of stuff to say and just wanted to make a statement. Theory will talk until the cows come home, to be honest with you, so it was just really making a point that I want what he has, and that’s the United States Championship,” Sheamus said.

“I just kind of decided to let my talking happen in the ring. He’s done a lot, he’s done a lot in a short amount of time. He’s the youngest-ever United States Champion. He’s very impressive in the ring, he can do a lot of stuff that I could probably never do. He’s very athletic, but he’s brash, he’s cocky. I get it. He’s come into WWE and in such a short time, he’s been breaking records and he’s been putting his name on the map. But sometimes, you run out of road. Sometimes you can drive into a brick wall, and that brick wall is me. I’m about to give him a different lesson than Edge, Rey, and John have given him. I’m going to show him why I am known as the hardest, toughest, and he’s going to see exactly what it’s like to step in the ring with [me].”

Jeez, well, Sheamus certainly got him what he wanted, as Adam Pearce and company booked the bout right there on the spot, and even gave the former United States Champion a chance to shoot on the current one on The Bump. What Sheamus said about Theory as a talent, however, has to be seen to be believed, as it's the sort of fighting words that can inspire even a performer like “A-Town's Finest” to throw hands in a major way.

Live and breathe sports?

🚨 Get viral graphics, memes, rumors and trending sports news delivered right to your inbox with the Clutch Newsletter.

Sheamus plans to make Austin Theory a man on SmackDown.

Turning his attention to Theory the performer more so than their forthcoming match, Sheamus was asked about how he feels about the current United States Champion.

Though Sheamus does believe Theory has done a great job establishing his spot on the WWE card, becoming the youngest United States Champion in the promotion's history as a result, he's still just a boy in the eyes of “The Celtic Warrior.” Fortunately, Sheamus is willing to put in the work to make Theory into a man whether he likes it or not.

For Theory, he’s got a lot of talent, a lot of potential, but there’s a long road ahead of him,” Sheamus said. “Short-term, he’s done great, but he’s about to go from a boy to a man when he steps in there with me. I know Bobby’s been very physical on him, and we had that triple threat. But triple threats to me are different than singles matches. He’s got to basically step up to me the whole match and see what happens. There’s no better place than Friday Night SmackDown. I’ve made that place my home over the last couple years, and I haven’t had a championship around my waist since I lost that title a couple years ago at SummerSlam to Damian Priest. So I think it’s about time that I got a bit of gold back around my waist, and there’s no [more] perfect time than this Friday.”

While calling Theory unprepared or childish is more or less the go-to insult thrown at the 25-year-old, Sheamus' comments just hit differently because of the serious way he delivered them. If Theory wants legitimacy in the eyes of the WWE Universe, securing a win over Sheamus will help to achieve it.