Search icon


06th Apr 2016

WWE superstar Sheamus talks about life behind the scenes as a wrestler in this ace BBC Three documentary

Also discussed: Conor McGregor, injuries and the challenges of pro wrestling

Kevin Beirne

Stephen Farrelly has a job most of us can only dream of.

Farrelly, better known by his ring name Sheamus is one of the hottest properties in WWE and the subject of a new documentary to BBC Three, presented by Angela Scanlon.

In the 40-minute first episode of Angela Scanlon’s Close Encounters, the Irishman opens up about life behind the scenes as a professional wrestler, telling fans about the switch he made from working an IT job in Ireland to becoming a WWE superstar.

The series follows Scanlon – aka the new co-host of the rebooted Robot Wars series alongside Mock the Week host Dara Ó Briain – as she meets performers and talks to them about their art.

While life on the road may seem glamourous, the four time world champion also spends time talking about the day-to-day difficulties of a wrestler, dealing with physical pain as well as the emotional strain that comes with it too.

“I haven’t been in a relationship probably in a about two years,” he says, when asked about the personal sacrifices he has made to achieve his WWE dream. “I tried the whole relationship thing; it didn’t work out after four and a half years. It’s a lot to ask somebody to be involved in something like that.”

Sheamus, who describes the WWE as “a lot of mini action movies put together”, is also forthright when speaking about his injuries, admitting a doctor told him his career was over after a serious neck injury:

“When I hurt my neck the last time, I went to a hospital in Virginia. My neck was hurting, my shoulder was hurting me. And this doctor was freaking out. She was like ‘Oh, you’ll never wrestle again. You’re done. You can’t wrestle again. Your neck – I’ve never seen a neck like this.

“She freaked me out. I was lying there in the bed in bits, my neck was killing me, couldn’t really feel my arm, my hand was all numb and I was like ‘maybe this is the end’. I can’t have any regrets. It was fine, she over exaggerated. What we do takes a huge toll on our body. She just had never seen that.”

But it’s not all so serious, as the WWE superstar also opens up about the difference between his personal and professional personas and how he’d “take” Conor McGregor in a one-on-one street fight.

Angela Scanlon’s Close Encounters is now available on BBC Three. You can watch the first episode here.