First Name: Seán
Last Name: O'Neill
Date of Birth: 01/31/1980
Hometown: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Weight: 231 Lbs
Global Icon... Legend... Inspiration to millions... Trendsetter... Mutli-time World Champion... Automatic Hall of Fame pick.
… None of the above would be used when describing Seán O’Neill.
So let’s try that again.
Self-destructive... Underwhelming... Undisciplined... Underachiever.
That’s much more accurate.
For someone as technically proficient at the art of professional wrestling, Seán O’Neill really has no-one but himself to blame for the disaster that has been his career. His skill within the ring is unquestionable; he has dedicated every waking second of his adult life to becoming an elite grappler. Extensive stints wrestling across the world have been spent adapting and incorporating every style of wrestling known to man into his arsenal. So surely O’Neill must be held in high regard by the wrestling world, right?
Wrong. Perhaps he is a victim of circumstance, the fact is that the sport of professional wrestling, for better or worse, has evolved into the world of ‘sports entertainment’, and O’Neill is rarely considered ‘entertaining’. Were he born but a few generations earlier his work in the ring would probably have been more than enough to make him a star. In today’s world of outlandish character’s and outstanding showmen, O’Neill has struggled to break out from the mire of the lower card. Time and again, he has had to watch considerably less talented wrestlers steam-roll past him on their way to becoming household names and legitimate stars. For all his talents he has never truly managed what the others have, he has never made ‘that’ connection with the audience. Seán O’Neill has never ‘got over’.
Sure, he has had periods of reasonable popularity throughout his twenty plus years in the business. But never, in all that time, have the fans of professional wrestling believed in him enough to convince a booker to give him the ball. The notorious Internet Wrestling Community love him, they always love the ‘workers’ they feel are being overlooked. Your average American wrestling fan, though they might enjoy his matches, just doesn’t get emotionally invested in Seán O’Neill.
Success in Europe and in Japan hasn’t made up for the disappointment of failing to make the grade in the biggest professional wrestling market in the world; the United States of America. So now in his mid-forties, O’Neill has taken the decision to make one last run at the big-time.
Can he finally find that missing piece of the puzzle and become a key player on the grandest stage? Will he finally understand and embrace the ‘entertainment’ aspect of ‘sports entertainment’? Or will history repeat itself and Seán O’Neill be remembered as nothing more than a name in the ‘what if?’ bracket in the annals of professional wrestling history? Time is running out, and he knows it.
It's now, or never...
Theme Music: “Comfortable Liar” by Chevelle
Setup Move Celtic Tiger BombCeltic Tiger Bomb - O’Neill pulls his opponent towards him, tucking their head between his legs. He locks both arms in an underhook position before lifting them into the air, flipping them over and finishing with a standing powerbomb. From there he can flow straight into one of his finishing holds. (Standing Tiger Bomb)
Finishing Move: Tír na nÓg / The CloverTír na nÓg - With the opponent flat on their back, O’Neill steps between the opponent's legs with his right leg and wraps the opponent's legs at shin level around that leg. He then turns the opponent over onto their torso, before leaning over the opponent and grabs their arms, applying a double chicken wing. With the hold locked in, he squats back, lifting the opponent's torso into the air and wrenching back to amplify the pressure, looking for the submission.
The Clover - With the opponent flat on their back, O’Neill bends their right leg at a right-angle, behind their left knee. He then secures their left leg under his armpit whilst hooking his right arm under the leg to trap it into position before bringing his left arm through the legs to clasp his hands together on the left thigh. Raising the opponent up on to their neck, he steps over the rolling them on their stomach before arching back repeatedly to apply pressure. He will occasionally (particularly if he's having real trouble putting the opponent away) place his right knee into the small of the opponent’s back or onto the back of their neck, rather than sitting on the opponent's back to increase the likelihood of a tap-out.
O’Neill lifts the opponent so they are lying across his shoulders in a fireman’s carry position. He then shifts the opponent onto his right shoulder so they hang over it at the waist. Wrapping his arm around the opponent's neck he drops to his side, driving the opponent head-first to the mat. For many year’s this was his primary finisher, Now it’s rarely used, usually saved for supercards or used out of frustration if nothing else seems to be putting the opponent away.
The Celtic Cross
O’Neill grabs his opponent in a standing head scissors before spreading his arms out in a crucifix pose before grabbing the opponent around the waist, lifting them up so they are over his shoulder. From there, he places both his arms under their arms and extends them out to the side as far as they can, before sending the opponent crashing down back first to the mat. Another former finisher, this is used even more sparingly than “The Manipulation” now.
The Easter Rising
With his opponent grounded facing down, O’Neill hooks their knees under his arms, stepping over his opponent he locks in the hold arching back repeatedly to apply pressure. Similarly to when he has an opponent in “The Clover”, he will often place his knee in the small of the opponent’s back or occasionally pushing his knee down on the back of their neck.
With his opponent sitting upright, O’Neill kneels behind them and grabs hold of one of the opponent's left arm, bending it backwards overhead, locking their wrist under his armpit. Wrapping his free arm under the opponent's chin in a sleeper hold, he reaches through the arch created by the opponent's trapped arm, and locks hands. With the hold in place, he squeezes the opponent's neck aiming for the submission. (Buffalo Sleeper)
Almost never used, only to turn the tide when he's in the direst of circumstances, O’Neill spits a mysterious green mist into the opponent’s face. **Only used when he is a heel**
You’ll often see him target specific limbs with almost any submission hold that works focuses on that body part. Even when he doesn’t think it would be likely to end the match, he will use these holds to wear the opponent down.
Aside from that, the majority of his offense probably seems quite basic, or dated, in the modern era; Backbreakers, Russian Leg Sweeps, Regular & Inverted Atomic Drops, Arm Drags and the like. His favourite move is a Snapmare followed immediately by a Rolling Neck Snap, and with opponents grounded he loves landing a Falling Fist Drop or a Rolling Knee Drop, so expect to see those in most matches.
It’s very rare O’Neill will go to the top-rope, on the rare occasions he does he would use a Double Axe Handle Smash (although this would more commonly be done from the second rope, as would a Diving Bionic Elbow) or a Diving Crossbody to a standing opponent. In his early career he would use a Diving Headbutt against a grounded opponent but that’s incredibly rare now. Generally if he comes off the top-rope to a grounded opponent it will be with an Elbow Drop.
He is prideful to a fault when it comes to his wrestling technique; even in matches where foreign objects are legal he will tend to avoid using them as much as possible.
He will almost never pose or showboat for the crowd but he has been known to let them get under his skin. In particular when facing more high-flying opposition, he will become wound-up by the crowd’s excitement for high-risk offense. The more extreme the high-flying, the more the fan response riles him. Anything he sees as making a mockery of the sport is met with hostility.
Originally trained in the traditional British style in the mid 1990s by veterans of the “World of Sport” era, he is adept at joint-manipulation and will often use throws and holds that demonstrate this.
O’Neill has spent more time working in Japan than in the United States and this comes across in his “strong-style” approach to competition. Wrestling is a sacred sport dating back to the ancient world, a contest to decide who is the better combatant, not a Cirque du Soleil performance.
Concentration lapses, mainly as a result of failure to properly control his temper. His left knee and his lower back are areas of concern as a result of prior serious injuries.
His connection (or lack thereof) with the fans will also play a part at times. He just can't understand why anyone would cheer for flips and dives over beautiful scientific wrestling.
The opening chords of Chevelle ‘s “Comfortable Liar” ring out, signalling the imminent arrival of Seán O’Neill. After a few seconds, O’Neill emerges on the entrance way and takes a second to scan the crowd, he makes no effort to hide the look of distain showing on his face, before starting for the ring.
Vince Howard: Making his way to the ring, from Belfast, Northern Ireland... weighing in at two hundred and thirty-one pounds... SUURREEAALLL SEAN O’NEILLLLLL!
As usual, the announcement is met with a chorus of jeers from the crowd. Ignoring the reception, O’Neill vaults over the top-rope to enter the ring. Moving into the middle of the ring he looks up to the rafters of the arena whilst spreading his arms straight out to each side.
As he lowers his head, O’Neill smirks at some private joke before moving into the corner where he stretches out on the ring-ropes and rolls his shoulders and wrists, as he gets ready to lock up.