They Couldn’t Have Scripted It Better



Irish wrestler Fergal Devitt

Last we saw of intrepid pro-wrestling globetrotter Fergal Devitt, the Bray, County Wicklow man had signed with World Wrestling Entertainment (that’s the ex-WWF to the ’80s childer).

Debuting with its Florida-based NXT brand/division/etc., Fergal capitalised on his reputation from grappling exploits in Japan (where he was the subject of an RTÉ documentary), Mexico and Europe.

He become NXT’s biggest star as it began taking off, with touring and merchandise for WWE’s alternative product swelling around his arrival and championship reign…


…as Finn Balór (above), mild-mannered veteran by day, body-painted manimal on fight night.

So it seemed like the dream coming true for 35-year-old Fergal when he was finally called up to WWE’s main roster after nearly two years.

The creation of a new top championship for WWE’s Raw brand created an opportunity for Devitt to oppose storyline corporate golden-boy Seth Rollins at WWE Summerslam last month for the newly-minted WWE Universal Championship.

Customary ridiculousness of the title’s moniker aside, it placed Devitt right at the centre of the action.

Until this happened…

In the course of some scuffling on the floor of the Barclay’s Centre in Brooklyn, New York, Devitt went full-force into the guard rail surrounding the ring.

He not only separated his shoulder, but popped it back into place on camera, before proceeding to finish the match, becoming the champion of the world before 17,000 rabid fans in the process.

After finishing the morning’s media appearances, Devitt got his shoulder checked out, and with a career’s damage taking its toll, WWE doctors told him he’d need immediate surgery and 3-4 months’ recovery time.

Fergal had been champion for less than twenty-four hours before relinquishing the belt, after a sixteen-year career.

What’s left of a story to tell?

Why, the Rocky comeback, of course, and WWE are already all over it, generating sympathy and support in anticipation of his return bout and inevitable rematch with Rollins, showing footage of his surgery and day one of his physical therapy.



Previously: Fergal Devitt on Broadsheet

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21 thoughts on “They Couldn’t Have Scripted It Better

  1. Fully Keen

    That show on RTE was very well made. Really detailed and interesting story. He comes across as a hard working decent fella. Glad he finally made the big time. Hope he recovers fully.

    1. Gav D

      He;d have initally taken a significant pay cut going to WWE from Japan. Wouldn’t say he’s made too much in the states…. yet. But between downside, PPV bonuses ad merchandise sales, if he’s smart about it and stays healthy he can do very, very well indeed.

  2. rory

    Nice post Mike.

    I remember back in the mid 90’s (when I was about 10/11), I had a neighbour friend living a few fields over, who had a cousin living next door to him, who had the channels. We’d occasionally pop in to said cousin to watch WWF.
    At the time, the WWF was building up to a big match between the Undertaker and Yokozuna. I never got to see the big fight, but I have fond memories of the event because of the vivid descriptions supplied by my neighbour. Not long after, the same guy broke his younger brothers arm with a pile-driver during one of their own WWF sessions.

        1. Mike McGrath-Bryan

          In fairness, that’s how a lot of us got into it – kids that had the channels or knew cousins that had, and would tape them the shows. That’s how I did. Same thing with soccer or the Simpsons or anything else of that time – the glimmer and gloss of the new and unfamilar to us in four-channel land.

  3. ahjayzis

    Jaysus I’d only be ‘swelling around his arrival and championship reign’ as well




  4. Black & White

    I had to send off a player in an U12 rugby game a few years ago when after he was tackled, ran after the tackler, drop kicked him and when on the ground gave him “The Peoples Elbow” T’was funny as f*ck afterwards, not at the time though. True Story.

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