When Christian earned a shot at the world heavyweight championship at the SummerSlam pay-per-view (PPV) that took place on Aug. 18, 2013, in Los Angeles, California, he did so by defeating Alberto Del Rio in non-title matches on episodes of Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown leading up to the show.
Switch Christian out for Rob Van Dam, add Ricardo Rodriguez, rinse, repeat.
Indeed, on last night's episode of Raw, RVD defeated ADR via roll up, no different than Christian before him to earn a title shot at the upcoming Night of Champions event on Sun., Sept. 15, 2013, at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan.
From the WWE.com preview:
A good manager clearly goes a long way. Just ask Ricardo Rodriguez, who bounced back from an unceremonious firing by Alberto Del Rio by coaching a new client to challenge for The Essence of Excellence's World Title at Night of Champions: Rob Van Dam.
A pay-per-view confrontation between Del Rio and Van Dam has been seemingly brewing for some time. One of Mr. Monday Night's biggest victories came hot off his return at WWE Money in the Bank, when he faced down the World Heavyweight Champion on SmackDown and won. The two Superstars would clash again throughout the following weeks, including a momentous contest where Ricardo - then still Del Rio's manager - cost the champion the bout and was punished with a skull-rattling beatdown by a furious Del Rio.
Any chance WWE does a title change for a short while just to capitalize on Van Dam's seeming rebirth since rejoining the ranks back in July? Or will the powers that be continue pushing Del Rio in an attempt to finally get him over with an audience that has rejected him at every turn?
Here's the updated Night of Champions match card and line-up:
- Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan (WWE championship)
- Alberto Del Rio vs. Rob Van Dam (World heavyweight championship)