Previewing the Jan. 18, 2013 episode of WWE "SmackDown"; featuring Alberto Del Rio celebrating his NEW World Heavyweight Championship.
Del Rio! Ricardo! Show! Ziggler! Celebrations! Your NEW! World Heavyweight Champion!
Last week (Jan. 11) Alberto Del Rio shocked the WWE Universe. Although he seemed to be out of his element in a Last Man Standing Match against The Big Show, "The Mexican Aristocrat" proved to have a few tricks up his sleeve. Sliding out of the ring to stay on his feet, then tipping the announce table onto Show to keep him down, may be cheap tactics to some or a brilliant strategy to others. In either case though, the outcome is the same.
Alberto Del Rio has some gold sitting around his waist.
Yes, the man who couldn't defeat Sheamus in 57 tries (may be embellishing that number a bit) and whose WWE Championship runs are only memorable--in the sense you vaguely remember that girl you hooked-up with twice during your freshman year of college, before committing to a long-term relationship--finally has a chance to be a legitimate main-eventer. If WWE was ever serious about pushing Del Rio to the top, this is the time to do it.
Now the question which must be asked, "Is this really something WWE wants to do?"
Del Rio has had one of the stranger runs in WWE. He debuted with a bang, taking out wrestlers left and right. He won Royal Rumble 2011, and by some accounts, he was set to become the World Heavyweight Champion then, if not for Edge retiring. He won the red briefcase at Money in the Bank 2011, and looked to be a serious force to be reckoned with in the Raw brand.
This, of course, was the time when CM Punk took the world by storm with his infamous "Worked Pipe-bomb." Once again, Del Rio would have to take a backseat based on circumstances completely out of his control.
The trend would continue for the next year: A torn groin muscle after TLC: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs 2011 would put him out of action for a few months; a move to SmackDown right in the middle of Sheamus' push to the moon. Every time Del Rio looked to be on the cusp of something big, he would run smack dab into the glass ceiling. People can blame the booking, the character, the angles, the opponents, or the workrate, if they want. The end result was always the same:
Del Rio had lost almost all credibility as a main event player.
Now though, things can change. A huge win over Show makes Del Rio look like a legitimate contender. A rematch win turns him into a real champion. A run of a few months would do wonders for him and his future. I'm not saying give this man a Punk-esque reign... but holding the strap through WrestleMania 29 would be the best thing for him, and for the title.
Because honestly, who else left on the roster can run with it?
Sheamus had his run with the strap. Show was magnificent, but to take the belt from him, only to give it back, would be insane. Orton is going to get another run eventually, but he needs to prove to the people that he can go some time without testing positive or getting injured. Dolph Ziggler still has the Money in the Bank briefcase, but it looks like he's going to be running into John Cena's AA until the cows come home. Daniel Bryan and Kane are still involved in their strange love/hate relationship. Wade Barrett, The Miz and Antonio Cesaro are all chilling in the midcard. I'm sure Ryback would be an interesting choice, but I think WWE has forgotten about him these past few weeks.
So why not give Alberto Del Rio a serious run with the title?
It's something I will be asking myself in the coming weeks and months. WWE may give it to him, but it's very possible he will become another transitional champion. There is no reason to cut his reign short, but WWE has done dumber things over the course of its history.
I do know one thing, though; if they take Ricardo Rodriquez off of my television set for any amount of time, there will be rioting in the C. J. Bradford household.
Hopefully, this has prepared you for the night's festivities. Leave a comment below about what you are looking forward to, and please join the CSS Friday night gang in the live blog right here TONIGHT!