Previewing the Jan. 25, 2013 episode of WWE "SmackDown", the go-home show to "Royal Rumble"; featuring a final confrontation between World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio and The Big Show.
Del Rio! Show! Go Home! Last Man Standing! World Heavyweight Championship!
Two weeks ago (Jan. 11) Alberto Del Rio defeated The Big Show in a Last Man Standing Match to win the World Heavyweight Championship. Then last week (Jan. 18) Del Rio threw a bucket of water on Show, who got pissed off and walked away from the match.
No, it's not quite as impressive. But it was still funny as hell to watch.
Little things like throwing water on an opponent is part of what makes Del Rio so great to watch. It's a dumb joke that will appeal to the kids, but it's also smart psychology the older fans can appreciate. Get the giant angry, continue to poke the bear until he snaps and loses focus. Del Rio will then have the edge, using his smarts to outmaneuver Show.
Of course, the plan could always backfire and Show rips Del Rio's head clean off his body. Either way, it will be fun to watch.
Del Rio's championship run has only lasted two weeks, but it already feels like a smashing success. Perhaps it is just me, but seeing the belt around "The Mexican Aristocrat's" waist just seems right. Which is amazing considering that Del Rio has Sheamus' personal whipping boy for four months. I know many fans who assumed that no one would ever take him seriously as champion. Hell, I was one of those fans.
I'm actually glad to be wrong on this one.
I've always been a proponent of giving WWE credit where credit is due, and I think there is something here that should be pointed out. A few years ago both major titles had a tendency to bounce around pretty quickly. There was a stretch from Dec. 2010 to Sept. 2011 when there were eight title reigns between five wrestlers and one vacated period. When a reign is lasting a little over a month, there is something wrong with how things are working. On the flip side, the WWE Championship has been in CM Punk's hands -- well, technically Paul Heyman's hands -- for 432 days. It's a run that has gone so over the top that any conclusion shy of The Second Coming will be a let down.
But starting in Dec. 2011, we've had Daniel Bryan with a 105 day run, Sheamus with 210 days, The Big Show with 72 days, and are now starting Alberto Del Rio's run. These help build up the championship into something greater, and makes it special when the strap does switch hands. This is textbook booking on how to make a title meaningful.
Now, I'm not saying it has been perfect. Sheamus facing Del Rio repeatedly meant that everyone knew who would win. I personally would have liked to see another heel or two have a shot, just to change things up. Facing the same person over and over, and beating him over and over, is hardly the most entertaining thing to watch.
With that being said, Del Rio has been able to regain credibility with a huge win over Show. I don't think there was anyone better on the roster for the World Heavyweight Champion to match up against. Show made John Cena vs. John Laurinaitis bearable to watch, and he turned an average feud with Sheamus into something much greater than it had any right to be.
Now it's Del Rio's turn to receive a giant helping hand to the top.
Show has, and will continue, to bring his best work on the mic and in the ring. If Del Rio can continue matching Show's energy, and continue to prove he knows how to work a great match, then I have no doubt WWE will make him a star. He has the charisma, he has the intelligence, he has the athletic ability, and -- although this is a bit crude to say -- he has the Latino heritage WWE is desperately looking for.
This is Del Rio's chance to be seen as a major player in WWE. Standing here right now, I fully believe he will be a main-eventer for as long as he wants to be.
Hopefully, this has prepared you for the night's festivities. Leave a comment about what you are looking forward to, and please join the entire CSS Friday night gang in the live blog TONIGHT!