Previewing the Feb. 15, 2013 episode of WWE "SmackDown", the go-home show to the "Elimination Chamber" pay-per-view (PPV); featuring the final confrontation between Alberto Del Rio and The Big Show, The Rock and CM Punk hyping their WWE Championship match, and Mark Henry and Jack Swagger's dominating returns.
Del Rio! Show! Ricardo! Buses! Paint Jobs! Silence! World Heavyweight Champion!
Last week (Feb. 8) The Big Show spent all of SmackDown bossing his bus driver around. He yelled at him for hitting every pothole in Jacksonville, for not setting the thermostat at the right temperature, and for overcooking his steak. Show is nothing more than a big bully, throwing his weight around just because he can.
So it was up to Alberto Del Rio to stand up to that bully.
I'm sure a lot of people see Del Rio dousing Show in orange paint and exclaim, "typical WWE face behavior". Which, in most cases might probably be true. Because WWE paints with such a large brush -- see what I did there? -- most of WWE's good guys tend to be jerks, for the simple reason -- because they can.
But not Alberto Del Rio. No, he may the one true good guy on the roster.
Taken by itself, Del Rio dumping paint on Show is an outrageous act. But in context, it actually works. Show was bullying his poor, defenseless employee. SmackDown actually spent a couple of segments of the episode really driving the point home. Del Rio's actions weren't unprovoked; he's instead being established as a champion of the little people.
It's a role that suits him perfectly.
It started with Del Rio fighting for the honor of his best friend, Ricardo Rodriguez. I know there were at least a few fans wondering if Ricardo was going to split with his boss. What WWE has done, though, is even better. Del Rio has seen the light, has ventured away from his selfishness, and is instead fighting for friendship and justice.
Extending his crusade to the common man is simply a natural progression of the story. Del Rio is allowing the fans to live vicariously through him, to stand up to the bullies we all encounter on a daily basis.
After all, who doesn't have a boss who never seems to be happy with our work? Who is always criticizing everything we do? Who is never satisfied, even though we work our asses off every day? Who tells us our writing is garbage? Who scolds us that we should be ashamed of ourselves? Who declares that our name shouldn't even be in the damn byline, because of how horrendous the piece is...
Hypothetically speaking, of course. I have never had to experience such a situation. Never. Not once. Nope...ahem...
Back to Alberto Del Rio. The man is standing up for the average fan, the underdog, while The Big Show is acting as the oppressive force. It's a tried and true story, but it's still enjoyable as all hell. Pro wrestling is a medium of truisms. A tale of faces vs. heels, of Davids vs. Goliath's, where the good guy goes over in the end because that is what is supposed to happen. Some may see it as passé, but I look at it as tradition.
Everyone knows how Macbeth ends, but it's the artistry in the performances that make the show special.
It cannot be denied that Del Rio and Show are doing amazing work. Even Show seething in anger on Monday Night Raw (Feb. 11), so pissed off that he couldn't even utter a single word, came off as brilliant. It's the little things both men are doing that really bring this feud home.
How long this will last, though, remains to be seen.
Del Rio has two championship victories over Show, on the Jan. 8 episode of SmackDown and at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view (PPV) on Jan. 27. The pair are set to face off on Sun. Feb. 17 at Elimination Chamber. A win by Show would mean the title heads back to its original owner, and the pair will continue the battle going into WrestleMania 29.
On the other hand, a win by Del Rio will give him three in a row, and will most likely be the end of this feud.
Or, we could get some insane booking and this continues simply because WWE doesn't wish to feature anyone else in the main event; you never can tell with these things. Let's not get ahead of ourselves, though. Tonight is the go-home show. Tonight will be the final face off between these two foes. Tonight will set the tone heading into Elimination Chamber.
This may be one of the last times we see these men together. Let's appreciate the ride that we have had along the way.
Everything Else! Bullet Points!
Rumor has it
she ain't got your love anymoreThe Rock will be making a special appearance on "The Blue Brand" to hype his match against CM Punk at Elimination Chamber. The recent stipulation, "if Rocky is disqualified, or counted out, he loses the belt", will surely be discussed. Will this be another amazing promo we've come to expect from "The Great One"? Or, will he be content to talk about how much fun he used to have in Little Rock, Arkansas? Who knows?!
Mark Henry is back, and he is laying waste to the WWE roster... along with beating Randy Orton clean last week. I'm not really sure how he'll be able to keep this up, unless he's being pushed into the title scene, but we'll see how everything plays out.
Jack Swagger has been picking up both wins and xenophobic sidekicks since his return to the ring. I usually don't like bigoted racists, but I gotta admit Dutch Mantel Zeb Colter is rocking a pretty sweet 'stache.
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 entire CSS Friday night gang in the live blog, TONIGHT!