Del Rio! Show! Ricardo! Sneak Attacks! Parking Lot! Backstage! Hotel! Motel! Hollidae Inn! World Heavyweight Championship!
Things are starting to get out of control, and it is awesome to watch.
On last week's Monday Night Raw (Jan. 28), The Big Show tied Alberto Del Rio's hand to the tope, allowing him to beat the crap out of Ricardo before finally turning his attention onto the World Heavyweight Champion himself.
Then on the following SmackDown (Feb. 1), Del Rio spent the majority of the showing waiting for Show in the parking lot with a metal pipe in hand. When the giant showed up, Del Rio came real close to leaving him a crippled mess on the tarmac. Show was able to find a running car and escape the assault.
But he would get the last laugh that night.
Following Del Rio's match with Dolph Ziggler, Show appeared on the Titantron holding a whimpering and clearly injured Ricardo Rodriquez backstage. Show made Ricardo "beg like a dog," and then laid him out with a WMD. "The World's Largest Athlete" took a traditional feud over the title and turn it into something much, much more serious.
And it was glorious.
Then on Monday's Raw (Feb. 4), Show hid in his hotel room while he waited for someone to bring over the official contract for the Elimination Chamber (Feb. 17) match. He told Del Rio that the champion better not try and find him. Which of course meant that Del Rio would sneak into the hotel to launch a retaliatory attack, eventually knocking Show out with a fire extinguisher.
I'll admit that was a bit silly.
The problem with these long form feuds is it's so bloody difficult to keep up the intensity over the weeks and months. This whole thing started with a Last Man Standing Match. There can be no doubt that it was an absolutely great match. Then there was a Last Man Standing Rematch at Royal Rumble (Jan. 27), which was good but was not able to live up to the original's standard. Now we are transitioning into a more personal feud, and so far it has been fun to watch.
We still have two SmackDowns left until Elimination Chamber, and I'm not 100% sure if this will keep up the momentum.
I can't bring myself to blame the actors involved. Show has proven to be excellent in anything he puts his mind to. Although Del Rio's history is filled with some forgettable angles, he's been working this new character pretty close to perfection. These guys have a great chemistry together. I want to believe that they can make this work long term.
But WWE Creative's idea of a "good" segment very rarely jives with what we are actually entertained by.
My biggest fear is that Del Rio is going to be turned into a "traditional" WWE face. John Cena is the absolute worst offender, often using his status of top dog to get away with pretty much everything. The guy can say Eve Torres has an STD and dump a pile of crap on top of Ziggler and AJ Lee and still make the fans cheer. Sheamus, even though he has been getting better recently, stole Del Rio's car and took it for a joyride.
That's a pretty serious crime, and was completely uncalled for in context of the angle.
Right now Del Rio has a little more leeway because his working with such a great heel. The Big Show has ratcheted up the cruelty in recent weeks. Beating down Ricardo, Del Rio's best friend, gives the champion a reason to use unsavory tactics. We has fans want to see the bully get his comeuppance, and we want to see the underdog use whatever means necessary. It may not be what our Kindergarten teachers used to teach us.
But as JBL says, "We fight on Friday Night SmackDown!"
So Alberto Del Rio, go ahead and avenge your friend. Do what you feel you need to do.
But remember you still have a week and change to fill. So lets not blow your load early, okay?
Everything Else! Bullet Points!
- Mark Henry made his triumphant return on Monday's Raw, destroying Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara. My first thought was, "why the hell didn't he come back during the Royal Rumble Match?" But then my second thought was, "HOLY CRAP MARK HENRY IS BACK!" We missed you, Mark. Don't ever leave us again.
- How 'bout that Jack Swagger, eh? The "All American American" has come back with a vengeance. He's got a new look -- I am always a fan of stubble -- a new name for his finisher -- The Patriot Act is an awesome name, and of course it took WWE a decade to use it -- and is 2-0 since his return. I don't want to scare anyone, but this man is my dark horse to win the Elimination Chamber Match.
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!