Although Jack Swagger returned as a heel American with twisted values on what his country should look like, complete with a xenophobic and slightly racist manager named Zeb Colter, at roughly the same time Alberto Del Rio turned babyface to win the world heavyweight championship as the hot new Mexican act, this is still surprising.
Thanks to his victory at Elimination Chamber last night (Feb. 18, 2013) in New Orleans, Swagger will be moving on to WrestleMania 29 on April 7, 2013, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, to take on Del Rio for the world heavyweight championship.
WWE.com has it:
The champion that fights for the people will go head-to-head with a challenger hell-bent on fixing everything about them that is "broken." For at WrestleMania 29 on April 7, the self-professed "Real American" Jack Swagger challenges World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio for glory, honor and the top title.
While the character arcs of both men dictate this match making a great deal of sense, it's still incredibly surprising that WWE would expect fans to buy Swagger as a legitimately credible challenger to the heavyweight strap when he spent the majority of last year jobbing to the entire roster. His hiatus and subsequent return have obviously helped, sure, but can fans really be asked to simply forget how awful he was booked for such a long time before bailing and coming back with a manager, a slightly different look, and a cool new theme song?
Oh and don't forget the awesome name for his old finisher.
The reality of the situation, though, is that WrestleMania 29 is going to be such a loaded card that it won't really matter. Del Rio vs. Swagger could very well open the show and be forgotten about by the time it's over.
Unless, of course, Dolph Ziggler finally makes his move with that Money in the Bank briefcase he's still lugging around. We shall see.
Here's the updated WrestleMania 29 match card:
- The Rock vs. John Cena (WWE championship)
- Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger (World heavyweight championship)