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WWE SummerSlam match card preview: Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian

One more match for two guys that lately have looked like that's all they have in them. Can they turn the tide on PPV tonight and bring some heat to a match that has had precious little in the weeks leading up to it?

World Heavyweight Championship

Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Christian

It's been more than two years since the Attitude Era original defeated the Rio Deal for his first taste of World Heavyweight Championship (WHC) gold back in 2011. August 18th at the Staples Center, can Christian become a three time Heavyweight champ, or will Del Rio's reign continue?

The Road to SummerSlam

Like we said, these two have history that goes back to WrestleMania 27 when Edge had his best friend and former tag partner in his corner for what turned out to be his retirement match against Del Rio. A lot has happened since then, including two stints as WHC for each, and two WWE titles for ADR.

Until recently, Christian had been on the shelf with injury and a case of "Creative has nothing for you"-itis. But since his return a couple of months ago, he's proven that he can hang with the new and old guard of the company, as he's taken out names like Fandango, Damien Sandow, Randy Orton and Rob Van Dam. Those last two are the men he beat in a triple threat to become the #1 contender to Del Rio's throne.

Alberto has battled Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger and his own angels in order to get here. As a fan-friendly American, he lost the Big Gold Belt to Ziggler when the platinum blonde cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase on the Mexican Aristocrat. When Del Rio responded in kind and targeted the champ's wounded head, America turned on him. He's completely on his own now; a humiliating beatdown of former personal ring announcer and best bud Ricardo Rodriguez being the last step and leaving him alone against the world.

And that might be a problem, since Christian's hot streak has included two recent non-title victories over the WHC. On Sunday night, it'll be for the title, and the story of Del Rio's latest title run will depend on if he can rise to the occasion.

What's at stake?

The belt, even if it has been degraded to a secondary title at best and a meaningless prop at worst.

Bigger than any waist bling, though, this match is about legacy for both men. Very few are expecting much of this match, or really either guy on the other side of it. If they can use whatever time they're allotted to really improve on their Smackdown match from August 9th, it would be a good sign of what's to come for them.

Christian could add to his already varied and historic championship résumé. Del Rio could change a few more minds about whether he's a legitimate main eventer. But neither are a possibility if these men don't succeed in telling a much better story in the ring than the one they've told to date.

What's next for the WHC scene? Could we see Damien Sandow, Cody Rhodes or even Ricardo Rodriguez get involved in the action - and the finish?

Good, bad or meh, CSS will be with you every step of the way with the latest news from SummerSlam!

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