World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio
July 30, 2012
If World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus thought his successful title defense against Alberto Del Rio at Money in the Bank meant the end of The Mexican Aristocrat’s title contention, The Celtic Warrior has another thing coming. Thanks to a conniving win in a SmackDown Fatal 4-Way Match to determine the World Heavyweight Championship’s No. 1 contender, Del Rio has scored himself another crack at The Great White’s title gold, this time at WWE’s biggest event of the season, SummerSlam.
By all appearances, however, tying up again with Del Rio is exactly what the eager-to-fight Sheamus desires. The same might not be said of the calculating Del Rio, who vowed on the July 30 edition of Raw to not compete until his championship opportunity comes on Aug. 19. Del Rio has stoked Sheamus’ fiery temper with repeat attacks — a two-month-long campaign that saw Del Rio slam Sheamus with the hood of one of his vintage rides, not to mention twice lock in his dreaded Cross Armbreaker while Sheamus’ body draped over the entrance ramp.
By perpetrating these acts, has the lucha libre prodigy made a grave mistake? Is Del Rio simultaneously weakening Sheamus physically and mentally, or is he only ensuring that he’ll be on the receiving end of the most evil-intentioned Brogue Kick of all time?
The WWE Universe has already witnessed several closely contested bouts between SmackDown’s two premier heavyweights, and with each passing opportunity, Del Rio has seemingly inched closer to strapping the World Heavyweight Title around his chiseled waist, without ever doing so. Though he has not yet dodged the ultimate weapon in Sheamus’ powerful arsenal, the aforementioned Brogue Kick, the silver-spoon Superstar could have Sheamus’ number come SummerSlam.
In addition to his overwhelming confidence and mastery of the more technical elements of the mat game, Del Rio is endlessly resourceful, especially when one factors in his mischievous personal ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez. Engaged in battle against Kane, Rey Mysterio and Daniel Bryan during the Fatal 4-Way Match on the July 27 edition of SmackDown, Del Rio stole the pinfall on Bryan after Mysterio connected with the 619 and a top rope splash. The difference maker, however, was Rodriguez, who broke up Mysterio’s pin attempt by pulling The Ultimate Underdog out of the ring and all but serving up the pinfall victory on Bryan to his master on a silver platter. Could the oft-derided Rodriguez play as crucial a role at SummerSlam?
Sheamus, on the other hand, has quietly amassed one of WWE’s most impressive, and most exciting, winning streaks of the year. Even without the added motivation of retribution, the World Heavyweight Champion has demolished one top-caliber Superstar after another. Given his increasing familiarity with Sheamus , might Del Rio finally be the exception? Or will no degree of resourcefulness, underhandedness and technical superiority be enough to put a halt to The Celtic Warrior?
At SummerSlam, Sheamus will be out to finally silence Del Rio, while The Mexican Aristocrat continues to chase his “destiny.” Only one Superstar will succeed in his objective.