Christian def. Alberto Del Rio (World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match)

BY Michael Burdick April 14, 2011

TAMPA – At Extreme Rules, Christian fulfilled a lifelong dream, triumphing over Alberto Del Rio in a brutal Ladder Match to capture his first World Heavyweight Championship, with the help of his best friend Edge.

In few WWE matches are the stakes as elevated as the infamous Ladder Match. After the competing Superstars undoubtedly sacrifice their bodies and take years off their careers, only one of them will climb high above the ring and gain possession of the hanging championship title.

From the opening bell, both Superstars fought tooth and nail, enduring unspeakable steel-infused torment for the right to carve their place in history and determine the future of the vacant World Title. Though Christian walked into the ring an established master of the rungs of destiny, his opponent made up for his lack of experience with pure ruthless determination.

As Christian looked ready to grab the championship, Brodus Clay entered the ring, hurling him down to the canvas. Del Rio then attempted to climb to glory. But, his seemingly certain success was “horned in on” by the sudden emergence of Edge. The smiling Ultimate Opportunist cruised into the arena in a Jeep. The distraction he caused with his horn allowed Captain Charisma time to push over Del Rio’s ladder, sending him out of the ring and onto Clay and Ricardo Rodriguez. Then, with Edge cheering him on, Christian rose to the top of the ladder and claimed the World Heavyweight Title for the biggest victory of his illustrious career.

Edge’s involvement in the match was completely justified, since the road to Christian’s heroic triumph began with the 11-time World Champion’s shocking forced retirement, leaving him no choice but to relinquish the World Heavyweight Championship. Ironically, it was Captain Charisma – Edge’s best friend of 27 years – who stepped up. Overcoming 19 other Superstars in an impromptu SmackDown Battle Royal, he earned the right to face the already established No. 1 contender Alberto Del Rio – the very Superstar who had put him out of action for months – for the vacant championship in a Ladder Match.

The WWE Universe was stunned yet again when the 2011 WWE Draft changed Del Rio’s “destined” path, sending the elitist Superstar to Monday Night Raw. Would he take the World Heavyweight Championship along with him, leaving Friday night’s most explosive show without its crowned jewel? Christian answered that question at Extreme Rules with a resounding no.

In his 13-year career – in addition to numerous tag team championships with The Rated-R Superstar – Christian’s glorious list of accomplishments includes the Intercontinental, Hardcore, European, Light Heavyweight and of course the ECW Titles. But, before his monumental victory over his aristocratic adversary, he had never held a World Title.

Now that Christian has captured his first World Championship, will he truly create a whole new era in WWE? And with Del Rio on Raw, who will step up to challenge him? Find out Friday night on SmackDown at 8/7 CT on Syfy.