Raw results: Punk celebrates 365 days as champion, Ziggler injures Cena in locker room brawl

November 19, 2012

Randy Orton def. Alberto Del Rio in a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match

How do you solve a problem like Randy Orton and Alberto Del Rio? Well, we’re not sure that problem can ever be put to bed for good, but a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match is a pretty solid start.

In any case, there was certainly an epic air about The Viper’s latest clash with his opulent aggressor. A combination of the unusual stipulation combined with the long-standing nature of the rivalry brought out the most vicious side of each Superstar, to the point where even the calm, collected Del Rio lost his composure for a few moments.

The contest opened up in the way one would expect, with Orton striking fast and trying to put Del Rio away quickly, while Del Rio stuck to the side of strategy and calmly worked Randy Orton’s left arm, attempting to soften up The Apex Predator for the eventual Cross Armbreaker. Del Rio’s temper ultimately got the better of him, though, after he caught Orton in a compromising position and slammed his arm against the ring post despite the referee’s demands he stop. The brutal outburst earned Orton the first fall via disqualification, but the damage lingered despite the scales having been tipped in The Viper’s favor.

The loss appeared to be a hit Del Rio was willing to take, as The Essence of Excellence continued to work the arm and keep Orton from building steam. The clearly hobbled Viper fought back gamely but, with one arm taken away, wasn’t able to escape when Del Rio finally did lock in the Cross Armbreaker, submitting after a brief struggle to even the playing field and give The Essence of Excellence a fall of his own.

The hold left Orton severly compromised, essentially robbing him of the left arm entirely and giving Del Rio the chance to employ his time-honored mat technique to leave The Apex Predator stumbling. A reeling Orton attempted to counter with a rollup pin, but Del Rio escaped and unleashed a wicked enziguiri to the injured arm that left Orton literally screaming in pain. Orton rallied with a backbreaker, and caught perhaps his biggest break of the match when Ricardo Rodriguez, who attempted to interfere, was ejected from the match. That development turned out to be subterfuge, though, as Del Rio caught the distracted Orton wtih the Backstabber and, sensing victory, attempted an RKO of his very own.

But as the WWE Universe knows, the RKO is often imitated, but never equalled. Orton ducked out of Del Rio’s attempt at the maneuver and planted The Essence of Excellence with a hanging DDT, eventually dodging a last-second enziguiri attempt by Del Rio to unleash the original RKO on The Mexican Aristocrat, earning himself the third and final fall of the contest. Advantage: Orton. But is it permanently? Only time will tell.