World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio def. Big Show (Last Man Standing Match)

BY James Wortman

January 27, 2013

Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez

PHOENIX — There are few things more difficult than cutting an angry giant down to size, but World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio accomplished that near impossible task for a second time at Royal Rumble, keeping the rampaging Big Show off his feet for a 10-count to win an incredible Last Man Standing Match.

The stipulation, chosen by Big Show himself in a WWE Active interview on the WWE App less than one week prior, would prove to be The World’s Largest Athlete’s undoing. As Del Rio had Big Show worn down and locked in his excruciating Cross Armbreaker submission hold, the Mexican Superstar’s personal ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez duct taped the challenger’s ankles to the bottom rope, which ultimately prevented the giant from rising to his feet. Unorthodox? Sure. But under the Last Man Standing Match stipulation, the crafty move was entirely legal.

Before the notorious adhesive came into play, both ring warriors battered each other with more traditionally hazardous implements, including steel chairs, steel steps, a fire extinguisher and even the Royal Rumble set itself. In fact, Big Show nearly secured a victory when he chokeslammed Del Rio off the Royal Rumble entranceway through a table. When the resilient World Heavyweight Champion persevered, Big Show became even more enraged.

Repelling an attempted interference by Rodriguez, the infuriated and potentially distracted Big Show then aimed to drive Del Rio through the barricade — an assault narrowly avoided by the World Heavyweight Champion at the last moment. Following that misfire, Del Rio was able to gain control of the match, trapping Del Rio in the Cross Armbreaker and leaving Big Show’s ankles vulnerable to Ricardo’s duct tape dénouement.

Moments before the bout, Del Rio crossed paths with WWE Hall of Famer and multi-time World Champion Bret “Hit Man” Hart, who wished the Mexican Superstar good luck before gifting his iconic wraparound shades to an utterly giddy Rodriguez. With his personal ring announcer in possession of Hart’s pink-hued ocular ornamentation, The Essence of Excellence seemed to channel the technical expertise of The Excellence of Execution to put Big Show through his paces. Yet, utilizing every maneuver in his growing arsenal, it was the most unlikely of armaments that would end conclude a true “tale of the tape.”

The last time these two ring warriors squared off in a Last Man Standing Match was three weeks earlier on SmackDown, when the benevolent Mexican Superstar pinned Big Show underneath the announce table to ensnare the illustrious championship, much to the delight of the WWE Universe. Furious about the circumstances of his title defeat, Big Show has been even more ornery than usual, and seemed determined to end Del Rio’s feel-good story indefinitely at Royal Rumble. Thanks to an assist from Ricardo, the World Heavyweight Championship remains in Del Rio’s hands … and judging by the sold-out crowd’s reaction inside the US Airways Arena at the end of this bout, the WWE Universe couldn’t be happier. Big Show, on the other hand, is more incensed than ever before.

Has Del Rio seen the last of Big Show, or will a new challenger emerge to vie for Del Rio’s illustrious World Heavyweight Championship? The answers to such questions will no doubt emerge on the unpredictable and exciting Road to WrestleMania.