SmackDown results: Del Rio made Ziggler tap out, but lost the painful battle of payback to Big Show

BY Michael Burdick

February 01, 2013

Swagger returned; Booker T made a huge announcement regarding the future of the World Heavyweight Title and the Elimination Chamber

SAN DIEGO — Following Big Show’s vicious attack on Raw, World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio’s attempt at giant retribution ultimately backfired. Meanwhile, SmackDown’s elite looked to shock-and-awe in a series of explosive showdowns, hoping to earn their place in the World Heavyweight Title No. 1 Contender’s Elimination Chamber Match.

As SmackDown began, an agitated Alberto Del Rio was seen pacing in the parking lot, weapon in hand, presumable awaiting for the arrival of The World’s Largest Athlete and payback for the actions against him and Ricardo Rodriguez on Raw.

Inside, General Manager Booker T officially opened SmackDown, surrounded by select group of former World Heavyweight Champions. He declared that their status made them all possible entries in the upcoming No. 1 Contender’s Elimination Chamber Match — at the pay-per-view of the same name — to determine who would face Alberto Del Rio for the World Title at WrestleMania.

Returning after a long absence, Jack Swagger interrupted the head of the blue brand. Revealing that he had been living as a “real American” in his absence from WWE, Swagger said that he was disappointed with the direction WWE had been heading before insisting that — since he was also a former World Heavyweight Champion — he should also be considered for the Elimination Chamber.

In contrast, Dolph Ziggler stated that since he was already Mr. Money in the Bank, he would decline the invitation to be a candidate for one of the most brutal matches in WWE history. Nevertheless, Booker informed The Showoff that he would compete in a main event match against World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio.

The rest of the former World Heavyweight Champions would also be in action, with the goal of impressing both the GM and Senior Advisor Theodore Long. If they did, they might to be put into the Elimination Chamber Match in 16 days with an opportunity to face Del Rio on The Grandest Stage of Them All on the line.

The first match would be WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No vs. Sin Cara (who had yet to become World Champion and would presumably not be considered) and San Diego’s own, the returning Rey Mysterio!

Alberto Del Rio attacks Big Show in parking lot

Waiting in the parking lot for the majority of SmackDown, Alberto Del Rio eventually launched a furious pipe-wielding onslaught on Big Show just moments after The World’s Largest Athlete emerged from his bus. The giant eventually escaped in a nearby car, driving off and leaving the enraged World Heavyweight Champion to face Dolph Ziggler in the main event.

World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio def. Dolph Ziggler; Big Show got post-match vengeance

Prior to the matchup with The Showoff, Alberto Del Rio stopped a determined Ricardo Rodriguez from escorting him to the ring, fearing for the injured ring announcer’s well-being.

During the physical contest that followed, a Del Rio attack from the top rope was thwarted by an interfering Big E Langston. Their interaction quickly escalated and Big E was promptly ejected from ringside.

The high-intense, back-and-forth match between Del Rio and Ziggler was completely unpredictable, filled with numerous near-falls and explosive action that kept the WWE Universe on the edge of its collective seat. That was until the resilient World Champion countered Ziggler’s Zig Zag in the final moments, finally overcoming The Showoff with the Cross Armbreaker.

But the Mexican titleholder had little time to celebrate. Moments after the bell, Big Show appeared on the TitanTron, holding the injured Rodriguez at his side. In response to Del Rio’s attack earlier in the evening, the irate giant kept the World Heavyweight Champion at bay as he tormented — and eventually hit the KO Punch on — the trapped ring announcer.