World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show

BY John Clapp

February 04, 2013

Having already won the World Heavyweight Championship from Big Show, Alberto Del Rio will be motivated by much more than championship glory when he faces The World’s Largest Athlete at Elimination Chamber. Rather, the pride of Mexico will be out to avenge his best friend, Ricardo Rodriguez, and finally silence the bitter giant from whom he won the title last month.

In a matter of just weeks, the World Championship rivalry between Del Rio and Big Show has rapidly escalated into one of WWE’s most deeply personal vendettas. Intent on dampening the feel-good vibe of his successor’s nascent title reign, the 7-foot ex-champion has repeatedly targeted Del Rio and his tuxedoed right-hand man since losing back-to-back Last Man Standing Matches last month.

First came the unspeakable brutality of Big Show’s ambush on the Jan. 28 edition of Raw. Just one night after losing the Last Man Standing rematch at Royal Rumble — a cleverly engineered victory for Del Rio, in which Rodriguez duct-taped Big Show’s feet to the ropes to keep the giant grounded for a count of 10 — The World’s Largest Athlete viciously knocked out Del Rio before duct-taping the champion’s lifeless body to the ropes. When Del Rio eventually came to, he awoke to the horror of watching The World’s Largest Athlete KO Punch the man he calls his brother. Not satisfied with dropping just Rodriguez, Big Show cruelly dealt a second KO Punch to the helpless Del Rio.

The incident undeniably sparked a fire under Del Rio, who days later arrived at SmackDown — pipe in hand — waiting for Big Show’s arrival. Though an ensuing parking lot brawl left Big Show scrambling for safety and Del Rio wanting more, The World’s Largest Athlete ended the night with the upper hand that night: With the second-generation Superstar watching from the ring, Big Show trapped Rodriguez in the locker room area and punished him with yet another KO Punch.

The World Heavyweight Champion has since made it abundantly clear that he will stop at nothing to gain retribution against Big Show, going so far as to attack the superheavyweight in his own hotel room.

Although the crafty Del Rio has so far prevailed against The World’s Largest Athlete, some of that success may well be chalked up to circumstance. Since engaging him in battle, Del Rio’s only championship matches against Big Show have been Last Man Standing affairs, and he has yet to pin the giant or make him submit. The “can he or can’t he?” question lingers on, instilling doubt in even the most ardent Del Rio supporters. While there is no questioning the World Heavyweight Champion is driven by a more personal agenda than ever before, it remains to be seen whether that will work to his advantage or disadvantage.

On Feb. 17, will the emotionally charged titleholder, blinded by rage, fall victim to another crushing KO Punch? Or will Del Rio pull off the immense task of defeating Big Show for a third time in a row to continue his inspirational title reign? The world will find out at WWE Elimination Chamber.