SmackDown results: Del Rio def. Barrett as WrestleMania fever became an international incident

BY Michael Burdick

February 22, 2013

Alberto Del Rio roared back against Jack Swagger’s “State of the Union” address

BILOXI, Miss. —Just more than 40 days until WWE steps onto The Grandest Stage of Them All, The Road to WrestleMania 29 heated up on SmackDown as World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio battled The Barrett Barrage and his No. 1 contender Jack Swagger’s radical new agenda.

After acknowledging his World Title victory over Big Show at Elimination Chamber, World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio turned his attention to his WrestleMania No. 1 contender — the winner of Sunday’s Elimination Chamber Match — Jack Swagger.

Del Rio spoke passionately against Swagger and Zeb Colter’s views on immigration, expressed during their “State of the Union” on Raw, as well as their incendiary videos on YouTube. He stated, in no uncertain terms, that the nation had been built on the hard work of immigrants and informed his opposition that his World Heavyweight Title reign was, in fact, the result of the American Dream. Insulting the “Real American,” he challenged Swagger to join him, so the fired-up titleholder could put his “hand out” and smack his challenger “all across his face.”

Del Rio was interrupted, not by Swagger but by Randy Orton. Five days after coming within seconds of winning the Chamber, the nine-time World Champion “asked” Del Rio to step aside for the night and allow him to release his rage and aggression the Oklahoma-born Superstar. And if Del Rio said no, Orton made it clear that he was more than happy to fight for the privilege.

Before things could come to blows, though, SmackDown General Manager Booker T emerged, revealing that he had different plans in mind: a Champion vs. Champion Match pitting Del Rio against Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett and Jack Swagger one-on-one against Orton.

World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio def. Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett

With Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter making their formidable presence known at the top of the ramp, Alberto Del Rio took on Wade Barrett in a pay-per-view caliber Champion vs. Champion showdown on The Road to WrestleMania 29.

In a pivotal early moment in the contest, the purveyor of The Barrett Barrage temporarily lost focus, choosing to pursue a mocking Ricardo Rodriguez outside the ring. Once again, this proved just how important Del Rio’s friend could be, as the distraction allowed Del Rio to gain an important advantage.

Barrett would get payback on the World Heavyweight Champion as the match progressed, pushing him off the top rope and out onto the floor in absolutely brutal fashion.

The English mugging that followed soon gave way to a back-and-forth battle of pure aggression, with both Superstars leaving it all on the canvas.

Then, when Del Rio looked set to attempt the Cross Armbreaker, the observing Jack Swagger suddenly moved closer to the ring, screaming “We the people!” This allowed Barrett to regain the advantage. But when the bare-knuckled fighter went for the Bull Hammer elbow, the savvy Mexican champion countered, finally cinching in his signature submission maneuver to bring The Barrett Barrage to a screeching halt.