World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Rob Van Dam

BY John Clapp

September 20, 2013

At WWE Battleground, Rob Van Dam will receive another opportunity to become World Heavyweight Champion when he challenges the Superstar he nearly dethroned at Night of Champions, Alberto Del Rio.

The ultra-popular human highlight reel gave the defending World Heavyweight Champion all he could handle during that title encounter, not only refusing to quit to the Cross Armbreaker but also successfully reaching the ropes while trapped in the hold. RVD’s resilience seemingly frustrated The Essence of Excellence, who then got himself disqualified by ignoring the referee’s orders to break the submission.

That strategy blemished Del Rio’s win-loss record, but it also ensured he would live to fight another day as World Champion. Now with another opportunity on the horizon, RVD looks to improve upon his disqualification victory and capture his first World Heavyweight Title at WWE Battleground.

Yet, as speculation mounts that WWE COO Triple H is conspiring against Superstars who joined Daniel Bryan’s uprising on Raw — a group that includes RVD — the master of the Five-Star Frog Splash may be in for more than he bargained for on Sunday, Oct. 6.

Mere seconds after Triple H visited Van Dam in the trainer’s room to inform him of the golden opportunity and wish him luck — before news of the rematch even had a chance to disseminate through the locker room — Del Rio bum-rushed the No. 1 contender. The immediacy of the World Heavyweight Champion’s ambush prompted the ever-levelheaded Michael Cole to suggest foul play was afoot.

Even if the possibility of a larger, Triple H-led plot is removed from consideration, the World Heavyweight Title Match at WWE Battleground remains a conflict packed with intrigue.

For all of 2013, Del Rio has either worn championship gold around his waist or been actively in the World Title hunt. His understated dominance — supported by an insatiable ruthlessness — now appears threatened by the double-tough Van Dam. With RVD even dusting off the freaky-athletic Van Terminator at Night of Champions, the World Heavyweight Title holder must wonder if he has met his match in the ECW Original, who just happens to be accompanied by former Del Rio ally Ricardo Rodriguez.

Which strike specialist will emerge from Buffalo, New York’s First Niagara Center with the World Heavyweight Championship? Find out by watching the inaugural edition of WWE Battleground, live on pay-per-view Sunday, Oct. 6.