This one began with Del Rio making his usual grand entrance to a rousing ovation of hate from the crowd.
The world champion, on the other hand, received a great pop and was all business, as he power-walked down to the ring and was soon eye-to-eye with the Mexican Aristocrat.
Okay, the sides have been established. Now, time for the action.
The champ, in typical fashion, did not back down from Del Rio, who took the fight right to him. Del Rio soon began working on the left arm of Sheamus, a tactic that he has often used in recent months.
On a side note, pro wrestlers traditionally always work the left side. They may change it up from time to time, but for the most part, you will find that it is the left leg and left arm that get the most attention in a match.
I expected this match to be rough and tumble, with each man working stiff and being very physical throughout.
I was not disappointed.
Though Sheamus has received some criticism in recent months since winning the world title, mostly because he is viewed as being boring by some, I have to say that I have been very impressed with his work ethic thus far.
Sheamus is a bruiser, a guy who may smile and crack wise in his promos but who lets his fists do the talking in his matches. I believe that he has only gotten better since becoming the man on Friday Night SmackDown.
To Del Rio’s credit, though he has received a fair amount of criticism himself because fans question if he will every truly become a top guy, he definitely brought it in this match.
Going toe-to-toe against a world champion who is presented as a tough guy and a man who is very punishing in the ring is not an easy task, but make no mistake about it: Alberto Del Rio is tougher than leather.
Old school Run DMC reference in hand, I will also say that I was very impressed with this match as a whole.
I am a sucker for the classic ground-and-pound style, and that is what fans got with this one.
It is matches like this one that do nothing but give more credibility to the championship that is on the line. If fans are to accept a major title and believe that it should be held in high regard, then the men working to attain it need to give everything they have in order to get it.
It’s the only way to make the belt more relevant for fans and for the company, and to me, the WWE World Heavyweight Championship means a little more now than it did before the pay-per-view.
The fact that Sheamus retained the title does not surprise me. The fact that Dolph Ziggler attempted to cash in right away does.
Dolph has been painted as the future, a guy whose best years are ahead of him and who could carry the company forward. Yet every time he seems to get close, it never happens.
Earlier in the night, he won the SmackDown ladder match, and again, it seems as though he’s on his way now.
Then, he’s again laid out with nothing to show for it.
It’s not the end of the world, of course. Ziggler still has the briefcase, but to see him once again put down makes me seriously question just how seriously WWE is taking him.
But on this night, it’s Sheamus who walks out with the world championship.
For me, the Great White has earned it.
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