As the Royal Rumble inches closer, it looks increasingly certain that Big Show will defend the World Heavyweight championship against Alberto Del Rio.
But with Del Rio’s lackluster face turn and failure to draw in his matches with Sheamus, is this the only way to go?
(Warning: This article contains potential spoilers.)
Keep in mind, no official match has been signed between the two, but early reports are suggesting this may be the case. PWInsider recently reported:
Big Show vs. Alberto Del Rio will continue to be the direction WWE goes into for the Royal Rumble. The early Raw script features a continuation of that storyline.
If this is the way the WWE want the world title picture to go, then it is a mistake.
Del Rio’s face turn has been handled very poorly.
Coming to Ricardo Rodriguez’s aid when he was attacked by 3MB was a good start. It allowed us to see a more human side.
Teaming him in the ring with The Miz and The Brooklyn Brawler at TLC was all right, but pushing it. Nothing about him in this match made him likeable.
Doing it the next night on RAW, but this time with Tommy Dreamer, also did nothing for Del Rio.
Even though it was already a horrible angle, having Del Rio “run over Santa Claus” only drew heat and was confusing as to why it even happened.
Del Rio is not in any position to earn a title shot against Show. Since the Monday Night RAW after Survivor Series, he has only beaten Zack Ryder, The Great Khali and Sin Cara (twice) in singles competition.
Granted, in today’s WWE, win-loss records don’t hold much weight, so Del Rio could get that shot. But why would the WWE want to do this?
Back when Sheamus was the world champion, Del Rio received seven title shots at the Celtic Warrior between May and December. One of the biggest problems was that Sheamus and Del Rio had no chemistry together, and their matches were boring.
So if not Del Rio, then who else could Show face?
If WrestleMania rumors are true, then a great choice would be Randy Orton. An earlier article on Bleacher Report noted that the WWE wants to have Sheamus vs. Orton at WrestleMania. The article points out:
Right now the world title direction for 'Mania is Sheamus vs. [Randy] Orton, which would mean one of them would have to wind up with the title. Orton would be a heel by that point in time if things go as planned.
Orton last won the World championship in August of 2011 and held it for a month before dropping it to Mark Henry. If the WWE were looking for a fresh face, then putting the strap around Orton would be a smart move.
He’s a proven champion who can draw numbers. Having him turn heel in the process could grab a lot of attention.
Even though Orton announced he was entering the Rumble, the storyline could be changed to take him out of the match.
Another thing to consider is the recently leaked poster for Elimination Chamber 2013. The poster clearly shows Sheamus and Big Show.
Who should Big Show defend the World title against at the Royal Rumble?
This can mean one of three things: these men will be part of the SmackDown chamber match, they'll be part of one chamber match, or they will collide for the title in a singles bout.
If Del Rio had any shot of winning at the Rumble, his face would have graced that poster. The fact that he isn't there is a sure sign he will fail in his shot, if he were to get one.
So if the WWE’s wish is for Orton versus Sheamus at WrestleMania for the title, why are they wasting time with Del Rio?
What is comes down to is this: If the WWE wants the world title to mean something, there have to be legitimate challenges for Show to face. A throwaway bout against Del Rio does nothing but reinforce the second-tier nature of the world title.