For the first time in what feels like years, WWE pulled out all the stops for the week's SmackDown. The tapings took place in Miami, where The Rock brought the house down with a promo, and there was also a noteworthy main event.
You can feel the tide shifting in WWE now that we have started the new year. The Royal Rumble is starting to take shape, even if Rock and CM Punk cut one of the strangest promos together on Monday night.
There is an inherent risk in oversaturating the market with The Rock. If he appears on every show for the next three months, will it still feel special? Who knows? More importantly, who cares? If he's entertaining, all will be forgiven.
Here are all the match results and spoilers you need to know to prepare yourselves for this week's SmackDown.
Spoilers courtesy of NoDQ.com
|Randy Orton def. Antonio Cesaro via DQ (Shield attacks Orton)|
|Dolph Ziggler & AJ def. Great Khali & Natalya via pinfall (AJ pins Natalya)|
|Sheamus def. 3MB via pinfall (Sheamus pins Heath Slater)|
|Kane & Daniel Bryan def. Primetime Players|
|World Heavyweight Title Last Man Standing Match: Alberto Del Rio def. Big Show|
The Return of The Rock to SmackDown
As mentioned above, Rock returned to SmackDown for the first time since 2002. The show was in his hometown of Miami, so it made sense to get him back to the show that he named all those years ago.
In his triumphant return to the blue brand, Rock was interrupted by Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow. For their troubles, the Great One left them lying in a heap after a Rock Bottom and People's Elbow.
Normally this kind of segment would drive me nuts, because WWE is sacrificing talent to put a huge star over. But based on the spoilers, it sounds like Rhodes and Sandow got their time and were able to stick with Rock long enough to make it work.
Alberto Del Rio Wins World Championship
The main event of SmackDown turned out to be one of the most noteworthy matches WWE has put on in a long time. Alberto Del Rio defeats Big Show in a Last Man Standing Match to win the world heavyweight championship for the first time in his career.
WWE is embracing the title change. It is being touted on the website already, which is something WWE rarely does because it likes the illusion that its television shows are happening live.
I have two thoughts about why WWE would be touting the title change. First, since Rock is also on the show, the company is trying to drum up as much interest as possible to drive the ratings up.
Second, could there be something wrong with Big Show? It is unusual to see WWE do a title change on television, let alone just a few weeks before one of the biggest pay-per-views of the year.
Since everyone seems to know that Rock is winning the title at the Rumble, perhaps WWE felt changing both titles on that show would be overkill. We will get all the answers later. All we know this week is that Del Rio is the new world champion.