Alberto Del Rio as World Champion Offers New Opportunities for Dolph Ziggler

Bill AtkinsonAnalyst IJanuary 9, 2013

New World Champ Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez are all smiles backstage Tuesday night minutes after Del Rio beat The Big Show for the belt. ( photo)
New World Champ Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez are all smiles backstage Tuesday night minutes after Del Rio beat The Big Show for the belt. ( photo)

During his reign as World Heavyweight Champion, Alberto Del Rio inevitably will be looking over his shoulder for Dolph Ziggler.

The Money in the Bank case-holder has teased a cash-in several times over the past few months. With a new champion (and a face one, nonetheless) in place, some fans may think now would be the right time for Ziggler to make his move.

You probably can cross off seeing that on any of the Raw, SmackDown or Main Event telecasts between now and WWE Royal Rumble 2013 later this month. It was a rare treat for WWE to change a top belt-holder on free TV when Del Rio beat The Big Show Tuesday at the SmackDown taping in Miami. But don’t think for a moment that the company would be willing to do that again so soon.

No, when the cash-in happens, it is going to be on a pay-per-view—likely either the Royal Rumble or WrestleMania 29 in April.

With Del Rio still new into his face turn and even newer into his title reign, you would think that WWE would not want him to drop the belt so quickly after winning it. Holding it until WrestleMania 29 or later would give him a healthy run with the belt and help him avoid the stigma of being a transitional champion.

But given WWE’s penchant for storyline swerves, we really cannot rule out an MITB move at Royal Rumble just yet. With that in mind, here are two suggested cash-in scenarios that could happen at Royal Rumble or WrestleMania 29...


Royal Rumble

Of course, it all depends upon where the matches appear on the card. But if the expected rematch between Del Rio and Big Show happens before the Rumble match, then we could see Ziggler try to cash in the MITB case.

If he is successful, then there would be no need for him to participate in the Rumble Match…unless WWE started getting serious about a WWE-World title unification and decides to let Ziggler win. But that would totally screw up the long-rumored storyline of The Rock and John Cena fighting for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania, so don’t hold your breath over that one.

If he does not cash in the briefcase, Ziggler then could enter the Rumble Match and win it. And that could lead to a really interesting and potentially enjoyable WrestleMania scenario.


WrestleMania 29

As the Royal Rumble winner, Ziggler chooses to go after Del Rio’s belt.

Del Rio beats Ziggler in a particularly brutal and tiring match. But Ziggler still holds the MITB case, so immediately after that match is over, he cashes in the case and gets a quick pin on an exhausted Del Rio.

Whatever plans WWE has in store, it’s obvious that the World Heavyweight Championship is finally going to get the spotlight it deserves. And two of WWE’s top stars and ring workers could shine brightly in that light.


Follow Bill Atkinson on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963.