The January 8, 2013 Edition of Smackdown is a Professional wrestling television show of the WWE's Smackdown brand, which took place on January 8, 2013 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.
On the night The Rock made his triumphant return to “his” show after 10 years away, Alberto Del Rio shocked the SmackDown faithful with a giant-size victory over Big Show to claim the World Heavyweight Championship in an epic Last Man Standing Match.
While the WWE Universe waited with baited breath for The Great One to once again electrify the blue brand, General Manager Booker T had other matters on his mind. What was most pressing to the former five-time WCW Champion? Proving that anything Raw can do, SmackDown can do better! Accordingly, Booker set up a monumental matchup between Randy Orton and United States Champion Antonio Cesaro and an epic Last Man Standing Match between World Heavyweight Champion Big Show and Alberto Del Rio with the giant’s title on the line!
Soon after the match was announced, however, a clearly enraged Big Show emerged to take issue. But when The World’s Largest Athlete physically threatened Booker, a timely save by the new No. 1 contender, Del Rio, instantly intensified their title showdown later in the night.
Prior to his contest against The Viper, United States Champion Antonio Cesaro declared his intentions of entering — and winning — the Royal Rumble Match on Jan. 27. Then in a match set up by Booker T at the top of the show, WWE’s Apex Predator took on The Swiss Superman for the first time in a one-on-one battle.
Orton matched Cesaro’s punishing physicality blow for blow, creating a hard-fought showdown from start to finish. When The Viper appeared ready to strike with an RKO, though, The Shield suddenly descended into the ring to disrupt the action. The referee called the bout and awarded a disqualification victory to WWE’s Apex Predator, but the rogue trio continued their chaotic assault, planting the nine-time World Champion with a ring-shaking Three-Man Powerbomb.
The Great Khali joined forces with Natalya to take on Dolph Ziggler & AJ Lee in a Couples vs. Couples Mixed Tag Team Match. With Big E Langston looking on, The Showoff and the eccentric former Raw General Manager scored the victory, thanks in no small part to one of the stranger tactics the WWE Universe has ever seen. On two separate occasions in the bout, AJ actually bit Natlaya! The second bite allowed her to catch Khali’s gal pal off-guard and pin her for the win.
After the bell, Big E Langston helped add insult to injury. After he nailed Khali with a vicious clothesline and The Showoff hit the Punjabi Playboy with a leg drop, Big E shocked everyone by taking down the pint-sized Hornswoggle as well.
Just days after their epic confrontation Monday night on Raw that ended with WWE Champion CM Punk on the wrong end of a Rock Bottom, Punk and Paul Heyman delivered a pair of pointed messages to The Rock. Emanating from Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Punk made it clear to his Royal Rumble challenger that The Rock’s glory is in the past. He claimed that “This is my house now. This is CM Punk’s WWE. We live in the CM Punk era.”
For the first time in 10 years, The Great One brought it to the blue brand as only The Rock can, electrifying his hometown Miami crowd and responding to Punk’s criticisms about his time playing college football at Miami. The Rock capped off an impassioned speech about his playing days by emphatically telling Punk that he will defeat the WWE Champion at Royal Rumble.
But the good vibes were stopped short when Team Rhodes Scholars emerged and interrupted The People’s Champion, threatening to force The Rock from the ring if he proved unable to answer three questions from the erudite (and arrogant) tag team. Proving just why he is The Great One, Rocky outsmarted the duo, before finishing off Team Rhodes Scholars with a Rock Bottom to Damien Sandow before nailing Cody Rhodes with The People’s Elbow.
After breaking down their chances in the Royal Rumble Match to Matt Striker, 3MB battled Sheamus in a 3-on-1 Handicap Match on the blue brand.
Even with the odds seemingly stacked squarely in their favor, 3MB quickly proved to be no match for The Celtic Warrior, who continued his decimation of the would-be rock band. Following up his Raw victory over Jinder Mahal four days earlier, Sheamus laid waste to the not-so-super group, thanks to a ring-rocking Brogue Kick to Heath Slater before either Mahal or Drew McIntyre had even been tagged into action.
While Sheamus’ win likely won’t silence the loud-mouth lead singer for good, it did at least keep him and his 3MB cohorts quiet for a night and increased Sheamus’ momentum on the road to the Royal Rumble.
With a four-month reevaluation by Dr. Shelby looming on Raw this Monday, the WWE Tag Team Champions displayed tremendous teamwork Friday night in a win over The Prime Time Players.
While Titus O’Neil targeted Daniel Bryan’s weakened knee in the early going, Kane was able to turn the tide of the battle. After Bryan nailed Titus & Darren Young with a double knee drop from the top rope, Kane delivered a monstrous Chokeslam to put “Mr. No Days Off” down for the three-count.
In what was a match of redemption for The Mexican Aristocrat — after his personal ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez was knocked out with the KO Punch on Dec. 28 — Alberto Del Rio had a giant task at hand as he faced off against World Heavyweight Champion Big Show in a Last Man Standing Match with the title on the line. Even so, earlier in the night, Del Rio shared just how personal Big Show’s disparaging remarks at the top of the show had made the match for him, and the challenger entered the fray as determined as ever. To win the no disqualification/no count-out bout, a competitor must incapacitate his opponent for a 10-count — a massive feat when dealing with The World’s Largest Athlete.
Things looked bad for Del Rio early on, as Big Show tossed him through a table at ringside. But with a steel chair in hand and with “destiny” on his lips, The Mexican Aristocrat fought back and punished his gigantic foe. When a dropkick by Del Rio sent the titleholder crashing through a table set up in the corner, the Miami crowd began to believe that the giant might, in fact, fall.
But The World’s Largest Athlete simply refused to go down, and planted Del Rio with a ring-rattling chokeslam before ramming Del Rio through the barricade at ringside. Back in the ring, Big Show then leveled the wobbly Del Rio with an earth-shattering KO Punch, and the end was surely at hand. On pure instinct and nothing more, Del Rio used the ring apron for leverage and was able to get his feet underneath him long enough to break the count!
The two continued trading vicious blows, in a heated exchange that utilized the steel ring steps. When this left Big Show grounded behind the SmackDown announce table, Del Rio seized the moment. In a brilliant maneuver, the challenger tipped over the announce table, trapping Big Show underneath. Unable to wrest himself free, Big Show remained buried over the course of the referee’s 10-count, making Alberto Del Rio the new World Heavyweight Champion!
The Miami crowd joined in with Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez in what was an unforgettable celebration on a truly unforgettable night in WWE history.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Randy Orton defeated Antonio Cesaro by disqualification (5:47)
- Dolph Ziggler and AJ Lee defeated The Great Khali and Natalya (w/ Hornswoggle) (2:45)
- Sheamus defeated Drew McIntyre, Heath Slater, and Jinder Mahal in a 3-on-1 Handicap match (0:47)
- Team Hell No (Kane and Daniel Bryan) defeated The Prime Time Players (Darren Young and Titus O'Neil) (2:20)
- Alberto Del Rio (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez) defeated The Big Show (c) in a Last Man Standing Match for the World Heavyweight Championship (14:08)
Other on-screen talent