Rivalries were renewed on WWE Main Event as World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio battled Big Show in the featured contest on ION Television. Also, The Usos battled 3MB and Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett squared off with fellow WWE NXT alum Justin Gabriel.
On the Jan. 8, 2013, episode of SmackDown, Alberto Del Rio defeated Big Show in a brutal Last Man Standing Match to fulfill his destiny and win the World Heavyweight Championship. Del Rio defeated The World’s Largest Athlete in a second Last Man Standing contest at Royal Rumble and in a singles match at Extreme Rules. Since then, the Mexican hero has focused his attention on his WrestleMania 29 opponent, Jack Swagger, but as evidenced on ION Television, the animosity between Big Show and the World Heavyweight Champion still boils.
Although the title was not on the line, Big Show was certainly seeking revenge on a personal level against the World Champion. The World’s Largest Athlete’s rage was further stoked by an attack by The Shield during his battle with Seth Rollins on Raw. Big Show and Del Rio immediately exchanged offensive maneuvers — highlighting the in-ring familiarity both Superstars have developed with one another.
Just as momentum swung in the World Heavyweight Champion’s favor, his WrestleMania 29 challenger, Jack Swagger — with his founding father Zeb Colter in tow — made his way onto the entrance ramp. The “Real American” and Colter maintained a watchful eye on Del Rio as Big Show used the distraction to regain control of the contest. The World’s Largest Athlete focused his offense on Del Rio’s arm and shoulder — a tactic normally used by the World Heavyweight Champion in an effort to set up his patented Cross Armbreaker.
The WWE Universe in Fort Wayne, however, was firmly in support of Del Rio. Feeding off the energy in the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, Del Rio battled back, executing an impressive hurricanrana on the giant, followed by a seated senton to regain full control of the bout. As the World Heavyweight Champion prepared for his Cross Armbreaker, Big Show managed to overpower him and dump him over the top rope and to the outside.
As the WWE official began his 10-count, he was distracted by Big Show, allowing Jack Swagger to attack Del Rio’s leg. Unable to regain his footing and the official unaware of the “Real American’s” actions, the World Heavyweight Champion failed to answer the 10-count, ultimately securing the victory for Big Show.
WWE Main Event’s second contest of the evening featured fast-paced tag team action as The Usos battled Heath Slater and Drew McIntyre of 3MB. It seemed as though The Usos had a slight advantage as McIntyre’s taped ribs emphasized the destructive power of the attacks he suffered on Raw at the hands of Ryback and Mark Henry. But Slater and McIntyre’s 3MB bandmate Jinder Mahal was at ringside and halted The Usos’ momentum early by pulling down the ropes and sending Jey Uso tumbling to the outside.
3MB briefly took control of the contest, but the resilience of the twin duo kicked in and their uncanny teamwork was on display as they avoided counterattacks by both McIntyre and Slater and regained the advantage. With Slater tossed to the outside, The Usos took down McIntyre before executing an impressive Superfly Splash to secure the win.
Following a confrontation with both The Miz and Chris Jericho on Raw, Managing Supervisor of Raw Vickie Guerrero announced on WWE Active that Barrett would defend the title in a Triple Threat Match on the next episode of Raw. Clearly annoyed with Guerrero’s decision, Barrett aimed to take out his frustrations on fellow WWE NXT alum Justin Gabriel. The Bare-Knuckle Brawler also had the opportunity to send a message to The Awesome One, who serves as WWE Main Event’s color commentator.
Barrett and Gabriel have faced off many times and were members of both The Nexus and The Corre together. They understand each other’s abilities extremely well, and the Intercontinental Champion proved that his brawling style can perfectly counter Gabriel’s speed and agility. Although the South African highflier was on offense for most of the match, Barrett avoided the 450 Splash and after his opponent ducked the Bull Hammer elbow, the Intercontinental Champion connected with his second attempt with the devastating maneuver as Gabriel launched himself off the top rope.
After securing the victory, the “Dead Man Down” actor approached the star of “The Marine 3: Homefront” and proudly displayed the Intercontinental Championship in preparation for their Triple Threat Match with Chris Jericho on Raw.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- The Big Show defeated Alberto Del Rio (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez) by Count Out (6:52)
- The Usos (Jey Uso & Jimmy Uso) defeated 3MB (Drew McIntyre & Heath Slater) (w/ Jinder Mahal) (4:08)
- Wade Barrett defeated Justin Gabriel (3:18)
Other on-screen talent