This is an excellent move by WWE creative. Alberto Del Rio, with the aid of his personal ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez, has quickly established himself as a face and a contender for Show’s belt. This title change comes from practically out of nowhere and as such is a huge surprise and could prove to give a boost to Smackdown’s TV ratings this Friday.
Big Show has held the title since defeating Sheamus at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view on October 28, 2012. Since then Show has almost exclusively feuded with Sheamus for the belt, defending it against him at both the Survivor Series and TLC pay-per-view events.
Alberto Del Rio has emerged as quite a surprising face figure in recent weeks. After a brief and forgettable feud with WWE’s “Apex Predator,” Randy Orton, Del Rio quickly transitioned from heel to face through defending Ricardo Rodriguez against Big Show’s attacks.
With Del Rio now the champion, Dolph Ziggler moves into prime position to cash in his Money in the Bank contract and possibly become the next to hold the World Heavyweight Championship.
Tune in this Friday to the SyFy network at 8/7c to watch the match actually happen on WWE Smackdown.