The wrestling world was certainly shaken up on Tuesday night, as it was announced on WWE.com that Alberto Del Rio defeated Big Show for the World Heavyweight Championship in a Last Man Standing match at the SmackDown taping in Miami. Most are still trying to process that, but now, it's time to turn our attention to Dolph Ziggler.
The Show Off captured the World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank contract back in July, and the WWE Universe has eagerly waited for him to cash it in. Ziggler is still in possession of the briefcase, however, despite multiple foiled attempts. Now that a face is once again world champion, though, the likelihood of a Ziggler cash-in has increased considerably.
Many have predicted a Ziggler cash-in at various times over the past few months, but the WWE has done a nice job of staying patient. My hope since his Money in the Bank win was that he would wait until WrestleMania and cash in on the grandest stage of them all. But with the World Heavyweight Championship now around Del Rio's waist, my thought process has changed.
Simply having Ziggler cash in to become the world champion may not be enough in terms of ensuring that he succeeds in that role. Ziggler needs to win the title in an impactful and memorable manner, so doing it at a pay-per-view would obviously be ideal. WrestleMania may be the top of the heap, but the upcoming Royal Rumble isn't too far off.
The Rumble has always been an incredibly popular event and many consider it to be No. 2 on the pay-per-view calendar behind WrestleMania. The 2013 Rumble registers on the scale of importance even more this year, though, because CM Punk will be defending his WWE Championship against The Rock. With that and the Rumble match, the Royal Rumble will be a must-see event.
With that in mind, having Ziggler cash in at the Royal Rumble may be just as good as having him do it at WrestleMania. Ziggler never really seemed like a threat to cash in on Big Show since both are heels, but everything has suddenly changed. Del Rio's title win was so abrupt that it definitely seems as though the WWE is posturing Ziggler for a cash-in.
Del Rio will probably defend the World Heavyweight Championship against Big Show at Royal Rumble, so that would seem to open the door for Ziggler to cash in. As much as I want Ziggler to become the world champion by any means necessary, the WWE has a golden opportunity to do something special and memorable with Ziggler.
Conventional wisdom says that Del Rio will beat Big Show at the Royal Rumble, Big Show will knock him out afterwards and then Ziggler will cash in. The WWE could very well go that route and it wouldn't surprise me at all, but hopefully, the writers decide to put a unique spin on things.
My dream scenario would involve Del Rio retaining against Big Show with no cash-in happening during the aftermath. Big Show would then enter the Rumble match later in the night, as would Ricardo Rodriguez, who has been wrestling much more often as of late.
Del Rio would accompany Ricardo to the ring, but to spite Del Rio, Big Show would begin to decimate Ricardo. The beat down would get so bad that Del Rio would eventually jump in the ring to intervene. Big Show would hit Del Rio with a Knockout Punch, however, leaving the World Heavyweight Champion prone in the middle of the Rumble.
At this point, perhaps Ziggler would already be in the ring as a Rumble entrant or he could be the next entrant by chance. Dolph would then hand his briefcase to an official and cash in his contract successfully by pinning Del Rio. By virtue of this, Ziggler would become the new world champion right in the middle of the Rumble match itself.
Nothing remotely close to that has ever happened, so fans would certainly remember it forever. Ziggler is all about showing off and making a splash, and there are few better platforms to do those things on than the Royal Rumble match. Ziggler would then continue to compete in the match, so there would be the threat of the world champion winning and possibly proposing a unification match at WrestleMania.
I don't expect, or necessarily want, Ziggler to win the Rumble, but it would add another wrinkle to an already-intriguing match. Fans always want to see something new and different, and there is no question that a cash-in during the Rumble would have people talking.
The WWE has seemingly exhausted its options when it comes to Money in the Bank cash-ins, and the last several have been pretty similar. All the pieces are in place for the WWE to do something incredible at the Royal Rumble, though, and I hope it does.