It marks the second straight pay-per-view victory in the rivalry for Del Rio. He retained the title at Royal Rumble by outlasting Big Show in a Last Man Standing match. He originally won the main-event belt on SmackDown in early January.
The Elimination Chamber triumph shows the WWE continues to be happy with his gimmick transition. After an extended run as a heel, which led to an extremely stale, boring character over time, Del Rio finally changed course in the new year.
It has worked out better than expected. Fans have gotten more involved in his promos over the past two months—mostly with "Si! Si! Si!" chants—than they did all of last year. That's crucial to becoming a consistent presence atop the card.
Ever since Dolph Ziggler won the Money in the Bank briefcase, he has been viewed as the eventual face of SmackDown. He has become a fan favorite in the same respect as CM Punk and Daniel Bryan were before they made their runs, Punk's being more successful.
The WWE Universe can see Ziggler's talent and want him to get a chance. He should get it eventually. But, at least for now, Del Rio has stolen the spotlight and is doing a terrific job as champion. That's a significant shift from even a few months ago.
As for the Big Show, he deserves a lot of credit as well. Having him in the main-event scene isn't ideal for the WWE, but having a versatile veteran like him available to fill a void when necessary is huge.
That said, his run at the top should come to an end after this loss. The Road to WrestleMania is officially underway, and that means more superstars in the spotlight on both Raw and SmackDown. It also means less time for Big Show.
Last year, he defeated Cody Rhodes for the Intercontinental Championship at the year's biggest event and that, in reality, is where he belongs. During the busiest portion of the schedule, he falls into the mid-card title group.
It's not really a dig against him. There are just other superstars more worthy of those top-tier positions during a key portion of the year.
That includes Del Rio, who will continue his title reign with WrestleMania now clearly on the horizon.
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