Tonight on Main Event, Chris Jericho makes his first appearance on Wednesday nights. And, he’s bringing the Highlight Reel to Main Event. Plus, a look back to Raw when C.M. Punk dropped The Rock. Tonight, Punk will address the WWE audience and Rock.
In the arena, Michael Cole and JBL introduced the show. JBL noted that The Miz is “injured,” so he will not be Jericho’s guest tonight on the Highlight Reel. Jericho’s music then played to bring out the Reel host to a big reaction. Cole recapped Jericho’s history in the Elimination Chamber as Jericho made his way into the ring dressed in jeans, a Y2J t-shirt, and black and blue light-up jacket to stand in front of the Jeritron 3000.
Once in the ring, Jericho played to the crowd to draw more cheers before welcoming everyone to the Highlight Reel. Jericho noted Miz was supposed to be his guest tonight, but Miz was hurt Monday on Raw. A video package documented Antonio Cesaro “injuring” Miz on Raw, including delivering the Big Swing multiple times into the barricade. Cole said Miz suffered “shoulder injuries” as a result of the attack.
Back in the ring, Jericho called Cesaro a beast. He said the show must go on tonight, so he has another guest – a man of equal or greater value. Jericho said he believes he is of much greater value because he’s the World Hvt. champion. Suddenly, Ricardo Rodriguez interrupted Jericho in the ring and formally introduced Del Rio as Jericho smiled in the background.
Out came Del Rio to an obviously canned reaction playing to the crowd. Cole recapped Del Rio vs. Big Show happening at the PPV on Sunday, with the winner advancing to face the Chamber winner at WrestleMania. Del Rio knocked fists with some fans ringside before hitting the ring as JBL commented on all of Del Rio’s “arrestable” offenses aimed at Big Show lately.
In the ring, Del Rio thanked Jericho for this opportunity to appear on Jericho’s show. He said the time for talking with Big Show is over because he will finish Show this Sunday. Jericho nodded along and noted he has a long history with Del Rio’s family, starting out wrestling in Mexico. He said he has nothing but respect for Del Rio and his family, but if and when he wins the Chamber match on Sunday, he will go on to Mania to face Del Rio. And when he faces Del Rio, he is going to beat him to become new World champion. Del Rio took this in stride before smiling and saying, “With all due respect, I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
Del Rio and Jericho then spoke Spanish. Ricardo jumped in, creating a three-way Spanish exchange. Ricardo quieted both of them before going nuts and losing his cool. Ricardo asked for a breather as JBL quipped that he thinks he just ordered a pizza.
Suddenly, Dolph Ziggler’s music interrupted to bring out Ziggler, A.J. Lee, and Big E. Langston. At the base of the entrance ramp, Ziggler told them they’re all wasting their time talking about the World Title if they’re not talking about him. Jericho noted it’s been about 87 times Ziggler has talked about his MITB briefcase, which is about the same number of times that A.J.’s tongue has been down a Superstars’s throat.
Big E. spoke up, then Jericho asked what Big E. stands for. Big Easter Bunny? Big Elephant? Ears? Ego? Emu? Edward? Eggs? Elephante? Engine? Earwax? Excrement? Utah? Urkel? Langston inched forward to get in the ring, but Ziggler held him back. Ziggler then vowed to cash in his MITB briefcase sometime between now and WrestleMania, declaring himself new World Hvt. champion. Del Rio had a good laugh at this, then vowed to teach “perro” Ziggler a lesson. He said that someone is him. “And I’m going to do it right now,” Del Rio.
Jericho, playing Highlight Reel booker, polled the crowd on whether they want to see this match. WWE cut to a crowd shot of fans applauding before Jericho’s music played. Ringside, Ziggler shook his head before Jericho’s music played. Cole said Ziggler has been challenged for a match tonight on Main Event, and JBL teased the possibility of Ziggler cashing in MITB tonight.
[Commercial Break. During break, WWE ran an ad for a new product called “AirBox” that allows fans to order PPVs wirelessly. Apparently it’s a new cable/DVR service? It’s only available in the Houston market, though, which is why it was only advertised locally.]
1 — World Hvt. champion ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/A.J. Lee and Big E. Langston) — non-title match
The match started immediately back from commercial with Ziggler controlling early on via knee to the gut to slow down the Champ. Ziggler then avoided a corner attack and Del Rio ate the ringpost shoulder-first. Del Rio rolled to the outside and sold the effects leading to break.
Back-and-forth they went returning from commercial. Del Rio built a head of steam as the announcers tried to figure out why Mr. McMahon agreed to take away The Rock’s “champion advantage” against C.M. Punk on Sunday. Del Rio then missed with a corner attack and spilled over the top rope to the floor. The crowd sold concern and some ringside fans picked up an “Al-ber-to” chant to encourage Del Rio. The champ eventually made it back into the ring and mounted a comeback before Del Rio and Dolph collided mid-ring. Both men on the mat going to break! Cole said with enthusiasm.
Back from break at 15:30, the two men traded blows before falling to the mat again to sell the effects of the match. Del Rio then found his third wind with sustained offense before smashing Ziggler in the head with a standing kick. Del Rio covered, but Ziggler escaped in-time. Del Rio tried to finish off Ziggler with a follow-up move, but Ziggler countered with a snap DDT for a nearfall.
After A.J. got involved to distract Del Rio, Ziggler dropped Del Rio to the mat for another close call. A.J. tried to encourage Dolph to follow up, but he was too slow, allowing Del Rio to pop him in the shoulder. Del Rio then measured Ziggler for a corner attack, but Ziggler avoided again. Ziggler followed with a sleeperhold, which put Del Rio down to one knee. The crowd tried to rally behind Del Rio, who then flung Ziggler away. Del Rio followed with an enziguiri kick, but Ziggler kicked out again. JBL said both men are trying to make a statement tonight.
At 21:00, Del Rio stalked Ziggler for the cross arm-breaker, but A.J. and Big E. ran interference. Suddenly, Ricardo tried to smash Big E. with his bucket, but Big E. merely turned around and chased Ricardo to the back. This left Del Rio, Ziggler, and “the crazy chick,” according to JBL. After a reset, Del Rio slapped on the cross arm-breaker center-ring. Ziggler clutched his hair to try to fight the hold, but had to tap out, giving the World Champ a big win leading into the Chamber PPV against Big Show.
WINNER: Del Rio via submission at 21:47. Solid match and solid booking. Del Rio gets a win before facing Show and there’s more reason for Ziggler to be agitated with his “help,” planting seeds for a split that could come soon or after Mania. WWE also effectively stretched out a Highlight Reel segment and singles match over 40 minutes to consume the majority of the show.
Post-match, as Del Rio celebrated in the ring, Cole and JBL were shown on-camera setting up a replay from Raw.
Raw on Monday: The Rock vowed to beat C.M. Punk’s “punk-ass” all over Nashville, setting off a mid-ring brawl. But, Paul Heyman got involved, helping Punk drop Rock with the GTS. Punk then took the WWE Title belt from Rock and heelishly told Rock that it belongs to him.
Up Next: Punk and Heyman address events on Raw and the Chamber PPV on Sunday.
[Commercial Break. Another WWE ad for “AirBox.”]
Back on Main Event, Cole plugged the Chamber PPV pre-show match of Rhodes Scholars vs. Brodus Clay & Tensai. Cole said Rhodes and Sandow will be teaming for “perhaps the last time.” JBL quipped that he would like to name Clay and Tensai the “Future Endeavored.” The announcers then broke down the full Chamber PPV line-up, pausing to focus on Mark Henry as the favorite to win the Smackdown Chamber match. A final plug was offered for Rock vs. Punk on Sunday.
Locker Room: Matt Striker, apparently recovered from Big Show KO’ing him on Raw, rendering Miz weaker than an announcer, was backstage with Paul Heyman. Heyman cut off Mathews’s line of questioning, then monologued about Punk’s “title defense” against Rock, claiming Punk is the true WWE champion. The camera zoomed in tight on Heyman to conclude the backstage promo.
Back to Cole, who said they will replay issues between The Shield and Team Cena two nights ago on Raw.
Vignette: Fandango. With an echo.
Announcers: Cole and JBL talked about the WWE App before JBL rolled his eyes looking at Fandango. Cole then plugged WWE’s own All-Star Match on Sunday when Cena, Ryback, and Sheamus team up to face The Shield.
Replay: WWE showed real-time footage from Raw making it seem like Shield’s segment was happening live on Main Event. WWE showed the entire in-ring promo vowing to shield WWE from atrocities, such as the ones committed by John Cena. The segment ended with Cena and Co. “turning out the lights” on Shield to launch an attack that spilled into the crowd. Main Event went off the air with the visual of Cena, Sheamus, and Ryback standing tall in the crowd ahead of the six-man tag match at the PPV. The line from Cole about “this just being a taste of what’s coming on Sunday” closed the show.