re: The 2013 MOTYC Thread
Big Show (c) vs Alberto Del Rio, Last Man Standing, Smackdown (1/11/13)
Man, I thought this was a legit great match and this is coming from someone terribly apathetic to recent WWE LMS matches. Unlike a lot of WWE LMS matches, this felt fresher and a more creative/unique approach went into the story and there wasn't an abundance of overly elaborate spots but instead a more thoughtful and smart layout building to the bigger and more impactful moments in the match wonderfully. Show was great as the monster heel. Controlled the pace suitably with a more sadistic and methodical toying of Del Rio and he emoted and sold all the big Del Rio hope spots in a really great manner that it made him look beatable without sacrificing his dominance and still making Del Rio feel like a genuine underdog. LOVED how he sold the arm work throughout especially after spots where he had to use every part of his body, such as the spear through the barricade. It came off as a hinderance which could be exploited and the fact Del Rio targeted it with the steel steps shots was such a smart payoff to the injury angle.
Del Rio himself put in a really stellar performance and impressed me far more than he ever did working heel. Loved how he was made to be a more vicious yet resilient and intelligent wrestler using any opening he could to usurp Show's dominance as evidenced by the great transition into the armbar in the ropes after Show initially blocked the armbar. He bumped and sold well throughout, always appearing in discomfort and in agony even when he was on offence and the way he overcame the KO blow by rolling onto his feet on the floor was such a brilliant spot to show his toughness without compromising Show's finisher. Ricardo was great in between all the big spots, serving as a great manager showing concern for his friend and aiding Del Rio's growing sympathy appeal. Show also had some tremendous facial expressions as the match wore on and especially after Del Rio's escape from the KO punch. Finishing run was sublime with Del Rio selling the struggle in lifting and using the steel steps progressively more and more with each blow, the shoulder he used earlier to contain Show was the focus of the attacks and the build to Show collapsing and Del Rio scrambling to push the table on top of him was marvellous. Smartly structured, great build and pacing to the bigger spots, two great performances from both men and a genuinly enjoyable finish and post match celebration. Everything a LMS match should be.