|Friday Night SmackDown|
|Date||February 1, 2013|
|Venue||Valley View Casino Center|
|City||San Diego, California|
|Previous episode||January 25, 2013|
|Next episode||February 8, 2013|
Episode Summary Edit
Inside, General Manager Booker T officially opened SmackDown, surrounded by select group of former World Heavyweight Champions. He declared that their status made them all possible entries in the upcoming No. 1 Contender’s Elimination Chamber Match — at the pay-per-view of the same name — to determine who would face Alberto Del Rio for the World Title at WrestleMania.
Returning after a long absence, Jack Swagger interrupted the head of the blue brand. Revealing that he had been living as a “real American” in his absence from WWE, Swagger said that he was disappointed with the direction WWE had been heading before insisting that — since he was also a former World Heavyweight Champion — he should also be considered for the Elimination Chamber.
In contrast, Dolph Ziggler stated that since he was already Mr. Money in the Bank, he would decline the invitation to be a candidate for one of the most brutal matches in WWE history. Nevertheless, Booker informed The Showoff that he would compete in a main event match against World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio.
The rest of the former World Heavyweight Champions would also be in action, with the goal of impressing both the GM and Senior Advisor Theodore Long. If they did, they might be put into the Elimination Chamber Match in 16 days with an opportunity to face Del Rio on The Grandest Stage of Them All on the line.
On Raw Roulette four days earlier, 3MB interrupted The Great Khali’s karaoke showdown against Zack Ryder, causing The Punjabi Playboy and Long Island Iced-Z to clean house.
On SmackDown, Khali would once again make beautiful music in his match against Jinder Mahal. After taking down Drew McIntyre with a massive chop — as he was bothering Natalya on the apron — the gigantic former World Champion dropped Mahal with the Punjabi Plunge for the victory. Meanwhile, Hornswoggle, who lost a pursuing Health Slater under the ring, joined his friends in time for a post-match dance celebration.
Prior to the matchup with The Showoff, Alberto Del Rio stopped a determined Ricardo Rodriguez from escorting him to the ring, fearing for the injured ring announcer’s well-being.
During the physical contest that followed, a Del Rio attack from the top rope was thwarted by an interfering Big E Langston. Their interaction quickly escalated and Big E was promptly ejected from ringside.
The high-intense, back-and-forth match between Del Rio and Ziggler was completely unpredictable, filled with numerous near-falls and explosive action that kept the WWE Universe on the edge of its collective seat. That was until the resilient World Champion countered Ziggler’s Zig Zag in the final moments, finally overcoming The Showoff with the Cross Armbreaker.
- Singles Match: The Great Khali (w/ Hornswoggle & Natalya) defeated Jinder Mahal (w/ Heath Slater & Drew McIntyre)
- Singles Match: Alberto Del Rio defeated Dolph Ziggler (w/ AJ Lee & Big E. Langston