World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus def. Alberto Del Rio

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July 15, 2012

The Celtic Warrior’s early offense was exactly what the WWE Universe has come to expect from the World Champion: pure brute force. However, anytime Del Rio had a clear opportunity, he tactically attacked Sheamus’ arm. The story of the bout quickly became whether Del Rio could outlast the powerful offense of the champion while wearing him down enough to strategically strike with the Cross Armbreaker. (PHOTOS)

Almost inevitably, Sheamus’ early dominance was quelled following a distraction from Ricardo Rodriguez. This allowed Del Rio to shift momentum in his favor, and he continued to target the World Heavyweight Champion’s injured arm.

Less than 10 minutes into the contest, it was quickly becoming a textbook example of a powerhouse vs. a master technician, the style of the two international combatants involved drawing parallels to the classic bout at SummerSlam 1992 between The British Bulldog and Bret “Hit Man” Hart.

Del Rio’s strategy seemed to be paying off, especially when Sheamus rammed his shoulder into the steel ring post. Though the fighting Irishman tried to strike back using his pure strength, Del Rio continued to counter, at one point channeling the lucha libre traditions of his father, Dos Caras, and taking down The Celtic Warrior with a flying armbreaker as Sheamus dove over the ropes into the ring.

With the champion reeling, Del Rio unwisely taunted him, sending Sheamus into frenzy. From there, momentum shifts remained even, until Del Rio missed a kick to the back of his opponent’s head.

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