World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio def. Dolph Ziggler by disqualification

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July 14, 2013

PHILADELPHIA — For weeks, Dolph Ziggler has been one step ahead of arch-nemesis Alberto Del Rio, upending the World Heavyweight Champion at every turn. But with Del Rio’s championship gold on the line at Money in the Bank, The Showoff came up just short, and for that, he only has one person to blame: his squeeze, AJ Lee.

After 15 minutes of back-and-forth action, it was an error in judgment on her  part that cost her “Ziggy” the World Heavyweight Title he so deeply craved: Sensing her boyfriend was in danger, the sinister skipper prematurely snuck into the ring and blasted Del Rio with her Divas Title, in full view of the referee, prompting a disqualification loss for the Showoff.

See photos of AJ Lee's costly decision

The tactic was clearly unwelcomed by The Showoff, who could not hide his frustration over how his hard-fought title challenge came to an end.

Ziggler’s loss certainly wasn’t for a lack of effort on his part, nor was it for a lack of support from the sold-out Wells Fargo Center, which chanted “Let’s go, Ziggler” from the opening bell. The Showoff, who entered the arena with neither AJ nor Big E Langston by his side, got off to a hot start, dropping 10 consecutive elbows on Del Rio and connecting with a text book dropkick to Del Rio’s chin.

The Mexican Superstar had plenty of fight in him, however, as well as strategy. Seemingly replicating his calculating game plan from Payback, Del Rio exploited every opportunity to target Ziggler’s head. He also used classic lucha libre maneuvers, which proved unwise, as Ziggler countered Del Rio’s aerial attack with another picture-perfect dropkick.

At this point, things took a turn for the worse for The Showoff, as AJ Lee’s infectious theme song rang out over the sound system and the Divas Champion skipped her way to ringside. Obviously distracted by her entrance, Ziggler made known in no uncertain terms that he didn’t want her assistance, yelling “I’ve got this” and motioning for AJ to return to the locker room. Nevertheless, AJ remained ringside.

While he ascended the turnbuckles, Ziggler glanced at AJ for only a moment, giving Del Rio an opening to drop his challenger on top turnbuckle. The World Heavyweight Champion followed up with a  reverse superplex for a near fall.

With a look of regret painted across her countenance, AJ watched on as a game Ziggler fought on, kicking out of numerous pin attempts by Del Rio. Once Del Rio removed his knee pad and signaled for yet another strike to Ziggler’s head, however, AJ could stand by no more and, without any signal from The Showoff, she entered the ring and clobbered Del Rio from behind with the butterfly-emblazoned title.

The WWE official had no choice but to disqualify Ziggler for AJ’s actions , enraging not only the WWE Universe in Philadelphia but also Ziggler, who looked ready to continue on. Realizing her mistake, AJ fretted in the ring while Ziggler erupted, saying “I should be champion.”

The Showoff then briskly exited the ring, leaving a distressed AJ Lee all alone in the squared circle, to the sounds of the Wells Fargo Center’s chants of “You screwed Ziggler.”

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