In the fall of 2010, Alberto Del Rio made his debut on the Smackdown brand and immediately became one of the top stars in professional wrestling.
He skyrocketed to the top of WWE with a one-sided win over Rey Mysterio, a win in the largest Royal Rumble match of all-time, and a World Heavyweight Championship match with Edge at WrestleMania XXVII.
Del Rio appeared poised to capture that title in Atlanta and begin his reign as the hottest new talent to hit the company in years.
Then tragedy struck.
Edge was forced to retire from professional wrestling due to a severely injured neck. Wanting to send one of its longest-tenured performers out on a high note, Edge was allowed the victory over Del Rio in the opener of WrestleMania, a match that was among the better ones on the card.
When a ladder match between Alberto and Edge's former partner Christian was made for Extreme Rules, fans expected Del Rio to finally capture the gold.
It did not happen.
Instead, Del Rio was sent packing to the Raw brand, via the annual Draft. It was a move expected to send Alberto shooting up the ladder, cementing him as the top heel on the No. 1 show in professional wrestling.
Instead, Del Rio had trouble finding traction and he was sacrificed in favor of hotter acts of the time. Losses to John Cena and CM Punk resulted in the can't-miss prospect becoming an afterthought on a crowded Raw roster.
Del Rio would win the Money in the Bank briefcase and cash in to become WWE Champion in August, but it didn't have the same impact it would have earlier in the year. Del Rio would be beaten quickly the following month and float around the top of the card, aimlessly, and even win the gold one more time.
But no matter how many times Vince and his company tried to push Alberto as champion, it never worked in the manner so many had hoped it would.
Now the company finds itself in interesting territory. A groin injury has put Del Rio on the shelf and, as unfortunate as that is, it may have come at the perfect time.
With Del Rio struggling to connect with fans as a main event heel, the company can tinker with new ideas to help Alberto succeed. One of those ideas involves an underutilized act from, of all places, the Divas division.
The Bellas have shown hints in the past of flirting with Alberto Del Rio. Since turning heel earlier in the year, there have been numerous backstage vignettes featuring Brie and Nikki attempting to get close to the Mexican aristocrat.
A storyline where the Bellas begin "getting closer" with Del Rio could be just what the doctor ordered for all involved.
There is no character more hated than the rich man who has everything and is not afraid to flaunt it. To this point, we know Alberto has a laundry list of expensive vehicles. We know he has his own, personal ring announcer whom he hangs out with...A LOT.
But what he does not have is eye candy. And what better way to showcase Del Rio's arrogance than to have him flanked by two twins who are clearly gold diggers but, because he is so wealthy, can afford to satisfy them in any way.
Add to that the potential backstage segments between the Bellas and Ricardo Rodriguez and reports that Vince McMahon has told Del Rio to become more aggressive and ruthless in the ring and you have all the ingredients for Del Rio to be a fresher and more interesting character than he was to close out 2011.
A renewed aggression coupled with arm candy and, potentially, an increasingly jealous ring announcer sounds fun to me.
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