There are plenty of WWE superstars who should be competing in matches on Raw or SmackDown every week, but aren’t.
Guys like Tyson Kidd, Jack Swagger, Hunico and Drew McIntyre—the list really does go on and on.
However, one guy who you might often overlook isn’t really a wrestler at all. Well, he is, but the WWE doesn’t choose to push him as one.
I’m talking, of course, about “Alberto Del Rio’s personal ring announcer,” Ricardo Rodriguez.
Though he serves primarily as Del Rio’s ring announcer and comedic relief, Rodriguez is actually a trained wrestler who, well, is pretty damn good.
While we haven’t seen a whole lot of in-ring action from him (other than that Tuxedo match against Santino Marella at No Way Out), Rodriguez did give us a taste of what he can do in the ring on last week’s Raw, and it was pretty impressive.
He teamed up with Alberto Del Rio and David Otunga to take on Sin Cara, Rey Mysterio and Sheamus in a six-man tag match, and I have to say that he was one of the more impressive competitors in the bout.
In fact, he saved Sin Cara’s tail a couple of times and made him look significantly better than he usually does.
Don’t believe me? Well, according to F4WOnline.com (via WrestlingInc.com), WWE officials believe that Rodriguez brings the best out of Sin Cara, which is the main reason why Ricardo will compete as “El Local” against Sin Cara on a future episode of Saturday Morning Slam.
Although we associate Rodriguez with Del Rio and over-the-top comedy, he’s a wrestler first and foremost, and his recent foray into the ring—combined with his quality performances there—make it pretty obvious that he is just too good of a wrestler to be stuck as an announcer.
After all, it’s not like Rodriguez only knows how to take a few different types of bumps. He’s got the same type of training that all of the other WWE superstars have, and though he may not be Dolph Ziggler, he’s already shown a tremendous ability to sell moves.
While I’m not sure if the WWE will ever move him to a full-time role as a wrestler because he doesn’t have a great look, Rodriguez has spent enough time honing his craft as a wrestler to at least deserve a chance.
The Mexican-American superstar made his pro wrestling debut back in August 2006 and has competed for various organizations—including Chikara, Dragon Gate USA and EMLL—under the ring name “Chimaera.”
After signing a developmental deal with the WWE in 2010, he made his wrestling debut in FCW under the Chimaera name in December of that year. He eventually went on to become a part of the “Ascension” stable that you now see on NXT.
Though he’s been limited in his role as a wrestler in the WWE’s developmental territory, he has made several appearances there while serving as Del Rio’s ring announcer on the main roster.
Should the WWE give Ricardo Rodriguez a chance as a wrestler?
While we haven’t got to see a whole lot of Ricardo in the ring since he’s been on TV, what little we have seen from him has shown that his time on both the indy scene and in FCW has paid dividends.
Should the WWE ever decide to give him a shot as a superstar rather than an announcer, I think we’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Don’t just take my word for it. Check out Chimaera’s highlight video.
Not bad, huh?
Heck, he’s even pretty damn good as simply Ricardo Rodriguez. The WWE just needs to drop all the goofiness and it may be on to something here.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!