Gallo Images/Getty Images
@JustinLaBar thoughts on WWE trying & failing 2get generic 80's heels/characters over? I.e. Alberto Del Rio, Tensai, etc. #NotBelievable #BR
I don't think the type of characters are the problem. In the examples you provided, both Del Rio and Tensai are extremely talented performers. Also, both are veterans of the wrestling business and are two of the smarter guys in the locker room.
The problem is the placement. Alberto Del Rio is a good heel; however, the feuds he's been in have never really caught my interest. I often don't know why he is in conflict or the reason why he fighting his opponent. I'm sure some blame can go on him, but I fault WWE on the faces he's worked with at the times he has. I also fault WWE in his win-to-loss booking. He rarely has come up looking strong in high-profile situations.
You can have the best talent in the world, but if the audience never believes they are a legitimate threat, nothing else matters.
Stone Cold was an amazing character. However, if he would have gone out there drinking beer, stunning his boss and flipping the middle finger but ended up losing more frequently than winning in high-profile situations, fans would have eventually dropped off.
Tensai is solid heel in my mind. He has a big, imposing look, and he has a physical, intimidating way about him in the ring. Some fans don't like the character, but I feel we never ever saw any development or attention to it. He cut one or two promos in brief Japanese.
Same as Del Rio, with the placement and faces he was given. He really wasn't given any. He's yet to have one feud that culminates at a pay-per-view. Programs with John Cena and CM Punk were teased on episodes of Raw, but it's as if WWE never committed to anything.