As former WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio goes from one dull, meaningless feud to another on television, one thing has become abundantly clear: The days when he was a big part of the company—or an integral part of its future—are long gone.
Indeed, far from being the company’s next big Mexican star—a la Rey Mysterio—he has instead been a massive flop. How bad are things for the former CMLL star? Well, he’s currently stuck in a cheesy romance angle with WWE Diva Rosa Mendes.
Where exactly is this storyline supposed to be going? More importantly, who cares?
Not to mention his constant jobbing to Randy Orton on television and pay-per-view. Del Rio also lost to John Cena on last week’s SmackDown.
So, things are looking pretty bleak for Del Rio right now.
What squandered his potential?
Well, the WWE’s booking team should shoulder their fair share of the blame. In hindsight they probably did take too long to put the WWE Championship on him—Del Rio won his first championship last year at SummerSlam; he really should have defeated Edge for the belt at WrestleMania four months earlier.
His reported (from F4wonline via WrestlingInc) problems with management don’t help either. Per these stories, Del Rio has grown so unhappy he’s threatened to quit the company. Understandably, management may not be too comfortable getting strongly behind to a man who could potentially up and leave at any moment.
Following on from this, frankly, most of the blame for his current predicament lies with Del Rio himself.
Having played the snobby aristocrat character since the summer of 2010 (when he debuted), his whole act has now grown stale and tired. While other wrestlers—like Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler—have worked hard to expand their characters on television and make them more three-dimensional and interesting, Del Rio has not.
Instead, he has stuck to coming out in a fancy car every week and wearing expensive scarfs. Oh, and he’s arrogant. Really, that’s all there is to his character these days.
He has not been helped by boring feuds: Remember the deathly dull Sheamus/Del Rio angle which seemingly went on forever? Or the interminable Orton/Del Rio program?
Sure, Sheamus and Orton had their own problems (Sheamus was, and still is, struggling to get over like a top star; Orton has never been full comfortable in a face role and appears to be biding his time until he turns heel again), but Del Rio didn’t exactly help matters with his by-the-numbers promo style and clunky in-ring style.
The sole redeeming highlight of the act continues to be Ricardo Rodriguez, Del Rio’s personal ring announcer.
Charismatic, entertaining and blessed with superb comic timing, Rodriguez truly is one of the best heel managers the company has ever seen. Heck, it might even be time for him to move on from the stagnant Del Rio and onto something more meaningful (it is very easy to imagine him as Raw or SmackDown GM, for instance).
Of course, the thin talent roster may guarantee that the company will utilize Del Rio in main events in the future. But he may be doomed to be a “last resort” guy and little else.
Frankly, after two years of stale, lethargic performances on his part and counter-productive booking, that may be the best thing he can hope for at this point.
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