Big Update on Alberto Del Rio, Major Character Change Coming?

Sharon GlencrossContributor IDecember 13, 2012

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 08:  Alberto Del Rio is introduced during the WWE Smackdown Live Tour at Westridge Park Tennis Stadium on July 08, 2011 in Durban, South Africa.  (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Gallo Images/Getty Images

At present, former WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio appears to be badly floundering.

With his long-running feud against Randy Orton coming to an end (a program only notable for the fact that Orton handily won most of their matches), he seems to be adrift right now, floating from one meaningless bout on television to another.

He's also been placed in a rather random romance angle with Rosa Mendes. Yes: It seems that Del Rio has grown rather fond of the WWE Diva in recent times, even sending her love notes (via Ricardo Rodriguez) and valiantly promising to be there for her if she ever needs him. How cute.

So, where is his career going?  Well, in this week's (subscribers-only) Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer gives an intriguing update on the star, noting that there is currently talk of a character change for the long-time heel: "There is at least some talk of turning Del Rio face."

Meltzer goes on to explain the reasoning behind such a move:

They badly want a Hispanic babyface. Quite frankly, anyone with any clue as to marketing now and even more going forward would think such a person is necessary. The feeling is Mysterio isn’t going to be around forever and he takes time off and is far from an office favorite. Sin Cara was the guy, but the bloom is way off his rose.

While Del Rio is incredibly stale as a heel, it remains to be seen whether he could get over with fans as a good guy. Indeed, his whole act (having a personal ring announcer, coming out in fancy expensive cars) screams "arrogant heel." 

He could drastically change his gimmick, of course. But during his time in WWE he has shown a stubborn unwillingness to stray out of his comfort zone, usually sticking to his bland one-dimensional promo style. 

Does he have the performance range to be a babyface in the company?