From the very beginning, when we saw his aristocratic vignettes, Alberto Del Rio was being groomed to become a top star in the WWE. In his debut, he immediately made a name for himself by involving himself in intense feuds with Rey Mysterio and Christian, forcing both to take time off by "injuring" them.
Statisically, 2011 was the best year for ADR. The first and only 40-man Royal Rumble main evented the January pay-per-view, and ADR left the match victorious, vowing to defeat Edge at WrestleMania for the World Heavyweight Championship. Although he was defeated by Edge at the pay-per-view (which, in turn, halted a great deal of his momentum).
He had a second chance to become WHC by defeating Christian in a ladder match at Extreme Rules (due to Edge forcing to relinquish the WHC because of early retirement as a result of nagging injuries). However, this attempt was unsuccessful as well.
The WWE still did not want to lessen the stock of ADR. Less than three months later at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, he defeated Jack Swagger, Evan Bourne, Rey Mysterio, Kofi Kingston, Alex Riley, R-Truth and the Miz to become Mr. Money in the Bank. The very next pay-per-view, he became WWE Champion by cashing in the briefcase against CM Punk.
He lost the title the next match to John Cena, regained it a month later in a triple threat match at Hell in a Cell and lost it a month later against CM Punk at Survivor Series. To put it in political terms, too much "flip-flopping" cause ADR's stock to plummet.
During the middle of 2012, ADR experienced somewhat of a resurgence in his dwindling career by feuding with Sheamus over the World Heavyweight Championship. After a series of unsuccessful attempts, a heated feud with Randy Orton was next in line. Interestingly, due to what seemed to be a result of the injuries of Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara, the WWE abruptly teased a babyface turn at the TLC PPV and following Raw. Although the show was taped, he portrayed a heel on the next Raw, competing against John Cena in a "Miracle on 34th Street" match.
His babyface characteristics returned on the next SmackDown and Raw, as he commenced a feud with the Big Show.
So, with a less-successful-than-excepted heel run, flip-flopped championship reigns and an apparent full-fledged babyface turn, one may wonder exactly what the WWE has planned for ADR in the future. The babyface turn was a good idea to revive his character that was getting stale, but he may just be used similar to how he was last year. A big-name star that is fed to the champions. Are you satisfied with the career direction of ADR? Civilly comment below.
Chris Featherstone is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report, as well as a writer for WrestlingInc.com. He has a weekly wrestling talk show, Pancakes and Powerslams, which airs Tuesdays at 11pm ET on Blog Talk Radio.