At WWE’s SummerSlam pay-per-view, world heavyweight champion Alberto Del Rio is scheduled to take on the recently returned Christian.
And you know what? No one will really care that much.
Let’s be honest: Alberto Del Rio is, at best, a mediocre champion who has done absolutely nothing good for the belt.
If anything, he has greatly damaged it.
Prior to Del Rio’s reign, the title wasn’t truly equal with the WWE Championship, but at least the two belts were somewhat comparable. (Check out the massive reaction when Dolph Ziggler won the World Heavyweight belt back in April.)
But now? It’s an afterthought.
Dropping Ricardo Rodriguez from his act—Del Rio viciously beat up his friend following his loss to Rob Van Dam on Monday’s Raw—spells further doom.
The charismatic, phenomenally talented Rodriguez was really the only part of the Del Rio act worth watching. Without him, Del Rio is sure to fall into even further irrelevance. (You have to wonder just what WWE was thinking when it made the call to separate the two.)
Christian, for various reasons, isn’t really the ideal opponent to rocket Del Rio’s title reign into prominence.
Sure, he’s a terrific wrestler—few would deny that—but he seems to lack the charisma to be a true top babyface. Similar to Del Rio, he comes off as more of a midcarder than a legitimate World Championship contender.
He was also gone for a year. He doesn’t feel like a big deal anymore.
While Del Rio and Christian may very well churn out a decent match, does it matter much?
The bout will no doubt be stuck in the middle of the card and short-changed on time. It’s a total afterthought, on par with Bray Wyatt vs. Kane or some other midcard bout.
So, is there any hope for the match? Well, maybe. If WWE throws in recently returned star Rob Van Dam and makes the bout a Triple Threat match, there could be hope.
You could also place Randy Orton in there—noticeably the 33-year-old is currently not scheduled to appear on the card—and make it a Fatal 4-Way match.
Certainly two popular and talented stars could help breathe new life into a bout that few care about. Thanks to his recent victory over Del Rio, Van Dam is also a very valid argument for being inserted into the match.
There’s also the tantalizing idea of Orton—who also has that Money in the Bank WWE Championship—going after both belts in an attempt to be the first undisputed champion in many years. (The admittedly faint prospect of Orton closing out SummerSlam with both titles is a compelling one and would make a great visual.)
If there’s to be any hope of WWE restoring the championship to its former glory, it has to start by changing the SummerSlam match and adding a person or two.
Regrettably, Del Rio and Christian just aren’t going to cut it.