Ever since Alberto Del Rio arrived in the WWE he has been pitted against top competitors such as Rey Mysterio, Christian, Big Show, Daniel Bryan and John Morrison. He has essentially been thrown in with the best guys in the WWE straight off the bat and hasn’t really had to climb the ladder too much. Similar to when Bradshaw became JBL and started beating main event competitors.
However, I think Del Rio has been thrown in the deep end far too quickly by winning the Royal Rumble and going on to be in one of the two main event title matches. I think Del Rio’s path to the top of WWE has been formed far too quickly. Fans don’t know the wrestler well enough yet, so therefore nobody can fully invest any real interest in him.
I remember speaking to my brother, who is 10 years older than me, and now has more of a passive interest in WWE. He said to me after the Royal Rumble so who is this “Del Rio guy... is he any good?” and I replied, “I don’t know really not been in that many matches and not seen enough of him.” He then said, “This is important what is his finishing move” I then told him, “the Arm Bar” to which he started laughing because he assumed I was joking.
This is because surely a guy with the Arm Bar finishing move can only go so far. It’s not exactly exciting as say an impact move such as a “Sweet Chin Music,” an “RKO” or even a good submission move, such as the “ankle lock."
I don’t dislike Del Rio, I actually think he has quite a good gimmick. I just think he is main eventing too fast – not because he doesn’t have a good move set or doesn’t have the right "look" because I think he possesses both those things – but I just think that the fans haven’t gotten to know him yet as a personality and a wrestler.
I think this is much like what happened with Jack Swagger when he won the Money in the Bank and became champion days later by defeating Chris Jericho. The fans were only just used to seeing him on Monday Night Raw as a midcard wrestler and only had been featured on ECW before comfortably winning US championships on Raw.
He was never particularly vocal as a wrestler, except in encounters with MVP and The Miz, which is much like Alberto when he was pushed straight to the top too early.
Once again, he has all the right attributes to be the best guy with the right "look" and ability (which is probably much better than most main event guys in WWE right now), but WWE didn’t let him develop as a performer. I think WWE has jumped the gun with Del Rio and ultimately he may end up floundering in the midcard section, but I sincerely hope this doesn’t happen to him.