Looks like everyone has already written off Alberto Del Rio. It was little surprising when Del Rio lost his WWE Championship to CM Punk at Survivor Series, and then his subsequent rematch on the most recent edition of Monday Night Raw.
However, I’m taken aback by some of the aimless speculation out there that Del Rio will never win another major title ever again. I actually feel the opposite.
It wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see Del Rio with the WWE title wrapped around his affluent waist once again—perhaps even sooner than the pundits would lead you to believe. Here are seven reasons why.
The WWE writers may decide to put the WWE Championship belt back around the waist of Alberto Del Rio simply because they don’t have anything else for the Mexican aristocrat to do. I know the reason sounds foolish; but I’m drawing quite the blank trying to think of viable candidates who could feud with Del Rio in a non-title rivalry.
It’s easy to assume that Del Rio’s trusty sidekick, Ricardo Rodriguez, could turn face and set up a Del Rio-Rodriguez showdown. However, given how little heat Del Rio is generating, I’m not sure if Rodriguez would get much of a pop with a face turn.
However, competitors like John Cena and CM Punk are just as appealing to fans regardless of whether they have the title or they’re chasing it. Giving Del Rio the title again and having either Punk or Cena challenge him for it may be the short-term solution to keeping Del Rio involved on Raw.
There has been plenty of speculation in the Internet Wresting Community that CM Punk could have a potential showdown with either Stone Cold Steve Austin or Chris Jericho at next year’s WrestleMania. If that’s the case, then a match like that would likely be a non-title bout, considering how both Austin and Jericho will probably compete for only that one night.
Therefore, Punk probably wouldn’t have the WWE Championship at WrestleMania, leaving the door open for Alberto Del Rio to recapture it. The only other Superstar I can see as champion heading into WrestleMania in this situation would be John Cena.
However, I’m hesitant to say that Cena’s match with the Rock will be for the WWE title. That’s because, like Austin or Jericho, we’re probably looking at a one-night-only performance from the Rock as well.
It wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see Alberto Del Rio with the WWE Championship again sooner than later, given how often the belt has changed hands in 2011.
The year began with the Miz as WWE Champion. Then, John Cena claimed it, followed by CM Punk, followed by Rey Mysterio, followed by Punk and Cena, followed by Punk, followed by Del Rio, followed by Cena, followed by Del Rio, finally followed by Punk again. And I’m sure I missed a champion or two in there somewhere—that’s how dizzying the list is.
Sure, CM Punk says he plans on remaining champion for the foreseeable future, but he doesn’t get to decide that. And if we’ve learned anything from the bookers, it’s that it’s only a matter of time before either Cena or Del Rio has another turn on the champion carousel.
Thanks to injuries to Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara, WWE’s main roster is seriously lacking major Latino Superstars at the moment. Outside of those two, the only one with legitimate main event appeal is Alberto Del Rio.
If Vince McMahon wants to continue WWE’s efforts to penetrate Mexico’s wrestling market, then he’d be wise to put the WWE title back on Del Rio. However, if it’s true that McMahon isn’t as high on the Mexican wrestlers as we thought he was, then don’t expect Del Rio to ever get another sniff at the big time.
Personally, I think it would be foolish for McMahon to give up on Del Rio as a champion so soon. Mexico has a long, storied history of elite luchadores and passionate fans.
There’s a lot of wrestling prestige there, and with that, lots of money to be made for WWE. Giving Del Rio another go with the belt could find him finally winning over the Mexican WWE fans, which in turn could improve WWE’s presence there.
If Alberto Del Rio does regain the WWE Championship in the near future, expect Del Rio’s conniving personal ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez, to be a major reason why. An effective sidekick can make a world of difference in a wrestler’s in-ring successes with key interferences and referee distractions.
Although Rodriguez’s presence hurt Del Rio in his match against Punk on Raw, I could easily picture a scenario in which Rodriguez interferes on behalf of Del Rio in a future title match against Punk.
Sadly, that may be the only way Del Rio gets his hands on the title again.
Does anybody remember that Jack Swagger was once the World Heavyweight Champion? Since losing that title, however, Swagger has forever toiled in the irrelevancy that is the mid-card rankings.
I fear that the exact same scenario is playing out for Alberto Del Rio. If the WWE title doesn’t find its way around Del Rio’s waist once again, he may simply slip into oblivion forever, becoming the answer to the trivia question: “Who was that guy years ago who fulfilled his ‘destiny’ and won the WWE title back in the day?”
To me, Alberto Del Rio is the complete package. He’s an über-talented competitor in the ring. He has charm and charisma outside of it. He possesses great athleticism for a wrestler of his size (6’5”, 240 lbs.) and he talks glowingly of WWE in interviews.
Of course, one thing holding Del Rio back is his lack of microphone skills. If he can improve his vocal talents, and who’s to say he can’t, then Del Rio could become the next big thing in the industry.
This is why the folks at WWE would be foolish to totally bury Del Rio and never give him another run with the WWE Championship. While it’s easy to see why Del Rio lost his title to CM Punk at Survivor Series, it’s also unfair to say he’ll never develop the mic skills and heat needed to be a viable champion in the near future.
In my opinion, there are plenty of Superstars out there who would be worse champions than Del Rio. Don’t be surprised if he gets another crack at the belt really soon.