Flashback: Alberto Del Rio Wins the WWE Royal Rumble 2011

January 14, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Originally published on January 30, 2011. The 2011 WWE Royal Rumble winner wasn’t who was expected and that is a good thing. Alberto Del Rio won the Royal Rumble and a trip to the WrestleMania 27 main-event against a WWE champion of his choice. Del Rio eliminated Santino Marella to win the Rumble and earn his title match.

Rey Mysterio, Kane, Wade Barrett, John Cena, Alberto Del Rio, and Randy Orton were the final six of the Rumble or were they? Mysterio eliminated Kane and was then quickly tossed out by Barrett. The announcers pushed the RAW vs. SmackDown theme of the final four.

In the shocker of the night, John Cena was eliminated by The Miz. Yes The Miz was down doing commentary and wound up running in. Alex Riley distracted Cena and The Miz wound up tossing Cena over. The ref never “saw it” and only caught Cena on the floor, thus eliminating Cena. Barrett, Orton, and Del Rio are final three. Del Rio eliminated Randy Orton, started to celebrate, and was then attached by Santino.

Santino emerged from under the ring and the place went ballistic. Santino Marella was never officially eliminated when he appeared early on. The announcers went nuts saying it would be the biggest upset of all time. For a second I kind of wanted to see it. Del Rio soon recovered, eliminated Santino and officially won the Rumble and the championship match of his choice.

CM Punk entered the Royal Rumble as #1. Punk was soon jumped by members of Corre. The RAW GM (how did he have power here?) chimed in and ordered Corre to the back. Daniel Bryan then entered as the official number two. Punk and Bryan started off which I am sure appealed to their hardcore following on the Internet.

Kevin Nash made a long awaited return to the WWE entering the Royal Rumble at #32. Nash entered as his old character Diesel with a black haired dye job and his old Diesel gear. Nash got a nice reaction but it was nowhere close to the reaction that Booker T received. Nash did his trademark Diesel moves but was eliminated pretty shortly by Wade Barrett. Nash and The Big Show walked by one another as Nash left and Show entered. It could have been a prelude to a WrestleMania match but let’s hope not. Hey Paul, don’t let him powerbomb you this time. Hey may try and finish the what he couldn’t do at Souled Out.

No Triple H for the record. Not sure what he is waiting for at this point but I have to admit that I was hoping to see him come out at #40 instead of Kane. No Undertaker either.

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Nash’s fellow Main Event Mafia partner,  Booker T also returned to the WWE. King Booker entered the Royal Rumble earlier at #21. Booker T got a huge pop and entered the ring to face four members of Nexus. Unfortunately the numbers got the best of him and Booker T’s return lasted for about 90 seconds before being eliminated. I am not a big proponent of seeing Booker T back but the fan reaction sure made it a great Rumble moment. The former TNA stars got nice reactions but were limited with short appearances in the Rumble match which was probably for the better.

CM Punk was looking like the favorite for awhile. At one point Punk and three members of Nexus just wound up eliminating everyone and continued to throw away future entrants. They just looked unstoppable after eliminating Booker T in less than two minutes. John Cena wound up entering at #22 with his Superman cape and eliminated all of Nexus including CM Punk. I was fairly certain up to that point that Punk was going to be Final Four if not the winner altogether.

John Morrison may have had the best Royal Rumble spot I ever saw. Shortly after entering the Rumble Morrison was tossed over the top rope. However, instead of landing on the floor he landed on the barricade like Spiderman avoiding elimination. Morrison than leaped from the barricade to the metal steps and returned to the ring. The spot and sequence have to be seen to be believed.

Randy Orton entered at #39 and eliminated Sheamus and Kofi Kingston. He and Cena had a stare down that was designed to get a big reaction. Guess what? Nobody seemed to care. Maybe because WWE fans have seen Cena vs. Orton on and off for the last three years. I can’t imagine anyone having any interest in seeing Cena vs. Orton in any way, shape, or fashion in 2011 (or 2012, 2013, 2014).

Overall I thought the Rumble match was excellent. I never felt like it dragged and it had some pretty cool spots. I thought that 40 guys would be too much but it really wasn’t. If you missed the show, I’d go out of your way to try and get a copy of the match. It certainly wasn’t the best Rumble match of all time but it was far from the worst.

On a totally random note, listening to 40 WWE entrance themes is a reminder at how God awful WWE entrance music is in 2011. Well, 39 because Booker T’s music is still pretty damn good.

It would appear from the WWE championship match that CM Punk vs. Randy Orton is a highly likely WrestleMania match. Randy Orton vs. The Miz ended after interference from Nexus which saw Punk nail Orton with the GTS. The Miz capitalized and pinned Orton to win the match.

On yet another random note, I think I was vindicated for everything I have said about The Miz and his inability to be a successful WWE champion. He is not over at all! I have gotten a lot of criticism for a blog I wrote entitled “Is The Miz the worst WWE champion ever?” People told me that I don’t know what I am talking about, he is awesome, and I am in the minority. I think I stand corrected. He is now a day over two months as WWE champion and if he hasn’t been able to sell anyone by now, he isn’t going to sell them by WrestleMania. Guess what happened when he came out for the biggest match of his career? Nobody cared or reacted to him like a champion and quite honestly, the match wasn’t that good. The lesson learned here is just because a guy can go out and cut a 15 minute “great” (Wow the standards have dropped enormously) promo and deliver witty lines doesn’t make him a great champion.  The point being is that nobody believes in him as a champion and the fans see right through it. Sure you can blame the booking but he is just not championship material no matter how “funny” you may think he is.

I love the decision to go with Alberto Del Rio as this year’s winner. Del Rio is fresh and one of the best characters I have seen the WWE develop in years. Unfortunately I don’t know how much interest I have an Edge vs. Del Rio match. Quite frankly I don’t know how much interest I have an Edge vs. anyone WrestleMania title match. If it ends with Del Rio winning the championship and becoming the star of SmackDown, I like it.

An early look at WrestleMania 27 probably looks like…
The Miz vs. John Cena for the WWE title
Edge vs. Alberto Del Rio for the WWE world heavyweight title
Randy Orton vs. CM Punk
Nexus vs. Corre
Big Show vs. Kevin Nash

2011 WWE Royal Rumble results:

Edge defeated Dolph Ziggler to retain the WWE world heavyweight title
The Miz defeated Randy Orton after interference from Nexus and CM Punk
Natalya and Eve Torres defeated LayCool

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TNA Wrestling Make A Big Run At Former WWE Champion

December 18, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

TNA Wrestling are making moves. A couple of days after announcing a new day and time for their TV show, the company is aggressively pursuing the hottest free agent in pro wrestling and he could be coming to Impact in 2015.

Dave Meltzer in the newest Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that TNA are making a hard run at the former Alberto Del Rio, now known as El Patron. According to Meltzer, the company reportedly offered Patron $400,000 a year to come to TNA. Former WWE producer and now head writer over at TNA, John Gaburik is pushing hard to get him in. The deal on the table is for one-year.

Meltzer also reports that Patron has not signed the deal. According to Meltzer, the hold ups are money and exclusivity. TNA would either have to pony up more money or drop their exclusivity clause in order to sign Patron. The negotiations could move in either direction before the end of the year, although that is yet to be determined.

Patron just recently announced a series of dates with Ring of Honor wrestling. Patron also has a big guaranteed money deal on the table from El Rey according to Meltzer. There is a strong demand in pro wrestling for a Latin superstar. That is why the WWE paid so highly to bring Patron over several years ago and give him the big Alberto Del Rio push.

One interesting aspect of this story is that Patron has been getting offers from MMA groups. Bellator reportedly has made Patron a big offer to come fight for their organization. This is much different than CM Punk in that Patron has a strong amateur wrestling pedigree and has fought in MMA before. Patron has reportedly received offers from other companies and is weighing his options.

What is most interesting to me about this story is that TNA has $400,000 to play with. We have heard countless stories about reduced budgets and impending cuts with the Destination America deal. While that may be true, this is certainly an indication of something much different. I am curious as to whether their television partner would be helping with these negotiations because it seems odd that a company rumored to be in financial distress could afford such a high-ticket free agent.

Patron is probably worth the investment. If TNA can use Patron to break through the Latino market and bring more eyes from that fan base to the product, well then he is worth every penny. I am real curious as to whether the WWE tries to make a big play to bring him back. We all know how his last run went down, but money talks. With CM Punk in the headlines signing with the UFC and rumors of Brock Lesnar leaving, the WWE may have to suck it up here and cut off its competition by bringing Patron back. Patron doesn’t sound like a guy with any interest in going back yet again, money talks and it is pro wrestling.

It’s a good time to be Elllllllllllllllllllllllll Patron!

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Former Alberto Del Rio Says He Is Signing Two US Deals In 2015

November 19, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

El Patron, the former Alberto Del Rio continues to make headlines. Patron made his first US post-WWE appearance over the weekend at a House of Hardcore show and according to the former WWE star, you can expect to see a lot more of him in the United States real soon.

Patron made his first U.S. appearance this past weekend only a week after receiving a full release from his WWE contract. Prior to the release, Patron was barred from appearing on any pro wrestling shows in the United States for one year. Patron and the WWE settled, lifting that stipulation and opening up the door for some big things here in the States.

Patron talked to Bill Apter on the Apter Chat where they talked about his future. Patron gave a quick interview and told Apter that he will be signing deals with two pro wrestling companies in the United States. Patron revealed that both company have television and the deals will be signed in January.

This immediately set the Internet on fire with several reports concluding that Patron was signing with TNA Wrestling. The speculation would seem to make sense. TNA is expected to sign a new deal imminently with Destination America. However, TNA may not be the only game in town from what I hear.

It is just as possible that Patron will be signing with Jeff Jarrett’s Global Force Wrestling. Jarrett is looking for a television deal and looking to make a splash. Now I am not really sure what Jarrett has to offer at the moment without a TV deal. However, I have heard rumblings that it is actually Jarrett’s GCW that is expected to land Patron and not TNA.

Patron is also expected to sign with the Lucha Underground promotion. That was expected from the start, some even speculating that before he left the WWE. Patron will appear on their U.S. television sometime next year. He is expected to be the centerpiece of the promotion, along with Rey Mysterio if Rey can get out of his WWE deal.

Check out the interview with the legendary Bill Apter and brace yourself for a heavy dose of El Patron in 2015.

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Alberto Del Rio Makes First Post-WWE U.S. Indy Appearance

November 16, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Alberto Del Rio El PatronIt didn’t take long for the superstar formerly known as Alberto Del Rio to exercise his right to appear on pro wrestling events in the United States. El Patron made a surprise appearance Saturday night and blew the roof off of the House of Hardcore.

Patron (Del Rio’s new working name) made an unannounced appearance Saturday night at Tommy Dreamer’s House of Hardcore show. The show took place in Philadelphia at the old ECW Arena and in ECW-fashion, was full of surprises. Dreamer and company promised surprises to make up for a slew of injuries that marred the event. Yet Patron was arguably the biggest of the show.

A fan-filmed video captured the moment as you can see below. The segment played out with Patron’s ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez coming out after the former Curt Hawkins lost to Christian York. Ricardo cut a promo and then introduced Patron in clever fashion by rolling out the Alberto and letting the fans complete the intro. Del Rio then appeared to one of the biggest reactions you will ever hear on a pro wrestling event in 2014.

My old friend Rob Feinstein who works with the event commented that Patron was super jacked up about the appearance. Patron told Feinstein that it was the most fun he had in a locker room in a long time and was blown away by the reception he received from the crowd in Philadelphia. I would assume that the appearance will lead to something in-ring down the line for Dreamer’s company.

The appearance comes a week after it was announced that Patron and the WWE had come to terms on a settlement. Patron was fired from the company in August for slapping an employee who made a racist joke about Del Rio. The WWE believed that their contract with Patron prohibited him from appearing on any pro wrestling shows in the United States for a year. That contract was settled last week allowing Patron to appear and wrestle wherever he wants. His first U.S. stop was appropriately in Philadelphia at that old Bingo Hall.

I have a couple of takeaways after talking to people who were there and watching the video. My first thought is that this crowd that loved Patron were probably the same ones who criticized him on social media during his WWE tenure. It’s funny how quickly he becomes beloved by his same critics. That said, no matter what you thought of him as a WWE star, the reasons behind his departure make him one of the most sympathetic figures in the business right now. I could have guessed that the fans would welcome him but I never imagined that the fans would react as loud as they did.

The other is how nice it is to see a pro wrestling event with passion. Take WrestleMania out of the equation and I can’t tell you the last time I saw a WWE crowd exhibit that kind of passion. I guess you could say that Daniel Bryan inspired that kind of passion last winter-Mania at live events, but that seems so long ago. What this video tells me is that there is still a market out there for a “cool” wrestling product and there are still fans willing to pay to see it.

TNA is the first company that comes to mind as a company that really blew it and could have promoted differently to take advantage of this. Ring of Honor has the in-ring but they don’t have enough recognizable faces to attract these fans. I would love to see what Dreamer’s House of Hardcore could do with a television deal. The base is hungry, someone just needs to serve them the right meal.

Regardless, I think this video is a lot of fun and it is great to see Patron *(and Rodriguez together) back in a U.S. wrestling ring.

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Alberto Del Rio and WWE Come To Terms On Settlement

November 10, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

It appears what could have been an ugly public relations war for the WWE has been settled. Former WWE superstar Alberto Del Rio tweeted that he and the WWE have come to a settlement, avoiding would could have been a public relations nightmare for the WWE.

Del Rio tweeted on late Sunday evening. It is in Spanish but it essentially says that he and the WWE have come to terms on a release, specifically when it comes to booking Del Rio. Del Rio wished the WWE future endeavors which you have to think is a bit of a pun over the WWE’s public policy when it comes to reporting on departures.

Mike Johnson over at reports that part of the deal includes a provision that prevents the WWE and Del Rio from disparaging each other in public. Del Rio was expected to continue unleashing allegations of racist against the WWE should the WWE continue to hold Del Rio to his contract. The company has gotten fairly lucky in that national media in this country has not picked up on the story. It was inevitable that a story was going to get picked up and it could have been a major blow to a company that appears more concerned about public perception than quality booking these days.

Del Rio was fired from the WWE a couple of months ago after slapping a social media employee in the face. Del Rio has told the story in numerous international interviews and most of us have heard it before. The gist of it is that this employee left trash at catering and when asked to clean it up told someone that it was Del Rio’s job to clean it up. Del Rio got wind of this, demanded an apology, and when the employee refused Del Rio nailed him with a hard slap. Del Rio was fired days later and the employee kept his job until recently.

The kicker to the story is that the WWE wanted to hold Del Rio to a clause in his contract which prevented him from working in the United States for a year. TNA Wrestling reportedly made Del Rio an offer for whatever it is worth and it is highly likely that Del Rio could clean up on the U.S. independent scene. It would appear that this new agreement would allow Del Rio to seek opportunities where he pleases starting today whether they be in America or television elsewhere.

The irony here is that the tweet comes a day after Alberto filmed a Shoot Interview for RF Video. It will be interesting to see if Del Rio took this video as a last attempt to get his story out there and take shots at the WWE or if he avoided anything disparaging. The timing is certainly interesting to say the least.

Unfortunately the pro wrestling industry in the United States isn’t what it used to be and there aren’t any real enticing opportunities for Del Rio. TNA is a nice thought but the company has no television deal in place for 2015. Dixie Carter has also missed her deadline for making an announcement which certainly doesn’t appear to be good news for TNA. Lucha Underground is making its way into America but they have a long way to go before they become viable. Del Rio was scheduled to be a part of the group but terms of his deal prior to this settlement would have prevented him from doing so in the U.S. until August 2015. It should be noted that if Rey Mysterio can get out of his deal as he desires, Lucha Underground could make a heck of a splash with both Del Rio and Mysterio on their TV and touring in the U.S.

It is a bittersweet ending to one of the most fascinating stories of the year. There is a part of me that feels that the WWE got off a little too easy here considering the facts behind Del Rio’s firing. Nonetheless, cooler heads finally prevailed and an amicable parting will benefit everyone moving forward.

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Alberto Del Rio Tells His Side Of The Story

August 19, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

The controversial WWE firing of Alberto Del Rio is getting interesting. Alberto Del Rio spoke out for the first time since his release and the former WWE superstar’s recap will certainly not help relations between the WWE and the Latino market.

Alberto was fired a couple of weeks ago seemingly out of nowhere by the WWE. Rumors circulated and details were quickly confirmed regarding the incident. The short story is that the social media manager of the WWE made a racist comment about Alberto which got back to Alberto. ADR confronted the employee who refused to apologize and was slapped for it.

Things heated up over the weekend when Alberto made an appearance at Triple Mania. What does this mean for Alberto’s non-compete? With Triple A coming to the United States, can Alberto be their franchise player? What happens next? Will there be a lawsuit?

Alberto appeared recently on a Mexican morning news show and gave his side of the story for the first time. Transcripts of his Primero Noticias of Televisa appearance have finally become available and here are just some of the details from the lengthy interview.

“Yes, I continued being one of the top guys in USA. But there was an incident in which there was an altercation with a WWE employee. I won’t give all the details just yet. I’m still assessing which is the best way, legally, so that nothing that I say can be used against me. You know that US laws are completely different than the ones in Mexico. It was an incident in which I was offended. I was completely the victim. I have not spoken or said anything due to the same situation. They went ahead and said that I had unprofessional conduct. It’s true. Yes, I slapped this WWE employee because, I always say, that you can take my job, but no one will take my dignity, or my pride. And I won’t let anyone offend or humiliate my homeland, which is Mexico. I don’t forget my roots. Like I said, I am defending myself. This problem led to the end of my contract with them in one of the moments where I was at the top of the tier, just like I have always been throughout my 6 years with them.”

Alberto was then asked whether he was a victim of racism. “Yes, yes. These were comments that this guy made. And I reacted in an inappropriate manner. I will never say that someone should conduct themselves the way I did. I slapped him, and I feel completely embarrassed of my attitude and my reaction. But in that moment, after his comment, I demanded an apology. I didn’t just stand there and slap him outright.”

What may be the most damaging part of his side of the story to the WWE is that there was an incident prior to this one with the social media manager. I” had an incident with him in the past where he pretended, I think, to read his computer. He said “Alberto is a such and such.” And I was like, “What did you say, man?” He stands up and says, “No, it’s something from Twitter.” He then wants to give me his hand, and I just said, “Don’t touch me.” And I left to the ring, because I was on my way to the squared circle. This was about 7-8 months ago. When he says this comment, the same person again, I’m like “What’s this guy’s problem?” So I stand up, and don’t think I’m going to come to blows with him. I stood up demanding an apology.”

Alberto tells the interviewer that he did indeed slap him. “He was already standing up. He was about to leave when he said that comment. The only thing he does after his comment is, with his face as close to me as mine is to yours right now, he does a douchey smirk with one side of mouth. And then I hit him. I’ll say it again, I will always be embarrassed of the way I reacted. I’m not regretful. Sure, it costed me my job. But they are the ones that lose more in this situation.”

Now according to Dave Meltzer in a recent podcast Alberto didn’t just slap this employee. Alberto slapped the heck out of him. Meltzer compared the slap to the David Schultz-John Stossel slap.

Alberto said that he spoke with Vince McMahon after the incident. He said Vince told him he understood what he did and suspended him. Alberto said that Triple H called him later and told him he was being fired. Alberto said that Triple H claimed it hurt WWE more to release him due to the time and money they invested. Telling a guy who is getting fired for standing up for himself after a racist remark that the company is hurting more is a bit absurd and arrogant if you ask me.

Meltzer speculated that the social media manager threatened to sue the company if Del Rio wasn’t fired. Thus Del Rio was fired. It’s a real tough one here. I am sure the guy has a case but I can’t imagine how the WWE can keep a guy who is making racist remarks openly within the company. That seems like just-cause to me.

Alberto told the reporter he is suspended for a year. He isn’t sure whether he is going to fight that. Now keep in mind that the WWE has fired him. I am not sure that they can legally prevent him from making a living without paying him. They tried to do the same thing to Brock Lesnar years ago and they lost in court over their non-compete.

The revelation that Alberto had a previous incident with this guy is very damaging to the WWE. The fact that the WWE kept this employee on staff after such an incident is remarkable. That part of the story is going to hurt if this story blows up in the press. The Latino market make up a big part of the WWE audience. This is a story the WWE will probably want to keep quiet. It will be interesting to see who moves first in the upcoming weeks.

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Strange Circumstances Surround Alberto Del Rio’s WWE Release

August 11, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The more details that emerge surrounding Alberto Del Rio’s WWE release, the more strange this story gets. New details have garnered ADR some sympathy and are putting the WWE in some real hot water.

The wrestling was stunned last week when Alberto Del Rio was released by the WWE. Guys at Alberto’s level aren’t often released without good reason by the WWE, especially at a time when the company is razor thin on heels. Now that the dust has started to settle, accolades are quickly turning to criticism and anger towards the WWE.

Here is what we knew at the time. Alberto was reportedly released after a physical altercation with a non-wrestler employee. Alberto reportedly got physical with someone who worked on the social media end of the company. Rumors were swirling but none of the earlier reports had ample detail or confirmation to be taken as facts.

A few days later details were reported by several sources which gave credence to some of the earlier reports and painted a better picture on others. It was at this point fans and media took a step back and wondered why this was playing out as it was.

According to some reports, a social media manager was asked to clean off his plate in catering, which says a lot to me about how this employee conducts himself at work. The employee remarked that it was “Del Rio’s job”, an obvious racial slur aimed at Del Rio’s Latino ethnicity. The “joke” got back to Del Rio who confronted this employee and demanded an apology. Allegedly the employee didn’t apologize and was slapped by Del Rio. ADR was released shortly thereafter.

While nobody can condone Del Rio physically assaulting anyone, it is hard not to empathize with him. I can certainly understand why the WWE needed to take action but if these circumstances are true, dismissal seems like an overreaction although to be fair their hands may have been tied legally. Even stranger is that this employee is allegedly still with the company. Where I come from, a racist joke is grounds for suspension or termination, especially when it is directed towards one of the guys keeping the lights on. What is even stranger is that the WWE Twitter account took shots at Del Rio after this happened, retweeted by Triple H. Considering the actions of the social media manager, those actions are just downright strange.

I mentioned in an earlier blog post that I think Del Rio’s contractual status had something to do with action. Del Rio’s contract was coming due and he reportedly was planning on leaving the company. The WWE were well aware of this and have had an axe to grind with him over it. I wonder what would have happened if Del Rio was planning to stay? reported that Del Rio has immediate interest from Triple A and of all places TNA Wrestling. Del Rio could be a last minute Hail Mary attempt by TNA to create buzz and interest in hopes that Spike either changes their minds to renew or another network takes a shot. Otherwise it makes absolutely no sense to me why they would pursue someone at high dollar knowing that their future is in serious jeopardy.

Regardless, this is turning out to be a much bigger story. The WWE is slowly starting to get media attention for the story. Unfortunately for them the media attention is for the racist joke and apparent tolerance and not for SummerSlam or RAW. Keep an eye on this one. If the wrong group decides to make a cause out of this, it could get ugly quickly for the WWE.

Be a star!

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Jack Swagger, Tag Teams and Other Wrestling Thoughts

August 11, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

It’s a good thing to have someone in the wrestling business fighting for Old Glory again. The idea to make Jack Swagger a “Real American” in terms of fighting for his country and having the thousands in attendance each week cheering for the USA is one of the trademark spot of the older wrestling generation.

Whether it was Hulk Hogan or Sgt. Slaughter or Jim Duggan, there has always been someone to jump at the chance to fight for the country he loves and create controversy. But what happens when the man who fights for our country doesn’t have anyone to fight anymore?

The program between Swagger and Rusev has been good for the WWE over the past month, but it should end at SummerSlam. What happens to Swagger then? Fan support in this case is not as much for Swagger as it is for Zeb Colter, who has tugged at the heartstrings of the WWE Universe. What combination or individual comes in and takes Rusev’s role as antagonist? Wrestling used to be famous for that. The Iron Sheik. Nikolai Volkoff, and Ivan Koloff were famous for challenging America and challenging the faces of promotions – generating heat from the crowds during the era of Kayfabe – and guaranteed bank at the gate.

Unfortunately, I do not see Swagger doing that for the WWE, mainly because there is not as much charisma in his talent and act as there is in his manager. Maybe a program with Kofi Kingston, who we finally may see turn heel, or Big E makes more sense. If the WWE wants to tweak Swagger’s character more, that would make plenty of sense.

TNA Rewind
This coming week, the Hardy’s and Team 3D will meet again in another historic tag team match. Whether you want to admit it or not, if you want to see “good” tag team wrestling outside the Uso’s or Rhodes brothers, turn the channel on your television on Thursday nights.

While the contract with Spike Television does not run out until October, Impact wrestling has turned up its game in the tag team division and has brought two great matches in three weeks to Thursday night.

If the match with Bully Ray and Devon is half as good as the match between the Hardy’s and The Wolves, there may still be some hope for TNA keeping its contract with the current cable channel.

Goodbye, Farewell
I am not going to rehash anything that has already been said about the release of Alberto Del Rio other than I am not bothered by his release. What I can say is this, the WWE is a business and a publically traded one. It acted like a business and did what was best for business.

Personally, I did not like the character from the start and thought Del Rio was stale and boring and dropped from a heavyweight to a lightweight in a nanosecond within the company. Part of that problem became evident when Del Rio became a world champion first and did not work his way up the WWE food chain.

Happy Birthday Hulk Hogan
And finally, a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Hulk Hogan. The 61-year-old Hogan continues to be part of the center of the wrestling world. This past week Hogan announced that he would entertain the idea of wrestling at WrestleMania 31 – his opponent none other than John Cena.

While this would be the ultimate “passing of the torch” I beg the WWE and the wrestling world to not allow this to happen in any way, shape or form.

If this is the WWE’s idea of replacing Undertaker on the card with a match like this, then the ultimate “jumping the shark” event will take place and ruin everything the company is doing to change the culture of the business. JUST SAY NO!

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Alberto Del Rio’s WWE Release Is Good For Everyone

August 11, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

For those of you who haven’t heard, former WWE and World Heavyweight Champion Alberto del Rio has been released by the WWE.

Rumor has it (according to Ring of Honor founder and RF Video President Rob Feinstein’s Facebook page) that Del Rio was “100% let go” because of an incident that took place at Tuesday’s Smackdown! tapings in Laredo, Texas.

Apparently, Del Rio had a run-in with a .com employee. Things were said and Del Rio reportedly slapped him.

This has fueled rumors as to why it happened – the biggest being that Del Rio wanted out of his contract early since he has been doing nothing of note anyway and this was his way of getting it – but the prevailing thing to take away from this is that it’s for the best.

As I said above, Del Rio has been treading water for the last little while. He shows up, has his match, hits his spots and he’s gone again. He hasn’t had a significant storyline in ages and doesn’t seem like he was going to get one any time soon, either. Unless you count “holding the cross arm-breaker for too long” as doing something of note, that is. In which case he’s been doing that all day, every day.

This is for the best. Del Rio is a fantastic performer…in the ring. He has the capability of putting on a fantastic match with anyone at any time and is probably one of the more underrated in-ring performers going today simply due to his lack of a push or any real storylines.

But the simple fact of the matter is that Del Rio was too boring to really elevate in the WWE. Even during his greatest feuds, he struggled to make an impact on the mic as basically the Hispanic JBL. He could get his point across just fine, but conveying it an interesting manner was not his forte. Think about it for a second: Dean Ambrose can turn “I want to destroy your face, Seth Rollins” into a compelling, passionate and interesting promo that leaves you clamoring for more. Del Rio could cut that same promo, but it would be missing the passion and the over-the-top attitude WWE’s best have on the mic. Del Rio is just there to tell you “I don’t like this guy” in so many words before he can get to doing what he does best.

And really, how was he ever supposed to be a character people would clamor for (or to hate) if he can’t convey his message in a way that captivates the audience? In wrestling, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a heel or face: if you can make yourself interesting and different, fans will love and appreciate you whether they’re supposed to be booing or cheering you. With Del Rio, fans just had an appreciation for his in-ring abilities but could never get behind the character. He was just Hispanic JBL until the bell rang. We get it, you’re a rich jerk. Now add some layers.

All of that is leaving out the fact that he pretty much wrestles one guy for months on end even without a story in place. Want to see Del Rio vs Kofi Kingston? Here you go, 400 times in a row. Liked Del Rio vs Sheamus? Good, because that’s the only match you’ll get for the next six months.

Ultimately, Del Rio’s departure works out for everyone. He didn’t need the money, really – he was wealthy already thanks to his success in Mexico – and wasn’t being used in a way that justifies his in-ring talent. Meanwhile, we’re spared from another boring “paint by numbers” ADR promo and a match ending featuring him holding the cross arm-breaker after the bell because grrr, he’s a mean guy.

I wish Alberto the best in his future endeavors and thank the heavens that I won’t have to see him wrestle Dolph Ziggler 14,000 more times.

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WWE Fires Alberto Del Rio For Unprofessional Conduct

August 07, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Ricardo Rodriquez may have a chance to reunite with Alberto Del Rio sooner than he expected. Unfortunately it won’t be in the WWE as the company officially parted ways with Del Rio on Thursday.

News broke late Thursday afternoon that Del Rio had been released from his contract. put up a brief statement that reads as follows.

“WWE announced the release of Alberto Del Rio due to unprofessional conduct and an altercation with an employee.”

There aren’t a whole lot of details out about the alleged altercation but there are a number of rumors floating around. According to several unconfirmed reports, Del Rio had a physical altercation with someone who works on the website or in social media for the company. At some point the altercation turned physical which resulted in Del Rio being terminated.

On the surface this seems like an overreaction from the company. At the same time the WWE is a corporation and corporations have zero tolerance for that kind of behavior. This could also be as a result of a lawsuit a former employee brought against the WWE last year which alleged that he was attacked by the Big Show.

Del Rio spent five years with the WWE. He came into the WWE in 2009 with a big contract and high expectations. Del Rio immediately started off his tenure with a bit of controversy. Del Rio had told media upon signing that he would go directly to the main roster, yet he did wind up going to FCW and spent some time in FCW before heading to the main roster.

Del Rio received a mega-push when he came up to the main roster. Del Rio was reportedly Vince McMahon’s favorite wrestler on the roster during that time period. Del Rio won the 2011 Royal Rumble and went on to wrestle Edge at WrestleMania 27. Timing worked against him here as Edge got hurt and plans to put the WWE world heavyweight title on him were scrapped and he wound up moving to RAW while the company figured out what to do with him. Unfortunately bad timing would be Del Rio’s biggest obstacle and rear its ugly head again.

Del Rio finally bounced back and won Money in the Bank. He was just starting to get his momentum back when something happened nobody expected. The Summer of Punk knocked Del Rio right out of his spot. The company hit on something that summer with CM Punk and Del Rio was once again an odd man out. Del Rio eventually won the title but the fans wanted Punk and Del Rio’s momentum had finally come to a screeching halt.

Unfortunately for Del Rio he was never able to capture that magic he had on his way to WrestleMania 27. Numerous start-stop angles and feuds relegated Del Rio to just a “regular guy” on the cards. Even his big babyface turn was botched when after turning him babyface the company booked him in a match against John Cena, turning him babyface again but this time against perennial jobbers 3MB. Many have called this one of the worst booked babyface turns in WWE history.

Del Rio has bounced around from mid-card to headliner in recent years yet again never reaching the level of success he had when he arrived. Somehow he managed to creep back into the main-event recently at Money in the Bank. It had been rumored that Del Rio was planning on leaving when his contract expired in the near future. Some are already citing that was the reason for the WWE’s short leash on Del Rio as a result of this incident.

I really enjoyed Del Rio during his initial run but never felt he lived up this potential in the ring. I can’t recall many Del Rio matches that I thought were very good or show stealers. I did enjoy his matches with Dolph Ziggler and his Mania 27 match with Edge, other than that all of his matches were pretty bland.

That said it is a big loss to a company who is struggling to find top heels. Del Rio may not have been a top guy but he was a heel you could plug in at any time. It should also be pointed out with Rey Mysterio’s career winding down, the company is now even more desperate for a Latino star.

Don’t be surprised to see Del Rio and Rodriguez hit the convention circuit in the near future.

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