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