Sometimes wrestling is a weird beast that explains away a wrestler’s failures without ever actually doing so. With the fall of Alberto Del Rio being as obvious as as the pain that hits a person when they get a toothache, it is strange that the WWE hasn’t even acknowledged such struggles.
A slight acknowledging of it would be nice. Then again, taking advantage of his talents would be even better.
Sure, Del Rio is a heel. People by and large don’t cheer for heels. That’s understandable. Yet, you would be hard pressed to find people who think he’s awful in the ring or that he lacks some sort of charisma. It is the opposite, as most people do feel he’s more than solid in both areas of his work.
So what in the hell happened to him?
The easiest explanation to this is the dumpster fire that was the League of Nations. A stable comprised of four men who could all be battling at the top of the main event scene did just that, but were only doing so in a way to put over Roman Reigns.
Del Rio’s star dimmed dramatically during that period of time. All of the members of the League of Nations had it happen to them. Save for Rusev, not a single one has recovered since. Sheamus is on a jobbing streak, Barrett is not even with the WWE anymore, and Del Rio has become more an afterthought than an actual talent trotting about the WWE Universe.
Since the League split, Del Rio has been booked in a way that makes it clear the WWE doesn’t currently know what to do with him. He sometimes jobs, but still gets talked about as a former WWE World Heavyweight Champion and as if he’s someone who shouldn’t be trifled with – despite the fact that most people who have trifled with him have come out on top as of late.
With the draft behind us, there’s a better than solid chance Del Rio gets a rebirth of sorts. It would be deserved too, as there aren’t as many guys who play the legitimate heel role better than the Superstar.
Still, one has to hope that it isn’t too late to do so.
Credibility does get lost each time a wrestler goes on a jobbing streak. While it is always a recoverable situation, it tends to take a Herculean effort to return a top tier star back to being on that level after s/he spent the majority of the last year getting walloped by other wrestlers who are best known for being the type who spend more time in the ring laying on their back than anything else.
A lot of second-chances are going to be afforded many a WWE Superstar moving forward. Each brand – SmackDown and Raw – became slightly thinner after Tuesday night. Because of that, guys who were previously not-stars are going to be pushed harder and those lost in the shuffle – a Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler, etc. – should be found.
As for Del Rio specifically, save for Seth Rollins’ version of heel or Rusev’s (though, his is based off xenophobia), there might not be a better true heel than the man who came back to the WWE by beating John Cena upon his reintroduction.
There was a reason for that. You know, because he’s an incredibly talented performer. Here is to hoping the WWE realizes that, and tries to recapture that magic moving forward into a time in pro wrestling where there are “two different” brands of the WWE.