Is Alberto Del Rio Ready For WrestleMania?
Elimination Chamber is behind us and the World Championship match at WrestleMania will (at the time of writing) see Alberto Del Rio challenge The Rated R Superstar, Edge. Del Rio outlasted thirty nine men on January 31st in order to claim the opportunity and with forty one days left until the Showcase of the Immortals, the question remains; is Alberto Del Rio ready for such a distinguished spot?
Del Rio first graced our screens on June 25th 2010. The former Dos Caras, Jr. was indistinguishable as Mexican aristocrat, Alberto Del Rio. A brash and arrogant character, Del Rio was seen in person on August 20th, that night he would wrestle his first match as a member of the blue brand against a man who would go on to become a formidable foe, Rey Mysterio. Del Rio and Mysterio feuded for several months, with both men picking up victories along the way. Within his short stay, Del Rio was established as an integral part of the program; carrying himself with the prowess of a long term main event player. Many were soon asking themselves not if, but when would Alberto Del Rio be elevated to the top of the brand and find himself across the ring from the World Champion?
His first opportunity came at the December 19th TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay per view. Del Rio would enter into a four way TLC bout alongside long time rival Rey Mysterio, reigning World Champion Kane and the man he is slated to face at WrestleMania, The Rated R Superstar Edge. Though he came up short, Del Rio proved within the course of the near twenty five minute match that he was capable of handling himself alongside established talent in a big match environment. This however, was only the beginning of his ascension to the top.
After once and for all ending his back and forth rivalry with Rey Mysterio, besting him in a Two out of Three falls bout on January 7th; Del Rio set his sights on the Royal Rumble match. He began proclaiming that it was his destiny to win the Royal Rumble and headline WrestleMania. Most people, took this in jest, knowing that someone bragging about their “destiny” would more than likely end up no where. However, when January 31st arrived and Alberto Del Rio entered the biggest Royal Rumble match in history at number thirty eight, the naysayers were proven wrong as he threw Santino Marella over the top rope and to the floor to earn the biggest victory of his career.
The win came as a shock, considering that for the previous four years former World Champions had won the match. Del Rio’s victory once and for all established a youth movement within World Wrestling Entertainment and with only five months in the company behind him, he found himself with a free pass to the biggest show of the year. Questions soon arose however, with some pondering if Del Rio was ready. There is no answer to the question, just opinion and debate. My two cents, however are this.
Alberto Del Rio is both ready and not.
On one hand, he’s obviously talented with the crowd in the palm of his hand. On the other, his in-ring work has been less than spectacular. On one hand, he’s carries himself with the fearlessness of a champion. On the other, he’s unestablished and somewhat out of his depth.
The list could go on and on but when it comes down to it, come April 3rd, will Alberto Del Rio facing off across the ring from Edge be a sight to behold? I’m not sure. Does the idea of Del Rio walking into Wrestlemania as a challenger and out of it a champion enthral me? No, it doesn’t. However, when all is said and done, do I think that Del Rio will be a mainstay of the promotion for years to come? Yes I do.
The fact of the matter is that nobody knows what to expect, which isn’t a bad thing at all. Del Rio is an X factor in a normally obvious and repetitive landscape. Could he end up having a classic match with Edge that is remembered for the ages? Of course he could. Could he end up having a lacklustre impact and find himself floating around in the mid card in the months to come? Quite possibly.
The best thing about Alberto Del Rio being in the spot he is in is that the possibilities are endless. WWE has found themselves instilling all their faith in an upstart and that is exactly what is needed. Nothing will ever have an opportunity to work unless it’s given one and although Del Rio may have his negative points, he is without a doubt capable of taking the proverbial ball and running with it. So this might be a mistake, this could also be the genesis of the next big superstar in wrestling history. Every negative has a positive attached to it and until all is said and done, until the dust is settled, all we can do is sit back, watch and enjoy.