michael dworkis looks at ADR’s title reign and what it can mean in the long run…
Alberto del Rio is no newcomer to WWE. This is not even his first title run. Having held the WWE Championship twice already, being a main event titleholder is where The Mexican Aristocrat needs to be.
Before defeating The Big Show this week for the World Title, the stylin’ and profilin’ Mexican Master of the Mat spent quite a long time on the undercard, facing off mostly with Randy Orton in a feud that many would describe as “bland” or “repetitive” and even “boring.” This is true. Alberto del Rio actually had more wins over Orton, and instead of the WWE Universe looking as this as another push for the Mexican Aristocrat, it was looked at a burial of Orton. Not that far from the truth, honestly, since Orton has done a whole lot of nothing in the past year.
When Alberto del Rio made his debut, he became an instant star. Having an ego like Rick “The Model” Martel and the bravado of “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig, he immediately found himself in the main event spotlight. Rightfully so, able to wrestle like one of the great mat-based technical stars of the past.
SummerSlam was the place for his first WWE Title win. On August 14th, 2011, Del Rio cashed in his Money in the Bank contract, right after CM Punk defeated John Cena to become the rightful owner of the WWE title. Punk was powerbombed by an interfering Kevin Nash right after the match, which allowed Alberto to cash in for the quick pinfall to win his first WWE Title. He lost it in just a month to John Cena at Night of Champions, but regained it at Hell in the Cell in early October to start his second title reign. Unfortunately, that reign also lasted just a month, losing the title to CM Punk who has held the WWE Title since then.
Although no longer champion, Del Rio continued to feud with the top stars. However an injury would sideline him for two months. When he returned in 2012, he went right back to work, feuding with Sheamus over the World Championship for the majority of the year, all the way until September, when his feud with Orton began. After a long and rather uneventful feud, Orton had the last laugh with a final victory over Alberto, it was obvious a major change was needed to keep his stardom.
At the Tables, Ladders, and Chairs pay-per-view event, Alberto del Rio turned babyface and teamed with The Miz and The Brooklyn Brawler to defeat 3MB, and did that again the following night on Raw with The Miz and Tommy Dreamer. Now a fan-favorite, Alberto found a whole new roster of challengers to contend with. Fans firmly behind him, Del Rio began to feud with Big Show, and for a while it seemed that Del Rio was going to be nothing more than fodder for the giant World Heavyweight Champion… until this past week.
In a Last Man Standing match, Alberto del Rio with Ricardo Rodriguez at ringside defeated the Largest Athlete in the World to become the World Heavyweight Champion. Clean. No interference. Celebrating his title win with the fans, truly a new chapter in the career of Alberto del Rio has begun.
The big pink elephant in the room asks: Will Alberto del Rio be able to hold the title for more than a month? With the Royal Rumble just weeks away, The Big Show will surely get his rematch at the PPV.
Do not forget about the wild card.
I am talking about Mr. Money in the Bank, Dolph Ziggler…which we will discuss in tomorrow’s column!