In recent weeks, the WWE Universe has been turned on its collective ear with the teasing of a face turn for former top heel Alberto Del Rio.
So it was with bated breath that fans tuned into Raw last night to see where Del Rio’s course would go.
But conspicuous by his absence, the Mexican Aristocrat was nowhere to be found.
It is rumored that Del Rio will end up competing for the World Heavyweight title against the Big Show at the Royal Rumble. And while the champ was in fact on Raw, albeit it in an incredibly quick match against Kofi Kingston, Del Rio never made it on television.
Which begs the question: If the company is trying to push him as a legitimate threat to the heels of the company and plans to give him a run at the gold, why was he not utilized at all on the first live episode of Raw in several weeks?
For the two weeks prior to the January 7th edition of Raw, all WWE programming had been previously taped dues to the holidays. It stood to reason that this episode would feature some explosive content that would update and excite the fans that had not been able to tune in over that course of time.
And with a long awaited appearance by The Rock, a WWE Championship match between CM Punk and Ryback and a huge encounter between Dolph Ziggler and John Cena, WWE’s creative team did little to disappoint.
However, Del Rio is being touted as a major player going forward, so his absence was somewhat puzzling.
Wrestling fans can be a fickle animal, and if someone is not on television for even a short time, many people forget the competitors, forget their place or lose focus of their assorted storylines.
Though he will not be easily forgotten or missed, Del Rio is one of the guys that should be featured week to week, especially if the point is to build him up to be a danger to the Big Show, who has made even the most deserving competitors look foolish in recent months.
Sure the character is pompous, entitled and living a high profile lifestyle that most people would greatly envy. But Ric Flair always had those qualities, and he is one of the most beloved performers of all time.
Del Rio is not Flair, nor will he ever likely be, but the point here is that as annoying as he is, and as much heat as he can garner, Del Rio can absolutely be a top face.
He was perhaps one of the most popular performers in Mexico as a face for nearly a decade, and he comes from a lineage of great Mexican wrestling heroes.
But without proper exposure, the character will go nowhere.
If greatness (and the World Heavyweight title) are to be Del Rio’s destiny, he had better be front and center, both in the arena and on the television screen.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!