Would Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler for the World Title Be a Good WWE Feud?

Tom Clark@tomclarkbrFeatured ColumnistJanuary 19, 2013

photo by wwe.com
photo by wwe.com

Alberto Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler crossed paths on this past Friday Night SmackDown, when The Showoff decided to interrupt the World Heavyweight Champion in the ring.  

Alberto’s “Fiesta Del Rio” began as a party to celebrate his newly won title belt, but ultimately ended when he and Sheamus defeated Ziggler and Big Show in the main event. The question is, would Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler be a good feud for WWE?

This one should actually not come as much of a surprise to anyone, mostly because of the blue briefcase that Dolph has been carrying around since July of last year.  

The prize won at WWE Money in the Bank guarantees him a World Championship match at the moment of his choosing, and has effectively made him the No. 1 contender since the moment he pulled the case down from high atop the ladder.

Of course if not for the briefcase, there is a very good chance that you wouldn’t know he was a contender at all.

It’s not as if he doesn’t carry it well.  The fact is that Ziggler is one of the best hands in the company, a guy who is fundamentally sound in the ring and brings it every time he steps through the ropes.  

He has earned the reputation of being a very hard worker, someone who does what they’re told and puts all of himself into every match he wrestles.  On paper at least, Dolph Ziggler is definitely World Championship material.

But only on paper.

For me, the problem is that Dolph’s win/loss record has never been all that consistent.  He is up one week and down the next, it’s actually very hard to know which Ziggler we will see at any given time.

Not exactly the guy you want representing the company with the big gold belt.

Of course we all know the deal, this is not on Ziggler’s head.  Again, he is merely doing what he is told to do.

But at some point, for Dolph to be taken seriously, he has to start winning.  And by winning I don’t mean a victory on Monday Night Raw, then another victory on SmackDown the following week.  I mean winning, as in when you see him come down the ramp, you instinctively know that he will have his arm raised in the end.

And that means no more matches with John Cena.

Don’t panic Cena fans, I assure you, I am not a “hater.”  I am not preparing to go off on some crazy tirade about how every time John kicks out of 7 to 10 high-impact finishers in a row then gets up to hit his 5 moves and win with a smile on his face, he is killing Dolph’s potential main-event career.

Perish the thought.

I am only saying that every time John kicks out of 7 to 10 high impact finishers in a row then gets up to hit his 5 moves and win with a smile on his face, he is killing Dolph’s potential main event career.

That’s all.

Perhaps it was just incredibly bad timing on WWE’s part, to have paired up Dolph with Cena.  After all, John does win nearly every time he’s booked and Dolph needs to eventually start heading in that direction to one day be considered among the elite of the company.  These two perhaps should have not crossed paths yet, and it should probably not happen again for a while.

But now that Alberto Del Rio is in the picture as World Heavyweight Champion, is The Showoff moving on to something that will actually help him get where he needs to be?

I see some of you shaking your heads.  Jeez, so negative.

From my perspective, there are two issues with this feud, and neither one of them are very favorable for either guy.

The first is the fact that Del Rio has been babyface for all of 10 minutes and he is still working on getting over in that new role.  While a program with a heel like Ziggler would be good for the champ, most fans believe that eventually Dolph is cashing in the case and winning the World Title.

And if that happens on Alberto, then that could possibly ruin any chance he had at establishing himself as a credible face.  At that point, Del Rio’s character could very well look into the crowd and blame them for his loss, turning him heel once again.

While some fans may not have an issue with that outcome, I personally believe that Del Rio should be given a chance to get over as a babyface.  And flip-flopping might be fine for politicians, but it could damage Del Rio’s character.  How could anyone take him seriously after that?

The second issue is that Dolph would go from working John Cena (the face of WWE and the top guy in nearly every way) to working Alberto Del Rio.  Again, Del Rio is just settling in as a babyface World Champion and while that is a good spot to be in, he’s not widely considered to be the kind of worker that can help make another guy.

In other words,  John could have helped Dolph perhaps a little more and Alberto is still needing to help himself.  

Don’t get me wrong here, if Del Rio and Ziggler’s SmackDown confrontation does indeed evolve into a feud over the World Championship, I believe it would be a good one.  One of the positive aspects of it is the fact that this is Del Rio’s first time as a face, so there is some unknown territory here for fans.  

Alberto is no pushover in the ring and neither is Ziggler, so they could likely have a very solid series of matches.  And with the World Title at stake, anything could happen.

Fans often talk about the future direction of WWE.  Where is the company headed?  Which Superstars will have the great rivalries of tomorrow?  Perhaps with Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio, we are seeing one materialize right in front of us today.

Just leave John Cena out of it.  Dude is still smiling.


This piece is No. 500 for me here on Bleacher Report.  To anyone who took the time to read this, or any other column I have written here, I humbly say thank you.