World Heavyweight champion Alberto Del Rio successfully retained his title against No. 1 contender Jack Swagger Sunday night at WrestleMania 29 via his cross armbreaker submission.
Del Rio was able to beat his foe, defend his title and avenge the broken ankle of his longtime friend Ricardo Rodriguez, who was brutally attacked by Swagger on March 18.
The victory also continues Del Rio’s recent success as the face world champion for the WWE, and a win on the biggest stage of them all cements his spot as the new Latino icon for the company.
With Rey Mysterio possibly facing the end of his career (h/t Wrestling Inc.), the WWE is making the conscientious effort to build the current champion as a bona fide star whom one of the company’s key demographics can get behind.
Del Rio is not the most entertaining wrestler on the microphone, but with great in-ring skills and a genuinely entertaining mouthpiece in Rodriguez, the world champion is still one of the biggest stars in the WWE.
It will be interesting to see where the company goes with Del Rio and the World Heavyweight Championship now, but the impact of a WrestleMania victory will forever change the way the WWE Universe views the champion.
As for Swagger, the returning star was built perfectly leading into this match.
Not only was his No. 1 contendership victory at Elimination Chamber a huge step in the right direction for his character, but the addition of Zeb Colter as his manager and a xenophobic gimmick also got people talking about him.
Too bad Swagger screwed up royally and got arrested for DUI (h/t TMZ).
Whether or not the arrest played a role in Swagger’s loss at WrestleMania is a question that likely will never be answered, but there is little doubt that the ultra-conservative angle lost much of its steam when Swagger was arrested.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Swagger removed from TV for a month after the WWE’s marquee show to serve a possible suspension, but there is a chance that won’t happen if the company wants to continue this feud.
If the WWE is dead set on having another chapter in this battle—the WWE is rumored to be leaning that way (h/t Wrestling Inc.)—we could see another world title match between these two men at Extreme Rules.
The interest around the duo’s WrestleMania match was much lower than the WWE expected (especially after the company’s tiff with political analyst Glenn Beck), but another bout with a stipulation added should spark more interest in this rivalry.
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