Something has been on my mind for a couple weeks now, watching Raw tonight it finally has bubbled to the surface enough to get me to write an article here about it. I’ve been thinking for a while now about who Alberto Del Rio has been reminding me of lately, and when I paid attention to his music again tonight it really struck me again who it is that I’ve been comparing him to, rather unfairly I must say. While he’s not really BAD in the ring, he’s not great either, he’s talented and nobody can deny that one but he’s not GREAT. I’ve watched his matches, he’s worked some solid bouts over his time in WWE, but he’s yet to really impress me with anything I’ve seen from him. He’s also one of the more boring people I’ve seen on the mic in quite some time. Ryback may be horrible, but at least he’s got enough energy to make you laugh, Del Rio doesn’t even get that much.
Tonight I decided that the person I’ve been thinking of when seeing Del Rio is none other than Kurt Angle. The music got me hooked on it, I remember Kurt originally having his horns blaring as his entrance music for so long as the heel character he played in the original, annoying, three I’s phase of his WWE career. Once he turned face he got his music amped up a bit, they added guitars, some drums, and power behind it to get the fans to actually like the sound of it instead of the boring horns he originally had been using. Del Rio now has his music amped up with that James Johnston rock touch, in a ploy to get the fans to actually pay attention to him and enjoy his entrance theme. While it worked for Angle, I don’t see it ever working for Alberto Del Rio, he’s just not the star that you need to be in order to be one of, if not THE top guy in the business.
Another thing that makes me think of Angle is the mixture of MMA and amateur wrestling into his arsenal in the ring. He’s got moves, he can put on a decent enough match in the ring with just about anyone, but how many times have you actually said “I can’t WAIT to see that matchup between Alberto Del Rio” and anybody? My money is on never, while I could be wrong, I’m willing to bet that I’m dead on with that guesstimation. Kurt Angle on the other hand, I can’t really think of many matches, if any, that I HAVEN’T been able to say “I’m really looking forward to/interested in seeing Kurt Angle” against pretty much anyone in the entire business today, tomorrow, or yesterday. I guess Kurt just has that IT factor that we hear so much about in the world of pro wrestling where Alberto just doesn’t. He may be a legend in Mexico and descended from royalty in the world of Lucha Libre, he doesn’t seem to have what it takes to be a major draw in the states.
While he may have started off flat, slow, and even boring at times on the mic Kurt Angle eventually got to the point of being able to put together one hell of a promo while working in WWE. His little “Three I’s” speech became a running comedic gag at one point, but he started to draw people in with his charisma, personality, and just his attitude toward the business. Alberto Del Rio is NOT pulling this off to this point in his career. I’ve yet to have a single time where Alberto took a mic and cut a promo that kept me hooked burned into the mind any points that he was intending to get across to a crowd. The only entertaining point to Alberto Del Rio and a microphone would be his ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez. All he has to do is introduce his “boss” and he gets a pop from the crowd, Del Rio on the other hand couldn’t get a pop if he announced he would be dropping a million bucks from the rafters to all the fans in attendance.
I know the gimmick was originally intended to be a bit of a rehash of the old JBL gimmick but he’s transitioned from that into what I’ve been saying to this point. Bradshaw was an incredible talent and one of the best people to pick up a mic when he hit his heel role, I absolutely loved his run as champion on Smackdown, but he never changed into the face role so there’s no real way to compare him to the current Del Rio character. Angle, on the other hand, went from heel to face and back many times in his career; I’m not really all that sure Del Rio has the ability to do that in his career. I may be coming off a bit harsh here, but this is my honest feeling on the entire scenario, the man just doesn’t seem to be worth all the effort they’re putting into trying to make him a top draw in the business. So tonight I’ve answered the age old question (well, 20 minutes old anyway) of what do you get when you take Kurt Angle and drain about half his talent and three quarters of his charisma? You get Allllllllberrrrrrtooooooooo Delllllllllll Riiiiiiiiiiiooooooooooooooooooooooo.