Superstar Spotlight: El Jefe Está De Vuelta!

Bill Pritchard

Superstar Spotlight

Alberto Del RioFor those people living under a rock this past week, Alberto Del Rio beat Big Show on Friday Night Smackdown for the World Heavyweight Championship. Alberto looked great in his Last Man Standing match against the former champion, and that night really drove home the fact that WWE is pushing him as a face. Alot has been said about Alberto running over Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, but I think it was just a case of him being the guy who drives to the ring, and they maybe pretaped it too early and his character wasn't supposed to turn yet. Whatever you want to say about that, I ask you to go back and watch RAW and listen to the pop he got. It was a very loud ovation, which is very good considering that people complained about hearing crickets when he used to go out there.

I like the idea behind Alberto's debut and reason for being with WWE. His destiny was to win the World Heavyweight Championship / WWE Championship. Simple enough for me. He beat Rey Mysterio when he debuted and looked be on his way to great things, and although the push was there, the reaction wasn't. I mentioned that people complained about the lack of pop, and to some extent it's true, but I wouldn't say it wasn't silent. Alberto won the title a few times, but he was never really given a fair shot and being a good champion like CM Punk, who happened to beat him for the WWE Championship. Hopefully now Alberto gets a fair shot now, but I was wrong about a dominant Big Show run (I thought they would push him to Mania with the title) so I could be wrong again. I heard anything from Dolph cashing in on him to just being a transitional champion for Randy Orton, but the fact remains they need to make as much good use out of Alberto's title reign as they can.

Like I already mentioned, Alberto got a heck of a pop on Monday night, it may have even been surprising to some. I think him being a new face and beating Big Show helps, but you need to give credit to Ricardo Rodriguez being at his side. Ricardo works so well with Alberto, and some of the best comedy spots last year involved Ricardo, or Alberto coming to the aid of Ricardo. Who remembers Ricardo's Royal Rumble entrance? I do. I watched a few fan videos from that night, and they boo Alberto's music when it cues up, but cheer and laugh when Ricardo steps out of his hooptie wagon. It was a great example of showing that Ricardo helped get him over, and it really surprised people in an otherwise 'wasted' Rumble entry.

Little things always go a long way, and I think Alberto gets over by being a face, having Ricardo at his side, and also because he changed up his trunks and added green to them. I know it doesn't seem like much, but it gives that little extra nod that he's a changed guy; I know a few people in the Wrestle Reaction chat room last night agreed. As far the future is concerned, I just hope WWE doesn't screw this opportunity up. I don't specifically mean this title run, but they need to let Alberto break the glass ceiling and get over however he can. He is a good wrestler, he can talk, and now he has the fans on his side. Alberto will go as far as WWE lets him, and they have a chance to build a guy up as everything he talks himself up to be.

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