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CheapShots: Is There Redemption For Alberto Del Rio?

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Alberto Del Rio
Cheap Shots are unfiltered, uncensored opinions, and those opinions reflect only the author!

Alberto Del Rio has been in the headlines for a number of a reasons in the past year. None of them being wrestling related. From his on again off again turbulent relationship with WWE Superstar Paige to his no show acts at Impact wrestling, it seems that drama follows the Mexican superstar wherever he goes.

Del Rio started his wrestling under the respect name that his father, Dos Cara wrestled under. By going under the ring name Dos Cara Jr. Achieving success in both Mexico and Japan. With more exclusive work under the widely popular Mexican promotion AAA in the early 2000s. As well as CMLL .Usually having to save his father from and having feuds with El Texano and Pirata Morgan. He also wrestled for various Japanese promotions such as Battlart, Zero1, and AJPW.

In 2008, Del Rio sparked the interest of the WWE, wrestling dark matches for them, while still being signed to CMLL. It wasn’t until 2010 that Del Rio made his first appearance on the main roster on Friday night Smackdown. Presenting the character of Alberto Del Rio, a rich, arrogant, Mexican aristocrat. Facing off against lucha icon Rey Mysterio. Del Rio defeated him with his signature armbreaker submission.

The character of Del Rios cockiness wasn’t far from the real personality of Del Rio. He would come out in a suit and signature white scarf announcing that “My name is Alberto Del Rio, but you already knew that.” His feud with Rey Mysterio was and is the most memorable in my opinion of all. Having two Mexican superstars of that stature going head to head with Del Rio’s amazing heel work promos was something that can not be denied. His brawler style mixed with his luchador background would shine having memorable matches like the 2010, TLC against Edge, Kane and Rey Mysterio. 2011 MITB Ladder Match ultimately winning that match, his feuds with John Cena and CM Punk and even some chemistry with Christian over the World Heavyweight Championship that catapulted Christians championship journey. Del Rio would go on to achieve many accolades, winning the World Heavyweight Championship twice, the 2011 Royal Rumble and the 2011.

Del Rio was fired from WWE in 2014 after an altercation with a staff member, but there were many rumblings that Del Rio was upset at the way his organically “over” character was being utilized, while other suggested that it was due to a “racist” joke the staff member made directed at Del Rio.

At this stage you’d probably think Del Rio would get lost in the shuffle of the indie’s scene. He wrestled for ROH feuding with Christopher Daniels and Roderick Strong, WWL, and returning to AAA. It wasn’t until Del Rio signed to Lucha Underground that the superstars capacity to bring a new character to life with the same hard hitting attitude, style of wrestler and arrogance is Alberto El Patron was truly born. El Patron came out and had a chip on his shoulder, towards his previous promoters, towards other wrestlers that he thought were getting over when he should be the one, pretty much towards the world and it was noticeable to fans. It was a breath of fresh air to see a little more of the a harden El Patron than the cockier Del Rio. His first feud after being crowd the new AAA champ against the former champ El Texano Jr in a bullrop match was brutal and showed that El Patron had more to offer than what was given to him in WWE. His feud with another former WWE Superstar John Morrison AKA Johnny Mundo showcased to the wrestling universe that the WWE doesnt always know how to fully utilize their  Superstars. Yet, Del Rio again left Lucha Underground stating that he left due to financial and creative reasoning.

2015 and 2016 did not fair any better for Del Rio has he made a surprise return to the WWE at Hell In A Cell and defeated John Cena for the US Championship. He had a strange gimmick with this win alongside Zeb Colter called the “MexAmerica.” Which seemed to have faded away as fast as it started. He then aligned himself with Sheamus, Wade Barrett, and Rusev to form the League of Nations. It was as big a flop as the alliance with Colter. After losing the US title Del Rio never got the air time or a viable storyline that was rumoured to be promised to him if and when he returned to the WWE.

This is where it gets messy, when it was revealed that Del Rio and Paige were dating in real life it seemed like the WWE was doing everything to keep them apart as Del Rio at this point in his career was known for being a “hoy head.” They were drafted to different brands, but it wasn’t until Paiges neck injury and the substance abuse suspensions that Del Rio and the WWE reportedly parted ways. Del Rio would go on to the indie scene once again, but he was different. He began to publicly name Triple H and Vince McMahon during his promos for different promoters. Insulting the company and its high ups in the process. Even going on girlfriend at the time Paige’s instagram and seemingly making drunken threats towards Triple H to “fight him.” This put neither Paige nor Del Rio in a good light.  Yet Impact [at the time being known as Gobal Force Wrestling under Jeff Jarrett] wrestling was going through an overhaul and needed a draw and Del Rio was it for them. Now when this happened I was confused. Yes, Del Rio is talented, but at this point in his career and personally he was a ticking time bomb. He was a no show at many indie promotions. Had numerous altercations between he and Paige, his own brother, where the police became involved and continue to slander a company that made him recognizable.

Impact seemed that they were in such dire straits that they seemed bend to Del Rio [now El Patron again] will. The same night he debut, he defeated Bobby Lashley for the heavyweight championship. He would relinquish the title due to the controversial win and in the coming weeks face EC3 and Eli Drake for the #1 contender spot. Winning the title and eventually unifying the Impact championship with the Impact championship and yes, it is as confusing as it sounds. He would go on to feud against LAX with his father and brother by his side, but in July of 2017, he would be stripped of the titles and suspended due to a domestic dispute with Paige. In November of 2017, Del Rio would return and interrupt a match between Johnny Impact [Mundo] and Eli Drake. He would go on his rants about promotions being out to get him and being “backstabbers” He had a brief feud with Johnny Impact and the return of Austin Aries before April of 2018 where Impact, that now seemed to find their footing as a Wrestling Organization with the addition of Lucha Underground tale, Del Rio was a no show. He was suppose to face Aries at Impacts Redemption PPV for the heavyweight championship, but was replaced by Pentagon Jr. and Fenix.

Wrestling is a pretty forgiving business for the amount of hiccups that wrestlers go through in careers and depending on the talent a superstar carries and fanbase, a short memory too. It was rumoured that Del Rio was in talks with WWE again, but his “no one can touch me” attitude and no shows to events that make money for the promoters and entice the fans. How can anyone put trust in a man like that? Yes, his skilled at what he does, but his antics and age, [being 40 years old] leave a big question mark on his back. Is he really worth putting a championship belt on and in that regard stating that this is the face of said company? If he does draw attention to a promotion it isn’t for his ability in the ring anymore, it is for the drama he displays outside of the squared circle that may leave people intrigued.

While I stating earlier that wrestler is a forgiving industry to a fault. It is also an industry that is very much aware of its fan base and surroundings of the times. Del Rio has been rumoured to say he is retiring, but is also signed to a contract with AAA again and is stated that he will return for Triplemania XXVI, but will age or attitude be a factor in how far Del Rio goes? Yes, and maybe this is a redemption tour of sorts for him as he has had success in AAA the past. As in all the cases of scorned wrestlers looking for redemption. Time will tell if Del Rio is still a main card draw. 


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MadMan: She’s Handing Out Blues Better Than A Namesake Will

Madman decided to follow his blue dragon back towards the titans! Let’s see what black magic he weaves in this edition.

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Madman decided to follow his blue dragon back towards the titans! Let’s see what black magic he weaves in this edition.

I may not be in regular rotation, but when they give me a chair, I swing for my fences. As a decades-long consumer of the art, I don’t have many left. The only Home Runs WWE has placed within my scope, can be found in Women’s Division on both Monday Night Raw & SmackDown Live.

The year I began watching wrestling, some very interesting circumstances took place surrounding cable television. WTBS; (Atlanta), WAS the home of The NWA’s Jim Crockett Promotions. At least until “Black Saturday,” which ultimately saw Vinnie Jr. Hijack the famous 6:05 time slot. This nearly cause riots among cable viewers opposed to McMahon’s product and presentation.

Though the million dollar ransom The Crocketts paid to get their flagship spot back on the dial gave the head of Titan Sports the backbone to finance WrestleMania, which helped to wreck most of the territories. Hell, it can be argued somewhat convincingly upon its 30th Anniversary, Vince himself ruined his biggest display’s pristine intentions for two consecutive years with Lesnar beating the streak instead of Bray Wyatt; and, Sting losing his ONLY Mania match because someone else had the right bride on their marriage license.

Despite the objections of both smarks and sheep in certain cases, we must respect the history of this pop culture institution. IF WrestleMania is Woodstock, it is only appropriate that Tito Santana opened the show with a victory!

In recent years, there has been only one person on The Main Roster who has matched the swag of Santana’s initial accomplishment without even trying, and she wrestled in the last Mania Match I cared about. Finally got tired of giving fans The Blues. She’s ready to deal some out in the form of steel chairs and God knows what else.

“Cut Her talent LOOSE!” We kept screaming. “A REAL run with Gold, PLEASE?” Like a kid aching just before Christmas. As with Solis, she was a true pro, until the strangest thing I’ve ever seen in the modern art form washed over us.

Fans and insiders alike FORGOT about Social Media! Don’t get me wrong, it’s still here. Can’t get away from it. Hell, I’m doing a roll-in on the internet right now! If you’ve been fans of us long enough, you’ll realize that last sentence was not a botch! Seriously, this thing felt like the territories back in the day. No one knew a damn thing! Even some of those paid to know were flipping a coin every five minutes. Thanks for the constant stress, you ancient prick!

Come on folks. If you know my current wrestling HEART at all, you KNEW the last Chair Shot on her return was coming from her Super Mark in Middle America! When older dudes at this circus describe what true fandom is like; they’ll often say: “That’s bulls***, that’s bulls***, that’s bulls***, BUT THAT’S REAL!”

For her boatloads of fans and the woman herself, Christmas is here! The Stamford’s latest Blues enthusiast is very real, And WWE’s Black Magic Woman IS BACK! Line ’em up. they’re all falling. Charlotte & Ronda too. To The Man and those in charge of her Twitter Account, thanks for keeping the possibility top of mind when things first got weird. We never gave up, but you will! MISSED YOU LADY BANKS!


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Mad Man’s Spinal Tap & 20 Questions

Back to back weeks we see the Mad Man come to play in our sandbox. Does this article go to 11? Are the retread concepts, just hollow nowadays?

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Back to back weeks we see the Mad Man come to play in our sandbox! Does this article go to 11?

When you have decades of experience watching the art form, your eyes and thought processes change. It’s the reason my colleagues can break down pending news and angles we haven’t seen yet. Mr. Meltzer made a cottage industry out of it. A ton of people on The Internet are trying to follow suit. Then, there are fans like me. As much as I love twitter, Professional Wrestling fans were never meant to receive “spoilers” every day.

This is NOT a “Back in my day…” thing. My eyes have changed too. However, I am focused more on WWE’s calendar when watching Stamford’s offering. If I think about wrestling. it’s very simple. My suspension of disbelief is gone for very few performers. In fact, I would say it’s gone for most fans. If we know it’s a work, why are scripts and outcomes still based on the assumption that we don’t? If I have seen a gimmick before, I am VERY hard to impress. Make me believe you can beat somebody; and stand out doing so, or I will chew you up and spit you the Hell out.

For those who say I should keep my mouth shut because I can’t perform and never have, I DON’T CARE! Saint Dave gets a pass, and y’all still watch the current product like his lap dogs and clones, despite “knowing’ the outcome? I don’t watch for the outcome anymore. Based on character development and pushes, I can see that coming. Call me a hypocrite and I will play 20 Questions with you. Can you get me to the finish line without looking like an idiot or a laughable copy of someone else?

Su Yung is 5’6’’ish. Marks and sheep world wide are transfixed and petrified? Make up aside, why? She is impersonating three legends with no unique move set and doing it very badly. Without her zombies, can she beat anybody? Mr. Calloway used druids. He was 6’10’’ and did not need them to kick your ass. Mick Foley put himself and you through HELL before using The Mandible Claw. You had no choice but to take it. The Great Muta was arguably the best Rising Sun performer of all time. He had a move set most American fans had never seen before. The Mist was believable in his hands because audience and opponent were spinning trying to keep up with him. Where is Su Yung’s Mysticism? As much as fans love her, there are no OMG moments in her matches, and her gimmick is predicated on them.

She is far from the only example. Twitter went crazy about a month ago because a top name on the indies put something in her opponent’s mouth during a match. Outside of a prison fight, when would this EVER HAPPEN? Why is this necessary? If this is a work, why would any girl allow someone to do this? Tell me why either woman gets hired again without the parrot response? Same question applies to Joseph. Dude ain’t pickin’ up anybody like that in real life. I dare him to pick my wheelchair up with his finish. He would be in traction.

Tony Schiavone is our crazy wrestling fan uncle. Our memories of him when we were kids and teenagers all ROCK! He is without question one of the best to ever call the action. God Bless Conrad Flair for bringing him back to the art form. Among other fun stuff, he now does commentary for MLW. With tongue firmly planted in cheek; I must say, I have a slight problem with him. I understand that it is his job. He continues to put MJF over because?? I get the gimmick. It’s just OLD! He is ripping off The Miz. One look at him, and you can see that. “I have more money than you.” So did DiBiase. And if you did, you wouldn’t need the $50.00 a night you made before Tony started calling your matches because you’d be paying him. Just wait until Mike retires before you go to New York.

Finally, we arrive at the biggest tent. Vinnie’s circus was on The West Coast in The House of Hot Rod & Billy Jack Haynes. Sheep under 25 are now asking a three-worded question. The only help you’ll get from me is to say that he may have been the father of Modern Independent Wrestling. Sometimes, it wasn’t his choice, and he is still fighting demons today.

Back to this week. Didn’t Spinal Tap all stand in the Center Ring around a month ago and do a babyface promo? “It’s our fault. We’ll do better for you. This is YOUR product.” First, I believe Stephanie as a babyface as much as I believe Saint Richard as a babyface. Shut up and go home as a shoot. Second, as big a moron as Vince is, he’s NOT leaving the person carrying the big top out of WrestleMania! Outside of the obvious, Becky’s leg is a work. SHE WAS LIMPING ON THE WRONG ONE ON MONDAY! Seth Rollins is hurt as a shoot. He WASN’T at Monday Night Raw. If Becky wasn’t cleared, she wouldn’t be on either show. So WHY is everybody going apes*** over this?

Sometimes, I can’t tell which group is Spinal Tap?

Is it the group on stage or the sheep who believe what they’re watching? I truly wish this art form was treated more like real competition.


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