Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Alberto del Rio Loves You, Why Don't You Love Him Back?

He's pretty awesome... BAAAAHT... chu already knew that.
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Last night, RAW opened with two momentous occasions. One, Triple H ceded the ring after a mere 9 minutes of air-time and probably 7 minutes of him talking, which is a record low for him. Two, the person he ceded the ring to, Alberto del Rio, cut one hell of a celebratory promo after his WWE Championship win the night before at SummerSlam. I was so enamored with his sly delivery, his sarcastically friendly tone of voice belying the utter cockiness and disdain he had in the content of his words. The facial expressions that go along with it, how insincere they are in the face of his true intention, are among the best that I've seen.

A lot of people trashed the promo last night, and that's alright. Nobody's perfect Everyone has their own opinion of how promos resonate with them, and I can respect that as a guy who has his own quirky opinions. That being said, some of those criticisms baffled me. The first criticism is that he's too comedic. There is an air of glibness to his delivery that I think can be confused with that of a caricature. I mean, he does reside in the trappings of being a Mexican JBL or Million Dollar Man. It's easy to see how he can come off as a parody, but at the same time, think about it for a second. Mexican Million Dollar Man. Doesn't that sound funny to you? Traditional Mexican gimmicks include masked luchadors, guys who say "HEY I'M FROM MEXICO AND... uh... viva la raza?" and the rarely visited, highly insensitive stereotype of the Mexican migrant worker who hangs out in the Home Depot parking lot. I'd say the fact that he's treading new ground gives him a lot of leeway here.

So what does that have to do with his over-comedic stylings? Well, I think rather than looking at him like a traditional wrestling caricature, I look at him as I'd imagine someone who's rich would act, at least a rich maniacal supervillain. Okay, that doesn't help the caricature argument, but then again, who said being a caricature was a bad thing? The promos are good, the delivery works with the character and he's getting a great response from the live crowds. I don't see it as comedy (even if he's exaggerating his character), but more as a guy really getting into his character. He's swarthy, he's cocky, he's sly and he takes joy in crushing those who get in his way. If that's not the recipe for a great villain, I don't know what is.

Of course, none of that matters if the execution is bad. Yeah, I know. That's a matter of taste. AND MY TASTE IS BETTER THAN YOURS Still, how can I not like a guy who walks around like he owns the place, has his own cars and opulent ring entrances and his own ring announcer, and does it all so smooth and slyly amusing at the same time? Plus, the dude can wrestle. Seriously, that match with Mysterio last night was as good as anything on SummerSlam, and SummerSlam was one of the best pure wrestling cards of the year.

So yeah, you guys can all go to hell continue enjoying guys who aren't Alberto del Rio. However, I get the feeling that he's going to be around for a long time. And I for one can't be any happier.

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