Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Alberto del Rio Is Only Telling You Things You Already Knew

Baaaaaht... chu already knew that
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Hey, did any of those backstage segments with Alberto del Rio look familiar to you last night? Y'know, the ones where he was going up to Christian and Wade Barrett and Dolph Ziggler and trying to get them to do his dirty work against John Cena? If they didn't, let me introduce you to Sean O'Haire...

In case you missed it for that short time back in the early Aughts, O'Haire was telling people what they already knew, much like del Rio did last night. He was an Internet favorite who really didn't get the juice that other guys at the time were getting, and his character (and eventually job) was scrapped. Shame, because it could have been something. Then again, was he doomed to fail from start? He was saying things that would have made him very popular with crowds, but what was his endgame? He really wasn't programmed with anyone to start, and no one had a real reason to like or dislike him other than the stuff he was saying. Having interesting things to say is good in wrestling, but I think emotional attachment is needed, and in wrestling, conflict equals attachment.

That's where I thought WWE succeeded with del Rio. If you remember back to his debut vignettes, they had somewhat of a similar vibe to them. However, when he debuted, instead of just talking to people without really getting any kind of conflict going, bam, he attacked Rey Mysterio. Simple, to the point and right there, the crowds started to attach themselves to del Rio as someone they hated rather than some guy who was persuasive with no real conflict attached. Furthermore, when del Rio was going around playing the devil's advocate to Christian, Barrett and Ziggler, it wasn't just for jollies like when he convinced Dawn Marie to flash or Brian Kendrick to streak. It was to further his own agenda, to have minions of sorts to soften up John Cena for Night of Champions.

To that end, WWE finally got that character archetype right. While Sean O'Haire was telling people things that they already knew for no apparent reason other than hey, he found it amusing, del Rio is using that manipulation to further his rep as an evil genius. Conflict is key, and storyline progression, even if it's entertaining, is only going to be effective if there's an endgame. While it may have screwed over O'Haire back in 2003, at least another intriguing character type has now been proven effective and can provide some sort of variety to the cast of characters in a company that needs to have it to reach its full potential.

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