To be honest, when Alberto Del Rio won the World Heavyweight Championship from Dolph Ziggler at Payback, I was very much against it. Alberto Del Rio has had a number of title reigns before but none of them have lived long in the memory... primarily because they never lasted long at all. Del Rio's first WWE Title reign lasted a month, his second one lasted just over a month and his first WORLD title reign lasted about 3 months. Del Rio was never able to prove himself as a strong world champion losing each of the belts so easily and so quickly. It was starting to be hard to believe that he would become a strong heel main-eventer for years to come. There was only the prestigious Royal Rumble victory in 2011 and his announcer Ricardo Rodriguez that was making Del Rio relevant in WWE anymore.
So I was a little surprised with how WWE has dealt with Del Rio as World Champion since he won it. The way I saw it as soon as he won it was that he was basically on borrowed time as champion. I thought the title victory was just a way to have Del Rio/Ziggler have their little double turn and I figured that at Summerslam or Night of Champions, Del Rio would lose the title. But that doesn't seem like the case (of course, he might still be expected to lose it to Ziggler sometime down the road. We have no way of telling what WWE are planning).
Despite being dominated by Ziggler in the build up to their rematch at Money in the Bank, Del Rio looked REAL strong against Ziggler during their match at the PPV itself. It was a fantastic 15 minute match and there was tremendous chemistry on the night. And even though Ziggler got disqualified, Del Rio still seemed like a strong champion. Del Rio dominated Ziggler most of the match.
Del Rio's match with Christian at Summerslam as well was really well done. For the second time in a row, Del Rio produced on pay-per-view. And here's the thing that I liked about the ending to that match... Del Rio made Christian tap. This makes Del Rio look like a huge deal when a heel like him can actually prove himself as the better man. He's had impressive title defences over Dolph Ziggler and Christian and had brilliant matches with both of them. But after 3 rather pathetic title reigns, what's made this one so good?
For starters, with the WWE Championship and the new heel regime taking most of the storyline focus, there's no major pressure on Del Rio anymore. When he was the WWE Champion in 2011, he had so much pressure on him. He was the top heel in the business and had to act as a representative of the heels but his mic skills were still off at this point.
On the mic when he was put up against the top faces John Cena and CM Punk, he didn't stand a chance. Eventually, he was shifted aside as the top heel in the business after an injury late December 2011. And since then, he could barely get any momentum back. His boring 6 month feud with Sheamus didn't do him any good either.
Now though, with the new Regime taking the pressure of him he can start to deliver in the ring which he has done, and his mic-skills have improved a great deal since he was the WWE Champion. Also, Del Rio's title victories and title defences as WWE Champion were all as a result of him cheating, and he didn't seem at all a big main-eventer against the mighty John Cena and CM Punk.
Even in his face run as World Champion against The Big Show in their second last man standing match, he taped his feet on the bottom rope so he couldn't get up. Its seemed like a very cheap victory for the champion. Now, it's a different story. Yeah, he won by disqualification against Dolph Ziggler, but he made Christian tap out. He's being a true champion, not winning by cheating but by proving he was the better man. It makes him look good.
But it is important that WWE dont drop the ball on this. Del Rio needs to keep producing the goods in the ring because hes got a good thing going right now. There are so many wrestlers Del Rio could be paired up with. Cody Rhodes, Mark Henry even CM Punk. All these guys feuding with Del Rio over the title would increase its prestige dramatically. It is Del Rio's destiny to be a great Heel World Champion; I just hope this is a sign that WWE have realized that.
Multimedia Journalism student hoping to breakthrough into the journalism world. Have high aspirations to get work in online, print and sports journalism. Have huge interests in WWE, MMA, Football, Comics and Video Games. Also a wrestling blogger. Check the blog out here http://thearmbarexpress.wordpress.com/