Monday, August 11, 2014

Rant #1,266: Going Back to Mexico

In the world of sports, this episode was really nothing much, but in the world of professional wrestling, where the real is blurred by the made up, this was really big news.

And it was real.

Alberto Del Rio, the heralded Mexican wrestler who was a mainstay on the WWE card for the past four years or so, was released from his contract.

Not a big deal, it happens all the time, but the reason he was released was another matter.

Evidently, he slapped a fellow WWE employee--not a wrestler--because the person told what Del Rio thought was a racist joke in front of him.

Look, WWE is entertainment. Reality is often mixed in with show business.

Wrestlers, and other on-air talent, often play characters, both good and bad and often, somewhere in between.

For instance, right now, Stephanie McMahon, the daughter of the owner of WWE, Vince McMahon, is playing one of the all-time heels. She was supposedly arrested for her actions a few weeks ago against another female wrestler, who she slapped while on air.

Stephanie McMahon is well known in entertainment circles as one of the nicest, most kind people on the face of the earth. She is a WWE executive, and she plays her role to perfection, both behind the scenes and in front of the camera.

Del Rio played a character, too, but his WWE personality pretty much mirrored his on-air personality.

He was brash, nasty, thought he was the greatest thing to come out of Mexico since refried beans, and was often rumored to be at odds with his fellow wrestlers and WWE executives over a variety of things, including his aversion to holding back in the ring.

Yes, WWE is entertainment, and wrestlers play into that, often holding back, or at least telegraphing, what they are going to do to their opponents.

Del Rio did that to a certain extent, but less often than the other wrestlers, and one thing that the WWE does not want is for wrestlers to get hurt due to other wrestlers unnecessarily pummeling them.

It's bad for business, as they say.

Anyway, Del Rio is now gone for his latest actions, but he leaves a pretty good legacy as a champion in the WWE as he goes back to Mexico and wrestles in the professional league that he originally came from.

He leaves behind a championship legacy, and also one of the great introductions of all time.

With his then partner Ricardo Rodriguez, he would come out, usually in an expensive car, as the tuxedoed Rodriguez would introduce him, in Spanish, in less than dulcet tones.

It was like a bullfighter was coming to the ring, and Del Rio played off that introduction with his playboy looks and obvious talent.

But this time, in the real world, things evidently got out of hand, and the WWE had had enough of his true-life antics, which were evidently many.

He was at the near end of his contract, anyway, and rumor was that he wasn't going to renew it.

Now he played the WWE's hand, and they had had enough, and Del Rio is gone.

He will be remembered, and yes, missed, as one of the great heels of pro wrestling.

"Hasta la vista, Alberto Del Rio. Usted grande."

(No, I can't remember much from my high school level Spanish, which is obvious here. I just wanted to say, "See you later, Alberto Del Rio. You were great.")

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