by Amish Patel - December 08, 2011
In Part 1 of this article, I left a question asking you what you thought Alberto Del Rio’s chances are a securing a Wrestlemania spot and I promised to give my answer this time around in Part 2 so lets see if you agree.
First, lets consider the event itself. On average, Wrestlemania has 10 matches every year but keep in mind, this figure takes into account the first 7 events which on average featured a much higher number of matches – if we were to deduct these events from our figures and just consider the last 20 events, the average is 9 matches per Wrestlemania card (when rounded). In fact, more Wrestlemania’s have featured a card of 9 matches then any other amount of matches so for arguments sake, let’s assume the upcoming event will feature the same amount.
One match is already confirmed and underneath that, we can expect a Diva Match, two title matches and the Streak Match.
Del Rio will not be involved in the main attraction or Diva match and he has just had his run at the top so I’d say it’s safe to assume he won’t be involved in either of the title matches. As for the Streak match, its likely Triple H will get another chance but if WWE do opt for another star, could you envision Alberto being chosen over the ‘elite’ for one of the biggest matches of the year and let’s be honest, only the elite get a shot at the Streak – this has been the case for the previous five years at least. That leaves just 4 matches that Del Rio could potentially be involved in.
Of the remaining heels available, we have Miz, Henry, Cody, Dolph, Wade Barrett, possibly Brodus Clay and possibly a heel Kane.
As previously discussed in the former column, Miz seems guaranteed a spot on the card so that leaves Del Rio with only 3 matches he could potentially be involved in and he potentially has 6 other stars competing for the same spot.
Granted, Del Rio has had a successful year but his weak run in the WWE Title picture has devalued him – in comparison to say Henry who has had an extremely strong run and looks set to continue said run well into the new year. Now Del Rio has to establish himself once again as a strong upper mid card performer before being pushed back into the main event scene as a credible threat so with that in mind, who seems the more likely to get a spot, Henry or Alberto?
Now consider Cody, Dolph and Wade – all three are in the middle of a big push and realistically seem more likely to get a title shot sooner then Del Rio’s next genuine attempt – by genuine, I mean that he seems to have a chance, not a blow off match to his feud with Punk at say, TLC. Once again, who would be more likely to receive a spot at Mania? a man who has to re-establish himself as a threat or someone who is a potential threat? If Brodus debuts and goes over then he could easily be considered in that same category. Then of course there is Kane, who is always a popular choice for a Mania match so if he happens to be heel upon his return then Del Rio may have to compete with him too.
Granted one of these men will be World Heavyweight Champion or challenging for said belt but even if you take away one of these men, there are still 3 men (potentially 5) who are competing against Del Rio for those final 3 spots and Del Rio is unfortunately going into the Mania period, the weaker of the bunch.
Furthermore, the majority of the remaining faces who don’t have a match are based on Smackdown.
Whilst I realise that the brand extension means nothing these days, it’s still rare to see Raw stars go against Smackdown stars in large quantities, unless its a PPV designed for said purpose. On the plus side, celebrities in the lead up to Mania are usually featured on Raw so he may have a chance there, but even still, Miz would be a better candidate, simply as he is the bigger name.
Finally, WWE have a tendency to have their ‘special’ matches at Mania which feature unlikely performers – Vince has had bouts at Mania against HBK and Bret in recent years. Michael Cole even got a spot on the card this year – one can see that if an opportunity like this were to arise once again, Alberto’s chance at a spot on the card could further be harmed.
For those of you who thought that Del Rio was destined to join the card, it would be interesting to know whether your thoughts have altered. Granted I’ve presented the arguments against Del Rio but the arguments are there because it is likely that he may find it hard to secure a spot at the big event. I understand that he could be involved in a tag match but still, you have to consider that Alberto is on the brand which seemingly has the majority of its stars already planned for.
Those who still believe it isn’t possible, just look no further then the CM Punk example. If Punk can have a great and well received year and not be considered for a spot at Mania then what are Del Rio’s chances after a year that looks to end with him much weaker then how he started?
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