Opportunities Open Up After The Departures of Alberto Del Rio and Rey Mysterio
Last week saw the firing of Alberto Del Rio after the Mexican superstar was involved in an altercation with a WWE social media employee. It has been confirmed that Del Rio will be appearing at this Sunday’s TripleMania XXII. The show is the AAA promotion’s biggest show of the year, as you might have guessed by the name. During an interview to promote the show, former member of the WWE Spanish commentary team Hugo Savinovich claimed that Rey Mysterio will also be making his way back down to Mexico sooner rather than later.
The 39-year-old Mysterio, who hasn’t appeared on WWE television since the night after WrestleMania XXX, is under contract with WWE until May 2015, but has intentions of being released before that time comes. Chances are low that Rey will be seen again in a WWE ring, and it’s a shame that he isn’t likely to get the kind of send-off that he deserves. His many injuries have caused him to miss so much time over the past few years that his returns have been very frequent and very short-lived, causing them to lose meaning just a bit more with each return.
With Del Rio officially gone and Mysterio, for all intents and purposes, done as well, there is now a hole that has been left wide open on the roster that WWE sees as very important: the Mexican Ambassador. Not only was Mysterio seen as important due to his popularity with children and vast collection of mask designs that were fantastic for merchandise sales, but he was also seen as an integral part of WWE’s gateway to strengthening the Latino audience. Del Rio was used in this role for a short time during his run as a face and still had been heavily promoted as a proud Mexican during the remainder of his time in the company as a heel. Sin Cara was the man originally penciled in to be the successor to the throne that Mysterio was ready to step down from, but we all know how that turned out.
This wide-open gap is now a spot that should be filled by NXT superstar Kalisto, a Mexican wrestler who made himself very popular very quickly on the U.S. independent scene under the name Samuray Del Sol. He was signed by WWE after making a big impression in Dragon Gate USA and Combat Zone Wrestling, likely to be readied to fill Mysterio’s shoes that proved too large for Sin Cara, who, almost ironically, is currently teaming with in NXT.
It would be great to see the US and IC Titles merged to make room for a new Cruiserweight Championship, which I have always thought would be the perfect showcase for the first hour of RAW (much like how it was featured on WCW Monday Nitro in the late 1990s). There’s no chance of that though, but as long as Kalisto doesn’t struggle on the big stage like the original Sin Cara, he has the chance to become a very hot property for WWE.