I have to shake my head when the WWE tries so goddamn hard to manufacture an ethnic superstar. Alberto Del Rio’s recent return has as much to do with his Mexican heritage as it does his alleged star power.
I’ve learned through hindsight that one of the key differences between current WWE head Vince McMahon and his late father, Vince McMahon, Sr., is that the latter understood that ethnic heroes like Bruno Sammartino, Pedro Morales, Argentina Rocca, and Victor Rivera came from grass-roots support. In other words, the fans wanted to love these guys.
Vince Sr. didn’t decide one day that the WWWF needed a Latin superstar and started to push around Morales. Instead, the fans reacted to Pedro, and the build followed. It worked for 12 years for Morales, who was WWWF Heavyweight Champion and later among the biggest names who established the new Intercontinental Title.
I remember when Vince Jr. did the house show promos for his dad’s TV, Morales would go off on his opponent in Spanish, which must have thrilled folks in the area who spoke that language because it let them connect with Morales on a personal level (check out 2:00 into the clip below).
Does anyone ask Del Rio to speak a few words outside of English? Nope. But that might Continue reading
It was so great to see ring announcing legend Howard Finkel get the spotlight for a fleeting moment this past weekend at the WWE Survivor Series, during which he served as C.M. Punk’s personal ring announcer to offset Alberto Del Rio’s lackey, Ricardo Rodriguez.
The moment was special because the event took place at Madison Square Garden, in which Finkel Continue reading
One of the frequently discussed topics coming out of TNA Impact Wrestling’s Bound for Glory pay-per-view earlier this week was the performance of Hulk Hogan in his fight with Sting.
As many of you know, Hogan’s body is a wreck, with multiple knee and back injuries having plagued him over the years. A guy that big doing leg drops every night in the 1980s is probably what started the long journey to a physical breakdown. Hogan won’t even take bumps any more, and as he says, he won’t wrestle, but he’ll fight — which, in the case of the match with Sting, meant blading, outside interference, and other tricks to move the bout along.
But let’s not forget Hogan’s seemingly innate charisma and his sense of connecting with a crowd. Back during his first big run in the WWF in 1984, it was clear he wasn’t the most gifted athlete or worker. But he carried Continue reading
The WWE likes to make a big deal of its second- and third-generation wrestlers. WrestleMania 27 at the Georgia Dome was no exception, as the event saw four multi-generational superstars appear, including the Rock (grandson of “High Chief” Peter Maivia and son of Rocky Johnson), Alberto Del Rio (son of Mexican star Dos Caras), Cody Rhodes (son of “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes), and Randy Orton (grandson of Bob Orton, Sr., and son of Cowboy Bob Orton).
But sons of pro wrestlers are nothing new. Did you know if you go all the way back to the first WrestleMania in 1985 at Madison Square Garden, there were also four second-generation wrestlers who competed? Here’s a list of them: Continue reading