It’s hard staying #SpoilerFree.
For someone who tries (most of the time) to let professional wrestling surprise me, sacrifices must be made. To wit, this past Monday, knowing full well that Monday Night RAW was taking place in the United Kingdom, I decided to take a break from Twitter, rather than have the results revealed early.
As I settled in right around 8 PM, I found my way to the World Heavyweight Championship bracket, and as I looked it over, a thought immediately jumped into my mind.
I offered it up immediately as one of my soon to be trademarked #PreDCtions, and as time has passed, my belief has only grown stronger. I firmly believe Kalisto will beat Ryback this Thursday on Smackdown and will go on to also defeat Del Rio, leading to a semi-final match against Roman Reigns at Survivor Series.
Why do I feel this way? I have my list of reasons, as usual, though this time, there are 7 of them.
Each and every March, I make sure to print out NCAA basketball tournament brackets, which are kept up to date rather meticulously through the entirety of March Madness.
How many of these games do I watch on TV? Absolutely none of them.
Why do I do such a crazy thing? Well, for one, I’m a nerd, but that’s a given, isn’t it? I have a somewhat unhealthy obsession with tournament brackets.
I also enjoy looking at the rankings, watching as some small-college darling takes the US by storm, defeating more talented and prestigious programs en route to a Cinderella spring.
Kalisto is our Cinderella.
He’s already undersized, and unlike Neville, Kalisto doesn’t appear to have ridiculous strength to belie his diminutive stature. He’s also been “overlooked” as a tag team competitor in his WWE career. This will be his coming out party as a singles superstar.
Looking at the bracket, he’s fighting one Goliath in Ryback, then (presumably - remember, #SpoilerFree) another one in the far more successful and experienced Del Rio. Beating either of those two, let alone both of them, is an amazing achievement.
It’s also a prime example of
On NAIpod this week, most of the gang assumed that the Final Four of this tournament would look very much like the same quarter who did battle for the number one contendership a few weeks ago - Reigns, Owens, Del Rio and Ziggler, though at least one had Ambrose in there, instead.
It makes all the sense in the world to agree with them, but if that’s the case, why did we have this tournament at all? Why not just have those four do another Fatal 4 Way match to determine the champion?
If WWE is worried about its declining ratings, which it shouldn’t be, they can’t just re-hash the same stories as they did a few weeks ago. Fans are going to want something new.
30. 34. 31. 35. 29. These are the ages of the 5 men who have currently qualified for the quarterfinals (Reigns, Cesaro, Owens, Ziggler, Ambrose.) Now, assuming that Alberto. . . .
I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE! I CAN’T LIVE THIS LIE!
I’m sorry, loyal #SpoilerFree heroes, but I failed. I stumbled upon the Smackdown tapings results and. . . I just couldn’t resist! I had to know what happened! I mean, come on, WWE goes ahead and spoils its own tapings all the time, you can’t blame me! It’s the culture that’s wrong!
Anyway, now that I’ve dropped the charade… WWE has obviously been trying to skew younger - establishing newer stars that are all in the opening stages of their careers. 38 year old Alberto Del Rio is not that, whereas Kalisto is a decade younger.
In fact, Kalisto is the youngest wrestler in the entire tournament, so it would only make sense for him to do well. WWE is going to want to build around this lightning-quick talent in the future.
WWE prides itself on being a world-wide company, and because of that, their superstars need to reflect it. The latest tour of Mexico was highlighted by a returning Brothers of Destruction, and while I don’t blame the fans for being excited for such a unique opportunity, it is worth noting that WWE didn’t have any main event level Latino talents, so they had to resort to Hall of Famers who may or may not be on retirement tours.
WWE has addressed its Japanese market with Asuka (and that Hideo guy), but they need a new Mexican attraction. Del Rio is a big help, but he’s not going to be someone who could potentially be the face of the company.
Kalisto can. I firmly believe that he has the talent to match, IF NOT SURPASS, Rey Mysterio in terms of career success. Much like Mysterio, Kalisto does at least one or two things in most matches that I instantly need to see again. He’s a walking highlight reel, and with wrestlers being smaller and smaller these days, he’ll have an easier time keeping up.
This brings us to our upcoming RAW quarterfinal match - Del Rio vs. Kalisto. Not only is it a potential show-stopper, but it also will be a great offering for fans worldwide, especially in Latin America. In the 90’s, Mysterio and Psychosis opened our eyes as to what lucha libre was all about.
This match could do the same, and nobody will have to go underground to find it.
Sorry, couldn’t help it.
With very few exceptions, I’m not sure any of us really have any idea what is going on with the Alberto Del Rio character right now. He’s a heel, we think, even though he didn’t start out that way. He’s got Colter with him, which just adds to the confusion, and much like everyone expected after the excitement of his debut died down, he seems to be floundering already.
Kalisto could fix that. Obviously MexAmerica is going to want to expand at some point, right? It can’t just be a nation of two people, can it?. What if Zeb tries to recruit Kalisto heading into their quarterfinal match? Does Kalisto join up with these two? Either way, how does Sin Cara feel about possibly NOT being recruited? Maybe Kalisto rejects their offer, but Sin Cara takes them up on it, leading to the end of the Lucha Dragons and immediately giving Kalisto something to do as a singles star, with talents he’s comfortable working with, and potentially heading into a mid-card title feud.
It’s not entirely the BEST character work for Del Rio, but it might give him some direction. Truth be told, they need to drop the MexAmerica thing altogether and just be what they truly are meant to be.
World Elite Del Rio leading an international stable of talents. Sheamus, Barrett, the Colon boys without their bullfighter masks. They go after Cesaro and Kalisto, who have to band together to oppose them, joined by Rusev when he returns from his injury.
Boom - Mid Card Managed.
As the boys on NAIpod were saying, there are less than two weeks to go until Survivor Series. Unlike what they were saying, however, I absolutely think that WWE can make some last minute matches in that amount of time, and this is a prime example.
Swagger comes out and distracts Del Rio, allowing Kalisto to pick up the upset victory. Now we have Jack vs. Alberto at Survivor Series (hopefully in a Rascal on a Pole match) and Kalisto moves on to face Roman Reigns. Plus, you could mix this with the ideas I had earlier, with Kalisto and Del Rio having unfinished business.
TLC is in December. Why couldn’t we see Del Rio, Sheamus and Barrett vs. Kalisto, Swagger and Cesaro in some sort of gimmicked flag match?
I brought up the possibility that this tournament could be a replica of the one held at Wrestlemania IV, where Reigns plays the role of Randy Savage, who wrestled four times in a single night to win the title. Now, Reigns won’t have to be such an Iron Man in this instance, but the matches he does have tell a story in and of themselves.
Think of The Princess Bride. Wesley must beat the swordsman, the giant, then the intellectual, proving himself to be superior in every way. That’s where this could go for Roman Reigns.
First up, the giant.
Next up, the powerhouse and technical wizard.
Battling Del Rio in the semifinals makes some sense, I suppose, but not as much as if it’s Kalisto, the aerial ace. Wrestling (and beating - Note I never said Kalisto was winning this tournament) him in the semi-final proves that Reigns is a well-rounded wrestler, leading up to fighting the brawler in the finals (presuming it’s either Owens or Ambrose.)
Kalisto makes the most sense for Roman, which might be, above all others, the biggest reason why he’s Final Four bound.
What do YOU think? Does Kalisto have a chance, or is it inconceivable? (Princess Bride Joke)