Alberto Del Rio – When wrestling gets political
There may be many motivations behind the surprise return of Alberto Del Rio to the WWE. A dwindling roster, or the lack of top Latino talent might have been the motivation to bring him back, but whatever the reason, the world’s most successful professional wrestling promotion has just engaged its audience on an issue that has become one of the most important political topics as we move into the coming election year—immigration and diplomatic relations between the US and Mexico.
It’s not merely Del Rio’s return that initiates a dialogue on the issue, but his winning the US Championship and alliance with Zeb Colter, who has in the past represented the libertarian segment of conservatism, has brought the discussion to center stage (ring).
So far, the audience reaction seems mixed. Del Rio and Colter walk out to a seemingly confused audience; no one is sure whether to cheer or to boo their “Mex-America” flag waiving—and maybe that’s the point—there are no easy answers for these issues.
Now, there is no way to know how the new storyline will play out, but regardless of the outcome, we’re seeing wrestling engage us on an important political issue far removed from shallow storylines of recent years. And why not? Wrestling can offer the world more than simple entertainment—this is strength culture at its finest.