Why Alberto Del Rio deserves to be Sheamus’ No. 1 contender

Since he arrived in WWE in the summer of 2010, Alberto Del Rio has set extremely high expectations for himself. Speaking often about his destiny, The Mexican Aristocrat immediately set his sights on gilding such providence with championship gold. Those lofty aspirations were finally met at SummerSlam 2011 when Del Rio defeated CM Punk for the first of his two WWE Championships.

Since then, Del Rio has constantly remained in the title picture, posing a seemingly constant threat to anyone with a title around his waist. Now, thanks to his Triple Threat No. 1 Contender's victory over Randy Orton and Kane on the May 25 episode of SmackDown, he will once again have the opportunity to add new hardware to his collection.

While some might question the controversial circumstances that led to The Mexican Superstar pinning The Big Red Monster, WWE.com presents three reasons why he, more than any other Superstar, deserves to face Sheamus at No Way Out for the World Heavyweight Championship.

Promises to keep

Alberto Del Rio lets Sheamus know he's coming for him.

If Alberto Del Rio’s Triple Threat triumph on SmackDown didn’t seal the deal as to why he deserves a World Heavyweight Championship opportunity, consideration the following: When the former WWE Champion returned to WWE from injury the night after WrestleMania, he was promised an opportunity to challenge The Great White for the World Title.

On the April 2 episode of Raw SuperShow, The Mexican Aristocrat revealed that John Laurinaitis had granted him a match against Sheamus the following Friday on SmackDown. The newly anointed GM of Raw and SmackDown told Del Rio that, if he were to beat The Celtic Warrior, he would then receive a World Title Match. Referencing Sheamus’ stunning 18-second defeat of Daniel Bryan on The Grandest Stage of Them All, Del Rio told The Celtic Warrior, "Just as fast as you won that title, you’re going to lose it."

On the April 6 episode of SmackDown, Del Rio defeated Sheamus by disqualification and earned that title opportunity. But he never got a one-on-one chance because his established match was transformed into a Fatal 4-Way showdown at WWE Over the Limit – a contest that only gives each competitor a 25 percent chance to walk away victorious. In that epic battle, Sheamus would prevail, but he did not pin The Mexican Aristocrat.

Del Rio has a very strong argument that the scenario did not fulfill the promises made to him. Now, thanks to his win in Friday’s Triple Threat Match, however, he will finally get the opportunity to face Sheamus one-on-one for the World Heavyweight Championship that he’s eyed since his return to SmackDown. Getting the opportunity is one thing — now Del Rio will have to back up his talk at No Way Out.

Loyalty should be rewarded

In addition to promises made, Alberto Del Rio was one of Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and General Manager of Raw and SmackDown John Laurinaitis’ earliest supporters, standing by the much-maligned executive’s side and proclaiming loyalty at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view on Feburary 22.

Nobody does something for nothing. For backing the right horse, for being one of the first Superstars to join Big Johnny’s “People Power” movement, The Mexican Aristocrat deserves to be handsomely rewarded. In short, to the victor goes the spoils. With Del Rio’s savvy decision-making and unparalleled foresight in the world of sports-entertainment, the spoil he deserves most is the World Heavyweight Title.

Although Del Rio may believe it’s his destiny to hold the title, his prescient actions suggest that he also believes successful Superstars make their own destiny. His long-standing connection with Laurinaitis makes him the legitimate No. 1 contender to Sheamus’ illustrious prize.

Manpower plus brainpower

Sheamus loses his temper after his match with Alberto Del Rio.

The Mexican Aristocrat’s greatest asset isn’t his legendary wealth, his extraordinary grappling pedigree or even his elegant, stately demeanor. It’s his cagey ways while competing in the squared circle. That quality, more than any other, has brought him to his rightful place as No. 1 contender at No Way Out.

Tricky, conniving and willing to lie in wait, Del Rio is opportunistic in his strategy. He’s different from a volatile powerhouse like Kane. And he’s different from a cold-blooded predator like Randy Orton. Although he shares qualities with both Superstars, he boasts a specific breed of brutality that’s all his own, mixed with the rare ability to think before he acts. With an aristocratic cunning and a preternatural ability to steal a victory in the ring, he has earned a place at the table and proven time and time again that he can prevail and survive.

Again, one can look back to the April 6 match on SmackDown when Del Rio faced The Great White for the chance at a future World Heavyweight Title opportunity. There is no doubt he incorporated devious methods to come out on top – making it look like Sheamus had used a chair on him in order to draw the disqualification win. But, while Del Rio may have lost the moral ground, the bottom line is that when push came to shove, the crafty competitor had the ability to get the job done. He was able to think outside the box (or ring in this case) and do whatever was necessary to win the match. The late-great WWE Hall of Famer Eddie Guerrero must have been smiling down that night. ( WATCH | PHOTOS)

To counter the powerful and brawling nature of the World Heavyweight Champion, it will take a Superstar not only with a varied skill set, but the intelligence to implement those skills effectively. That Superstar, amigos, is Alberto Del Rio.

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