ORLANDO, Fla. – In front of the sold-out Amway Center crowd, Kalisto reigned supreme over Alberto Del Rio at WWE Royal Rumble, and in the process recaptured the United States Championship.

Match photos |  Exclusive with Kalisto

The intense showdown happened in the shadows of Kalisto and Del Rio’s fierce rivalry surrounding the highly-coveted red, white and blue prize. On the Jan. 11 edition of Raw, Kalisto scored the biggest victory of his career when he overcame the Essence of Excellence to take home the U.S. Title. That same week, however, Del Rio reclaimed it on SmackDown with the help of his League of Nations cohort King Barrett, insinuating afterward that Kalisto’s reign had been nothing more than a fluke. Despite a backstage assault by the entire League of Nations on SmackDown the following week, the Lucha Dragon would come to WWE Royal Rumble ready to fight again.

Their battle was explosive from the word go, with the high-flying Kalisto determined to outflank the extremely-dangerous titleholder. Del Rio grabbed a strong, early advantage both in and out of the ring, attempting not just to beat, but to absolutely “maim” the No. 1 contender. And for a while, it looked like he might do just that. Yet, when the champion went for a running enzuigiri Kalisto avoided it and roared back with a barrage of fast-paced maneuvers and strikes.

Del Rio would reclaim the advantage time and time again, but no matter what he threw at his foe, the masked Superstar would not give in. In a key moment, Kalisto even escaped Del Rio’s double stomp off the top turnbuckle, hitting Salida del Sol to nearly topple the champion. He only failed to do so because Del Rio managed to reach the bottom rope with his hand.

However, in the height of the action, Del Rio’s aggression would finally backfire when Kalisto reversed his adversary’s momentum and sent him hurling into the turnbuckle head-first. This paved the way for Kalisto to hit his second Salida del Sol and win his second star-spangled title from Del Rio. More important, he may well have proven to Del Rio and any other doubters that he is not a “fluke” champion.

 

ORLANDO, Fla. – In front of the sold-out Amway Center crowd, Kalisto reigned supreme over Alberto Del Rio at WWE Royal Rumble, and in the process recaptured the United States Championship.

Match photos |  Exclusive with Kalisto

The intense showdown happened in the shadows of Kalisto and Del Rio’s fierce rivalry surrounding the highly-coveted red, white and blue prize. On the Jan. 11 edition of Raw, Kalisto scored the biggest victory of his career when he overcame the Essence of Excellence to take home the U.S. Title. That same week, however, Del Rio reclaimed it on SmackDown with the help of his League of Nations cohort King Barrett, insinuating afterward that Kalisto’s reign had been nothing more than a fluke. Despite a backstage assault by the entire League of Nations on SmackDown the following week, the Lucha Dragon would come to WWE Royal Rumble ready to fight again.

Their battle was explosive from the word go, with the high-flying Kalisto determined to outflank the extremely-dangerous titleholder. Del Rio grabbed a strong, early advantage both in and out of the ring, attempting not just to beat, but to absolutely “maim” the No. 1 contender. And for a while, it looked like he might do just that. Yet, when the champion went for a running enzuigiri Kalisto avoided it and roared back with a barrage of fast-paced maneuvers and strikes.

Del Rio would reclaim the advantage time and time again, but no matter what he threw at his foe, the masked Superstar would not give in. In a key moment, Kalisto even escaped Del Rio’s double stomp off the top turnbuckle, hitting Salida del Sol to nearly topple the champion. He only failed to do so because Del Rio managed to reach the bottom rope with his hand.

However, in the height of the action, Del Rio’s aggression would finally backfire when Kalisto reversed his adversary’s momentum and sent him hurling into the turnbuckle head-first. This paved the way for Kalisto to hit his second Salida del Sol and win his second star-spangled title from Del Rio. More important, he may well have proven to Del Rio and any other doubters that he is not a “fluke” champion.