Alberto Del Rio brings pedigree to Sarnia
PAUL OWEN - Sarnia Observer
|Alberto Del Rio
If anyone knows how captivating a live wrestling show can be, it's Alberto del Rio.
The WWE star fell in love with the sport as a child in Mexico in large part through watching it live as his elder family members became one of the most famous families of Mexican wrestling.
"That was the reason I became a professional wrestler because I watched my grandfather, my dad [Dos Caras], my uncle [Mil Mascaras]," he said. "It was amazing. I saw all the superstars from United States, from Japan because all of them went to Mexico when I was a little kid. People like Owen Hart, Eddie Guerrero, Vader."
Wrestling fans in Sarnia will have their chance to experience what Del Rio did when the WWE Smackdown World Tour hits the RBC Centre, with Del Rio in a headlining match against Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Title.
These live events hold a special place in Del Rio's heart for nostalgic reasons, but also because of the freedom the wrestlers get that the televised events don't allow.
"Just the fact that in the live events, our matches are for 20-25 minutes and for TV because of TV time, we have only matches for 10, 15 minutes, 18 minutes at most," he explained. "I would say that we have a chance to interact a little bit more with our audience, so that's the fun part about the live events. We always enjoy live events more than TV because, I will say, we have more freedom."
Interacting with the fans is a big deal for Del Rio because of the place wrestling occupies in Mexican heritage.
"It's part of our culture. We see wrestling in a different way from the rest of the world. For us, it's just a passion," he explained. "The Mexican luchadores are the Mexican superheroes. They are the Mexican Supermans, the Mexican Batmans."
Del Rio's family is a large part of that heritage. His grandfather wrestled, and his father, Dos Caras, was one of the most famous luchadores of the '70s and '80s. His two uncles [Mascaras and Sicodelico] and two of his cousins [Sicodelico, Jr. and Hijo de Sicodelico] also joined the family business.
But Del Rio's path also took him to school, and an architecture degree from the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosi.
"That was one of the requirements from my father to let me join in this incredible business. He said, 'If you want to be a wrestler, first you have to bring me your title, your degree because you never know what's going to happen in wrestling.'"
The Smackdown World Tour starts at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are available through the RBC Centre Box Office.
Alberto del Rio bio and story archive
Paul Owen is the multimedia sports reporter for The Observer in Sarnia. For more on Paul, click here.