Last month, former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez signed on with lucha libre promotion AAA as an in-ring talent. Velasquez will be appearing at the promotion’s annual mega-event Triplemania XXVII. The show goes down the Arena Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City, Mexico on August 3.
Recently, former WWE Champion, lucha libre legend, and ex-PRIDE fighter Albert Del Rio commented on Velasquez’s venture into professional wrestling. Speaking to MMA Junkie, Del Rio says he believes Velasquez has the athletic pedigree to be successful inside the ring:
“Velasquez has all the athletic credentials,” Del Rio said. “Wrestling is more difficult than people know, and it’s hard physically, but Cain has the athletic pedigree to do the job in the ring.”
Del Rio also made a very intersting point about star power in professional wrestling, compared to that of mixed martial arts (MMA). In MMA, one can make a name for themselves simply by putting on extraordinary performances inside the cage, and speaking very little – similar to how Velasquez became a big name in the UFC.
However, in professional wrestling, one needs charisma to become one of the industry’s biggest stars. See the likes of Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, John Cena, etc.:
“In mixed martial arts, the promoters like to sell fights with big personalities, Del Rio said. “But you can become a star simply by winning all your fights and being impressive in the cage and becoming a champion and make the fans want to see your fights that way. …
“But in wrestling, you have to have a charisma that connects with the audience in a different way. The promoter can have you go out and lose every single night, but if the audience believes in your character and your personality, you can still become a star anyway.”
Whether or not Velasquez will be able to connect with a professional wrestling audience, Del Rio reserves judgment for now. However, he believes the Mexican star is saying all the right things, and has the respect for the industry necessary to be successful:
“He respects wrestling,” Del Rio said. “He has the right attitude, he is sincere in wanting to learn. Whether that will translate, we don’t know, but he’s doing and saying all the right things.”
What do you think about Del Rio’s comments on Velasquez’s potential in professional wrestling?
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