Can former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez succeed in Lucha Libre wrestling?
Alberto Del Rio would know better than anyone. The former WWE star has competed in North American pro wrestling, Lucha Libre and MMA, and weighed in on Velasquez’s chances in an interview with MMAJunkie.
“Velasquez has all the athletic credentials,” Del Rio explained. “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.
“He respects wrestling. 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.”
Del Rio competed as Alberto El Patron during his tenure with the WWE. During his MMA career he amassed a 9-5 record, including two-fights with the famed PRIDE FC organization in Japan. The 41-year-old announced recently that he’ll be coming out of retirement to fight for Combate Americas. Meanwhile last month, Velasquez signed with Mexican wrestling promotion AAA and will debut on Aug. 3 in Mexico City.
This event is the equivalent to “Wrestlemania” in the WWE, calling their event TripleMania.” Whether Velasquez can transition successfully remains to be seen, but as Del Rio points out, personality is just as important as in ring talent.
“In mixed martial arts, the promoters like to sell fights with big personalities,” he 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.”
How do you think Cain Velasquez will do in Lucha Libre? Are you with Alberto Del Rio on this one?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 4/19/2019.