When WWE fans watch Alberto Del Rio, they see the heelish Mexican aristocrat, the villain they love to hate, but they're also seeing a legacy of professional wrestling. The son of the infamous Dos Caras and nephew of the legendary Mil Máscaras, he explained, "It's a big responsibility to carry on this tradition of wrestling in my family. I had great people showing me, teaching me, and now I'm in the WWE." Showing no fear, it was Del Rio who called out Wrestlemania main eventer and Guardians of the Galaxy star Batista when he returned to the squared circle, to the joy of the audience. "That night, I was the favorite for all of them," said Del Rio. That wasn't the plan for the self-declared "bad guy of the movie. I was doing everything to get a boo from the crowd. I was destroying Batista that night, kicking and punching him, taking him to the limit, but the WWE universe cheers who they like." As a two-time heavyweight champion, the 6-foot-5-inch, 240-pound Del Rio has broken the idea that all Latino wrestlers are high-flying cruiserweights and luchadores. "When I came to the WWE," he said, "I remember people saying 'Alberto is the biggest Mexican we've ever seen.'" Now he's set to become the Hispanic face of the WWE, and that's a role he relishes. "As long as the Latin audience keeps supporting the WWE, the WWE will support the Latin audience."
Sat., March 15, 7:30pm. Frank Erwin Center, 1701 Red River, 512/471-7744. $15-95. www.uterwincenter.com/events/2014/wwe-wrestlemania.
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