Posted January 15th, 2015 by 1Wrestling News Team

Alberto El Patron and His Impact on ROH by Bryan Riegel

As the hottest free agent in the world of professional wrestling (and also a sought after commodity in the MMA world as well), Alberto El Patron (formerly known as Alberto Del Rio in World Wrestling Entertainment), has his choice of where and when he competes inside the squared circle. Companies across the globe pursue him, but he has been very selective in choosing where he fights. He has made it known that  he is looking for only the best competition, and in the United States, he determined that level of competitor can only be found in Ring Of Honor (ROH).

Before his ROH fight schedule was announced, fans had very spirited discussions about who would be facing the man who comes from a legendary family in Mexico (his father is the famed luchador Dos Caras and his uncle is perhaps the most well known luchador of all-time, Mil Mascaras). Names from the ROH roster were debated, and each and every one would have been labeled a potential dream match, and a main event on any card in the country. Nigel McGuiness would have had a hard time going wrong given the options available, and in the end this is how El Patron’s ROH schedule is laid out:

January 3 – Nashville, TN vs “The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels

January 30 – Dearborn, MI vs ACH

January 31 – Dayton, OH vs “Mr. ROH” Roderick Strong

March 1 – Las Vegas, NV vs TBA

Considering the events of the Nashville event, many are speculating that El Patron’s opponent for the March 1 13th Anniversary pay per view event will be The House of Truth’s Jay Lethal, holder of the ROH Television championship. While Alberto was doing an interview, he was interrupted by Lethal, Truth Martini and Jay Diesel. Lethal informed Alberto that if he was in ROH to fight the best, that Lethal, not World Heavyweight champion Jay Briscoe, would be the measuring stick. After a cross arm-breaker submission hold gave El Patron a hard fought victory over Christopher Daniels, Lethal and Diesel made their presence felt again by attacking Alberto after the match. Daniels and his Addiction partner Frankie Kazarian made the save, but Lethal made it clear that he has El Patron in his sights in 2015.

Having already defeated an ROH legend in Daniels, and with a very determined and deadly Jay Lethal breathing down his neck, El Patron must now turn his attention to one of the most dynamic young wrestlers in the world, a man who consistently defies gravity and causes fans to not believe their eyes, the one and only ACH. What better way for a young wrestler to elevate his standing than to defeat a former 4 time World champion? To borrow a phrase from other sports, ACH will leave it all out on the “field” in an effort to prove once and for all that he belongs in the chase for any ROH title. He will have the youth and speed advantage, and he just may benefit from the fact that the very next night El Patron has to face another ROH legend in Roderick Strong, and therefore may be overlooking the phenomenon from Austin, Texas.

A Triple Crown winner in ROH, Roderick Strong embodies everything that fans worldwide have come to love about the organization. He has a never say die attitude that enables him to consistently out train and out work his peers, and as a result, he has been on or near the top of the company for a decade. In fact, some would say that a wrestler is not proven as ROH material until he has stepped inside the ring with the gladiator from Tampa, Florida. There is no doubt that “Mr. ROH” will deliver chop after chop, kick after kick, and backbreaker after backbreaker, and El Patron will have an exceedingly difficult time trying to get Strong to submit (El Patron’s preferred method of victory).

If El Patron can somehow run the table, and emerge from this series of matches undefeated (including the rumored match with TV champion Lethal on March 1 in Sin City), he will have turned ROH on its ear, not three whole months into 2015. Nigel McGuiness would be forced to grant him a World Heavyweight Title match…which would raise a whole new set of issues and questions. Could Jay Briscoe successfully defend against El Patron and his cross arm-breaker? Briscoe would definitely have to “man up”, as he missed significant time in the past due to shoulder injury…Alberto may just be the man who has what it takes to be the next to wear the gold Briscoe values so dearly. Could a ROH newcomer (albeit a veteran of the ring wars around the globe) be the man to unseat the champion who was been in ROH “Since Day 1”? One would have to think that El Patron would then defend the title in his home country of Mexico and perhaps even Japan (where he has been heavily courted by promoters and ROH has a working relationship with New Japan Pro Wrestling)…the next six weeks are going to play a huge part in the determining the future of not only Alberto El Patron, but of Ring of Honor itself.

Having had a chance to see firsthand in Nashville how much pride El Patron had when labeling himself a professional wrestler (as opposed to a “sports entertainer”), and the genuine joy he displayed upon seeing and hearing the reaction of the ROH fans (who have notoriously given less than positive welcomes to several competitors with similar backgrounds), this reporter feels that Alberto will do whatever it takes to prove to the locker room and the entire wrestling world that he is a dominant force to be reckoned with. The two Jays, Lethal and Briscoe, might want to take all the pictures they can with their titles, as the opportunity to do so may be running out.

Find out more about Ring of Honor by visiting rohwrestling.com. The 13th Anniversary event will be live on pay per view, Sunday March 1st(contact your local cable and satellite providers).

Bryan Riegel has been involved with the world of professional wrestling since 1999. From ring attendant, to security, to music, to timekeeper, to ring announcer, to commentator to promoter, he has had the privilege of working with some of the industry’s finest, both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. He can be reached on Twitter @BryanRiegel

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