Wrestling against odds

Wrestling against odds

Wrestling against odds
Not many know the genial smile and friendly persona that reside within Alberto Del Rio, the hardcore, rough and tough professional wrestler and mixed martial artiste. His avuncular presence and vivacious nature are just about enough to turn heads.

The World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) champion was recently in the city, interacting with his fans, sampling Indian cuisine and having a good time. In a candid chat with Anushka Sivakumar, the seven-time world champion gives a peek into his life and talks about why he thinks India has great potential wrestlers.

What do you think about the wrestling scene in India?

I have met only two wrestlers from India — ‘The Great Khali’ and Jinder Mahal. Jinder is one of my best friends actually. I think the scene is growing in this country. There is a lot of talent here and I would be happy to see more wrestlers from India in the future. WWE really wants to increase its presence here and India is a great market. I know that a lot of people follow WWE matches in this country. I greeted about 2000 fans when I came here.

Tell us about your fitness regime.

A lot of people think that I spend hours together at the gym and go crazy there. Well, I don’t.

I am just careful about what I eat. I try to stay away from carbohydrates and eat a lot of protein. Of course, it is not always possible, especially now, as I ate some delicious Indian food. I also lift weights for about 60 to 90 minutes in a day.

What goes on your mind when you are inside the wrestling ring?

What I do inside the ring comes very naturally. I was born in this business and come from a wrestler family. I just go with the flow and react depending on the move my opponent makes. Sometimes, I do take out all my anger inside the ring.  

What do you like doing when you aren’t wrestling?

I am just a regular person. I like going for movies and spending time with my family. My favourite hobby is staying at home and spending time with my kids.

Were you under a lot of pressure when you started wrestling since your father is a very respected professional wrestler?

Yes. There were a lot of expectations riding on me and it was challenging. I come from a very prestigious family of wrestlers. They are very popular and respected in Mexico and around the world. So there was pressure on my shoulders. My father took me to a wrestling gym when I was a little boy. He was the one who trained me and helped me get ready for the sort of life that I was going to lead. He helped me face what was going to come and made me train hard.

You were adjudged the WWE champion twice. Did life get too exhilarating or change in any way after that?

One of the good things about being a WWE champion was that I became an international superstar from being a national superstar. So winning WWE was a big milestone as it is the only company that gives you the international exposure.

Any advice for young wrestlers?

Just work hard and have fun because wrestling is all about having fun. The moment someone stops having fun while wrestling, it’s time for them to do something else.
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