Lucha! Lucha! Luch- yeah, I don’t care anymore.
Kalisto is already a two-time United States Champion within WWE. You wouldn’t be alone in forgetting who the champion is, however, as WWE has done next to nothing to make Kalisto’s time as United States Champion a success.
Kalisto is, of course, a great worker. He’s worthy of being the United States Champion and with time, could grow to be one of the biggest draws. Becoming a big draw will not be the case if WWE continues to book the character as they currently are.
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Fans don’t need to wait to view the mistakes of Kalisto’s booking as many of those mistakes have already been made.
People have said that Kalisto could be the next great little guy, much like Rey Mysterio was which brings me to my first point.
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8. The Rey Mysterio Shadow
This one’s a bit of a cheat as it’s not entirely WWE’s fault, but they’ve sure not done much to stop it.
We all have that person that we want to be like one day. There’s nothing wrong with that either. When you find yourself living in that person’s shadow, that is when a problem appears to develop.
Kalisto has found himself living in the Rey Mysterio shadow. While comparing him to a young Rey Mysterio could be taken as a huge compliment, it seems to limit Kalisto’s ability to break out as his own star.
He’s not Rey Mysterio Jr and in all honesty, it’s bad for his character to treat him as such.
7. WWE’s Belief In Him
When Sin Cara found himself on the injured reserve, many wondered what would happen to his Lucha Dragon counterpart, Kalisto. Fortunately, he wasn’t left to fall off the card; he was placed in a program with Alberto Del Rio and the League of Nations. Many believe that had Sin Cara not fallen victim to an injury, Kalisto wouldn’t have even come near to the United States Championship.
With him winning appearing to be a sudden change in booking, it shows that WWE never intended to give him the championship when they did.
Kalisto’s win of the championship received great acclaim by the WWE Universe. People were happy with the change… and then Alberto Del Rio won it back.
WWE hasn’t shown the fans that they believe in Kalisto. As a result, we haven’t been able to believe in him as a credible United States Champion.
6. His First Championship Reign
Kalisto has held the championship in total for just over 50 days now. That’s between two championship reigns. His first reign was just three days long.
Three days before he eventually lost the championship to Del Rio again. This loss to Del Rio saw Kalisto lose more than just the United States Championship as he also lost a lot of momentum. He was losing that credibility that is so important to have with being the champion.
We wanted to support Kalisto as champion however that became increasingly difficult to do when he loses it less than a week from winning it.
It didn’t help that he lost it to the previous champion, Alberto Del Rio which leads to the next point.
5. ‘Hot Potato’ With Alberto Del Rio
The basic idea of a champion is that they should be consistent. They should win matches and hold the belt for periods of time. This was not the case with Kalisto.
January 11th on Monday Night RAW saw Kalisto defeat Alberto Del Rio to win the championship for the first time. January 14th on Friday Night Smackdown had Alberto Del Rio defeat Kalisto to regain the belt. The title change appeared to be a waste of a match as January 24th saw Kalisto win it back once again.
The fact is, Alberto Del Rio didn’t need to win back the United States Championship from Kalisto. The masked Lucha should have just been left to run with it as Del Rio chases his rematch into the Royal Rumble event. The game of ‘Hot Potato’ as Byron Saxton called it served no purpose whatsoever.
No one, especially Kalisto, benefited from the three title changes within a short timespan rendering it highly unnecessary.
4. Kalisto’s Opponents
In Kalisto’s current reign as United States Champion, he has defended the championship twice against two different opponents.
The first of his opponents came in the form of Neville in a match that just came from nowhere with no real build. Of course, Neville is an excellent athlete who deserves to be higher on the card; the problem is that WWE hasn’t built Neville up making it hard to take him seriously as a worthy contender.
The next bout was against Alberto Del Rio at WWE Fastlane… on the pre-show. We had already seen Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio four times before this match which was made different by the stipulation of a two out of three falls match. Not helped by the fact that the general stigma surrounding Del Rio is that he’s bland, this was a contest that not many were interested in.
Kalisto’s next opponent is to be Ryback on the grandest stage of them all, WrestleMania. It’s the typical big guy vs. little guy match which once again, not many people care for. A lot of people felt that the title should be defended in a multi-man ladder match stipulation but that slot went to the Intercontinental Championship.
3. Prestige of the Championship
Throughout a significant part of 2015, John Cena held onto the United States Championship issuing open challenges to whoever thought they could defeat him. The championship looked as if it mattered once again. When Alberto Del Rio won the title, however, that slowly started to disintegrate.
WWE could have done a lot more to secure the United States Championship’s prestige. Not only did it get lowered by the ‘Hot Potato’ game with the three title switches that I’ve previously mentioned, but it was lowered once again at WWE Fastlane.
Fastlane saw Alberto Del Rio’s rematch for the United States Championship. It was also going to be the first time Kalisto successfully defended the belt against him too. The match, however, wasn’t even on the main card, it was on the Kickoff show. Curtis Axel vs. R Truth got on the main show but the US title was left off.
Without the championship being prestigious in the WWE, Kalisto’s reign with it is seemingly worthless.
2. Lucha Dragons
Kalisto came up to the main roster in a tag team with Sin Cara. That tag team still exists to this day, and the pair still competes together. That has indeed damaged Kalisto’s image.
Being part of the Lucha Dragons is holding Kalisto back. The important thing to remember is that the United States Championship is a singles title, and there is no room for his partner, Sin Cara. Kalisto’s found himself inserted into in several tag team matches since winning the title and not showcased enough as the individual champion he is.
WWE could be fixing this mistake however as they had Ryback acknowledge that Sin Cara is holding Kalisto back on a previous edition of Monday Night RAW.
Kalisto needs to break out on his own as he needs to be in the spotlight on his own as the singles champion.
1. The Overall Booking of Kalisto's Reign
If Kalisto were to lose the United States Championship today, in a few years would you remember his reign? No one could blame you if the answer to that question is no.
Neither reign of Kalisto has been booked strongly with the highlight being on the second reign as it’s the longer of the two and still currently going on. Mixed with several opponents that are not interesting such as Ryback and Alberto Del Rio and you have the recipe for a booking disaster.
There is a lack of edge from the current title run as nothing memorable has so far happened. The reign has been average at best. WWE needs to start giving us more high profiled United States Championship matches and also a set of better storylines for champion Kalisto.