Induction: MexAmerica – Their chief export was apathy

30 Submitted by on Thu, 12 January 2017, 20:00

WWE, 2015

When WWE brought José Alberto Rodríguez, the former Dos Caras Jr., into the company, their hope was to create a Mexican superstar who could draw a Latino audience even after Rey Mysterio retired.

Unfortunately, the renamed Alberto Del Río did not work out as hoped, being nowhere near as popular as Rey-Rey, even during his brief run as a babyface from 2012-2013.

It might have had to do with him running over Santa Claus that Christmas.

In the summer of 2014, Alberto Del Río was fired from WWE for slapping a “social media manager” who made a racist comment about him backstage.

Almost immediately, Del Río told his story to the Spanish-speaking press and became a hero in Mexico for standing up for himself and his people. Now dubbed, “Alberto El Patrón”, Del Río was more popular than ever in Mexico while maintaining a presence in America via Ring of Honor and Lucha Underground.

So in October 2015, Del Río had all the makings of a top babyface heading into his rumored surprise return to WWE, where John Cena had just issued an open challenge for his US title at Hell in a Cell.

Return Del Río did, but, in a surprising twist, WWE paired him up with Zeb Colter, whose whole character was created specifically to feud with Del Río and take exception to his Mexicanity.

Maybe it was because, besides certain ring announcers, Zeb was the only person in WWE who attempted to pronounce his name right.

After Zeb cut a Kumbaya promo on reaching out to people of different backgrounds, his new associate Del Río beat John Cena clean for the US title.

The next night, the duo revealed their new, soon-to-be great country, MexAmerica, of which they were the first two citizens. This new country would eliminate the border between Mexico and America and unify it into one big happy country. In keeping with this new patriotism for an imaginary nation, Del Río declared himself not the US champion, but the MexAmerican champion.

It was a strange angle to re-launch the WWE career of Del Río, who just the night before had conquered the company’s top star to thunderous applause. Everyone had questions:

Were we supposed to cheer Mexamerica for promoting international unity?

Were we supposed to boo Mexamerica for undermining either country’s sovereignty?

Was this wrestling’s first NAFTA-inspired faction?

And (had fans known in 2015 about the Shining Stars), was this new campaign part of a scam to sell time shares?

But all the fans knew for sure was that “MexAmerica” consisted of one Mexican, one American, and one butt-ugly flag. Look at that thing.  

Clearly, this was not the work of Betsy Ross, or even WWE’s seamstress Sandra Gray, who left the company earlier that year.

So little thought was put into this gimmick that Alberto Del Río continued to be billed from Mexico instead of Mexamerica. If Brodus Clay and Shawn Stasiak could claim birthplaces on other planets, why couldn’t ADR get Lilian García to tweak her note cards a little?

Plus, the ring announcers kept calling him the US Champion instead of the MexAmerican champion, an oversight even the Raw commentators noticed.

You know what would be great? If Alberto had his own personal ring announcer.

In the angle’s first month, Zeb praised both Mexico and the USA for its “great people” and “great resources”.

MexAmerica, he explained in his confusing speeches, was not just a country “united by humanity”, but also a state of mind. “You must cast aside your differences,” demanded Zeb, “because the one thing that is not allowed in MexAmerica is hate”.

The previously grumpy old Zeb even started quoting John Lennon.

On the other hand, Zeb’s xenophobic side sometimes surfaced, like when he took cheap shots against the British (when in Manchester)…

…and Canadians (when in Denver).

Week after week, Zeb and Alberto’s promos raised more questions than answers as to what MexAmerica was supposed to be and why anyone should care. Fans were supposed to boo Del Río and Zeb either for believing in these warm and fuzzy ideas, or for not believing in these warm and fuzzy ideas but pretending that they did. The fans, conflicted, typically stayed quiet…

…except on the pre-taped Smackdown, where the WWE Universe made their voices heard (in post-production).

Fans finally got some indication of how they were supposed to feel about Alberto and Zeb’s Land of Imagination right around Survivor Series.

Del Río attempted to unify his title MexAmerican title with the WWE title, but fell in the semi-finals to Pensacola, FL’s Roman Reigns. Fortunately, it was not a flag match.

Pictured: Actual flag of Pensacola.

The next night, Zeb delivered the State of MexAmerica address, lamenting that back when he and Alberto offered fans the chance to join the new country of MexAmerica, all the Americans went on social media to complain.

All of social media: Twitter, Facebook, Grindr

I’m not sure whether Zeb meant to name-drop a gay hook-up app, or whether he was thinking of Tumblr, but the point was the same: Americans don’t deserve MexAmerican citizenship because they’re “a bunch of haters” and also maybe homosexual.

Under their country’s new “Everyone Sucks But Alberto and I” policy, MexAmerica’s borders were officially closed. Unfortunately, this did not lead to Zeb and Alberto carrying around a ten-foot fence to surround them at all times. At least this new “closed borders” policy meant no time shares.

Soon, Zeb was running down America (and Del Río, Mexico) like a classic foreign heel.

Lana and Rusev did that too, except that they praised a country that existed.

For Colter’s former protege Jack Swagger, it was as if his mentor had completely forgotten what those three words, “We the people”, even meant. The WWE Universe certainly hadn’t forgotten (because no one besides Zeb and Jack knew what that slogan was supposed to mean in the first place).

Jack Swagger scolded Colter, disillusioned that a great patriot like Zeb could turn his back on his home country in favor of an imaginary one. That’s not treason, Jack. That’s dementia.

MexAmerica was put on the back-burner shortly thereafter when Del Río joined forces with Sheamus, Wade Barrett, and Rusev to form the League of Nations, named for the international governing body best known for its failure to prevent the Second World War.

No doubt, membership in this new club put pressure on Alberto to ditch Zeb and the whole MexAmerican enterprise, as Sheamus’s new faction had a famously restrictive “Real Nations Only” policy.

Civil war ripped MexAmerica apart one fateful Monday night in December when, in the midst of a chair-fight with Jack Swagger, Alberto Del Río unconvincingly tripped over Zeb’s mobility aid before fleeing the scene.

Backstage, Alberto fired Colter as his manager, thus making MexAmerica the only nation in history to dissolve due to one founder tripping on another founder’s scooter.

With the confused, possibly senile Zeb now out of the equation, Del Río and Swagger’s pay-per-view match was switched from a commitment papers-on-a-pole match to a chairs match, which Alberto won to retain his title.

While MexAmerica never achieved its long-term goals, such as annexing Suplex City or establishing a bicameral legislature, it did nearly achieve the impossible: to make Alberto Del Río completely irrelevant again.

It took the League of Nations to accomplish that goal, and Del Río quit the company in 2016.

If Alberto had been handled correctly upon his return, the nephew of Mil Máscaras who won four world titles in WWE could have ended up in its Hall of Fame. Instead, the company put him in “MexAmerica.”

It’s ironic, then, that Alberto’s membership in one dubious organization with no physical home would prevent his membership in another.

Don’t forget to read my newest (and first) article on WhatCulture:

Written by

A wrestling fan ever since the days of Wrestlemania IX, Art graduated from college in the same building where Art Donovan called King of the Ring 1994. He also runs the "How Much Does This Guy Weigh?" blog, where he reviews New Generation-Era Monday Night Raws. Follow him on Twitter @Art0Donnell. Email at:
30 Responses to "Induction: MexAmerica – Their chief export was apathy"
  1. ChrisVC says:

    Now that I read this review of that utter stupidity, I realize how awesome the angle could have been!
    Zeb is revealed to have dementia….
    Alberto tricks Zeb in to believing he is from some imaginary country…
    That dastardly heel Del Rio, he’s laughing at that poor old guy behind his back!
    Swagger attempts to save Zeb. He shows him atlases, maps, flags…trying to show Zeb there is no place known as MexAmerica.
    Del Rio creates mock books about the history of MexAmerica and reads them to Zeb.
    Zeb gains sympathy from fans by talking about how confused he is.

    The angle writes itself! How did WWE miss out on one of the greatest angles in modern wrestling lore?
    It all begins to make some semblance of sense now. I guess.

  2. Hulk6785 says:

    Sometimes, I’m amazed that WWE is as successful as it is. Mainly because of how something hot just falls into their laps and they just cool down all its heat within a few weeks. I mean, they brought back a guy who took being fired into getting over with fans and just dumped him right into the Sea of Irrelevance.

    • Elmo Machete says:

      The Sea of Irrelevance, right off the coast of Parts Unknown.

    • PD says:

      The same thing happened to Matt Hardy on his WWE comeback in 2005. You give a reason for the fans to care and then they become just another guy having standard wrestling matches within weeks. It makes you wonder who would have become main eventers/legends if the WWE allowed guys who got over organically to stay over and not super cooled down immediately.

      By the way if Tony Schiavone shrugged every time something stupid happened on WCW he would be the IWC’s folk hero and probably have a job for life with Vince after the buyout. lol

      • Skinnyfatass says:

        That wasn’t all on WWE. After his return, Matt Hardy did cut a promo in which he stated that the only thing better than ending the career of Edge was if the Canadian died in a car wreck. The only thing that died was Matt Hardy’s main event chances.

      • Jay says:

        With as much as Shiavone shrugs around here, I’m surprised he doesn’t have traps like Goldberg by now.

    • Philip says:

      It’s all in the presentation. Remember, Vince was able to get people to open up their wallets and cough up their hard-earned cash for a pay-per-view whose main selling point was the revealing of the contents of a mysterious giant egg 😛

  3. CF says:

    Apologies in advance for the number of links; I do try to provide references when I get as obscure as I’m about to get here. 🙂

    “MexAmerica”? Is that the best WWE could come up with — a shortened version of the same lame gimmick TNA used three years previously?

    [ ]

    I mean, they could have at least gone historical, and called it “Knights of the Golden Circle”; it wouldn’t be the first time someone did a gimmick based around The Peculiar Institution….

    [ ]

    As for that flag: Someone should have kicked them in the direction of the “Aztec Eagles”, Escuadron Aerea de Pelea 201, Fuerza Aerea Expedicionaria Mexicana for abetter idea of how to combine US and Mexican national iconography.

    [Story: ; painting of unit markings: ]

  4. Ian says:

    I misread this induction. I thought this was about the TNA stable Mexican America. Rats.

    • Skinnyfatass says:

      God, that stable was awful. Two Puerto Ricans, one Canadian and one actual Mexican (who put Chris Sabin out of action with an awful botch) in a racist Anti-American stable. They sucked.

      And to think the worst tag team in TNA history ended the run of possibly the greatest (Beer Money).

  5. Cpt SuckePunch says:

    Out of curiosity, is there a friendly relationship between wrestlecrap and what culture? I know Justin henry has worked with some of those guys, but I always thought they were kinda just stealing wrestlecrap’s style. Like, pretty much all the stuff they bag on there has been covered in much greater detail here.

    Don’t get me wrong, what culture does funny stuff, but I guess it’s more feeling that wrestlecrap doesn’t get its well deserved due.

  6. Gerard says:

    people love to make fun of tna that they have no clue what they are doing, well wwe is not the helluva lot better. you take a great wrestler like alberto and give him an idiot storyline and expect him to turn it into gold??? uhm no just no. samoa joe robert roode and any other ex tna guys who are on nxt and waiting for their chance to be called up to the main roster should just say no thanks i like it here in nxt. because wwe will stick you in an insane storyline that wont make a drop of sense either!!!

    • Guest says:

      But at the very least you won’t have to entertain casual fans attending a theme park or worry about not getting paid for months on end.

  7. Buddy McKay says:

    Without being a flag wonk to explain it, I can say it’s a good thing they changed the flag from one where the stars can be seen (mexamerica04.png) to one with just the stripes.

    The Amazing French Canadians’ flag seems like an inviting thing to compare: looks like the French tricolor but with a half maple leaf/half fleur-de-lis. And it’s sideways for some reason.

    Anyway, another good read for the WrestleCrap body of work.

  8. Si says:

    To think League Of Nations – a faction that ended when Del Rio and Rusev walked out on Sheamus mid-tag match and then not only did none of them turn face but two were working together two weeks later – was a step up from this.

  9. Wan Ting Kok says:

    “the renamed Alberto Del Río did not work out as hoped, being nowhere near as popular as Rey-Rey, even during his brief run as a babyface from 2012-2013.”

    I love how Art can be so subtle with his digs at times. It took a few reads to notice that this was clearly a dig at WWE for expecting to be able to book a HEEL as a babyface replacement for Rey.

    • Craig says:

      It’s even more ridiculous then that. Y’see as Dos Caras II, Alberto had been a career good guy and up to that point in his career had never played a heel. So they have this talented wrestler, with a fanbase among Latinos and they strip it all away and make him a Latino Million Dollar Man who goes around boasting about how Spanish he is, then wonder why Latinos aren’t rabidly cheering him on.

  10. Mister Forth says:

    Between this run, and the stuff with Paige, it’s not looking bright with him.

  11. Mike C. says:

    For most angles, even stupid as hell ones, I can at least get what they are going for. MexAmerica is one of the few ones where as it was unfolding, I was just confused about what the actual POINT was. Are we supposed to boo this idea of racial unity? What’s going on?

    • Adam says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised if it boiled down to Vince being mad about the first departure, and brought Del Rio back just to stick him in a stupid angle to humiliate him.

  12. Paolo says:

    WWE have no-one but themselves to blame for handling ADR so badly. They took away his cars, his pyro, his butler, and even his scarf went to Chris Jericho. He became just another grunt in black trunks :

  13. Ray G says:

    People always seem to forget just how petty and vindictive Vince can be at times. After ADR got fired the first time and the story got out as to the reason why, people took his side and felt that the WWE had made a mistake. Well, Vince isn’t going to have any of that. So he brings Alberto back just so he can bury him.

  14. Andre Reichenbacher says:

    That reminds me: When is Los Matadores going to be inducted? A few weeks after their debut in 2013-14, somebody here said that they had to wait a year after something induction-worthy debuted before being properly inducted. And how about The Shining Stars? That should ALSO get a Wrestlecrap treatment as well!

  15. Theudude says:

    I remember this. The only good part of it was Cena losing the title. Del Rio is boring and Im fine with him being gone. Only member of league of nations I didn’t like.

  16. Daniel says:

    Like Matt Hardy he got over the wrong way….By exposing back stage issues and embarrassing the company.

    This was a deliberate bury

  17. Ze Frenchie says:

    Looked up the Pensacola flag. There actually is a Pensapedia – an encyclopedia of Pensacole… and Roman Reigns doesn’t have a page!

    Oh, and while we’re at it, why not simply call it Amexica?

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