The controversial WWE firing of Alberto Del Rio is getting interesting. Alberto Del Rio spoke out for the first time since his release and the former WWE superstar’s recap will certainly not help relations between the WWE and the Latino market.
Things heated up over the weekend when Alberto made an appearance at Triple Mania. What does this mean for Alberto’s non-compete? With Triple A coming to the United States, can Alberto be their franchise player? What happens next? Will there be a lawsuit?
Alberto appeared recently on a Mexican morning news show and gave his side of the story for the first time. Transcripts of his Primero Noticias of Televisa appearance have finally become available and here are just some of the details from the lengthy interview.
“Yes, I continued being one of the top guys in USA. But there was an incident in which there was an altercation with a WWE employee. I won’t give all the details just yet. I’m still assessing which is the best way, legally, so that nothing that I say can be used against me. You know that US laws are completely different than the ones in Mexico. It was an incident in which I was offended. I was completely the victim. I have not spoken or said anything due to the same situation. They went ahead and said that I had unprofessional conduct. It’s true. Yes, I slapped this WWE employee because, I always say, that you can take my job, but no one will take my dignity, or my pride. And I won’t let anyone offend or humiliate my homeland, which is Mexico. I don’t forget my roots. Like I said, I am defending myself. This problem led to the end of my contract with them in one of the moments where I was at the top of the tier, just like I have always been throughout my 6 years with them.”
Alberto was then asked whether he was a victim of racism. “Yes, yes. These were comments that this guy made. And I reacted in an inappropriate manner. I will never say that someone should conduct themselves the way I did. I slapped him, and I feel completely embarrassed of my attitude and my reaction. But in that moment, after his comment, I demanded an apology. I didn’t just stand there and slap him outright.”
What may be the most damaging part of his side of the story to the WWE is that there was an incident prior to this one with the social media manager. I” had an incident with him in the past where he pretended, I think, to read his computer. He said “Alberto is a such and such.” And I was like, “What did you say, man?” He stands up and says, “No, it’s something from Twitter.” He then wants to give me his hand, and I just said, “Don’t touch me.” And I left to the ring, because I was on my way to the squared circle. This was about 7-8 months ago. When he says this comment, the same person again, I’m like “What’s this guy’s problem?” So I stand up, and don’t think I’m going to come to blows with him. I stood up demanding an apology.”
Alberto tells the interviewer that he did indeed slap him. “He was already standing up. He was about to leave when he said that comment. The only thing he does after his comment is, with his face as close to me as mine is to yours right now, he does a douchey smirk with one side of mouth. And then I hit him. I’ll say it again, I will always be embarrassed of the way I reacted. I’m not regretful. Sure, it costed me my job. But they are the ones that lose more in this situation.”
Now according to Dave Meltzer in a recent podcast Alberto didn’t just slap this employee. Alberto slapped the heck out of him. Meltzer compared the slap to the David Schultz-John Stossel slap.
Alberto said that he spoke with Vince McMahon after the incident. He said Vince told him he understood what he did and suspended him. Alberto said that Triple H called him later and told him he was being fired. Alberto said that Triple H claimed it hurt WWE more to release him due to the time and money they invested. Telling a guy who is getting fired for standing up for himself after a racist remark that the company is hurting more is a bit absurd and arrogant if you ask me.
Meltzer speculated that the social media manager threatened to sue the company if Del Rio wasn’t fired. Thus Del Rio was fired. It’s a real tough one here. I am sure the guy has a case but I can’t imagine how the WWE can keep a guy who is making racist remarks openly within the company. That seems like just-cause to me.
The revelation that Alberto had a previous incident with this guy is very damaging to the WWE. The fact that the WWE kept this employee on staff after such an incident is remarkable. That part of the story is going to hurt if this story blows up in the press. The Latino market make up a big part of the WWE audience. This is a story the WWE will probably want to keep quiet. It will be interesting to see who moves first in the upcoming weeks.
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