A recent report suggests that there are tensions brewing between the WWE and one of its top stars. Alberto Del Rio and the WWE are reportedly at odds over several issues and the report suggests that Del Rio is ready to pack up and head back to Mexico.
The report comes in the latest issue of the Figure Four Weekly newsletter. The story apparently leaked out on Twitter of all places thanks to a Twitter account named “Cranky Vince.” Cranky Vince sent out a tweet reporting that Del Rio had threatened to quit. The WWE has since shut down Cranky Vince although the damage as far as this story goes is already done.
“In fact, that day there had been a blow-up with Alberto Del Rio and he had, in fact, threatened to quit. One source in WWE said Del Rio was frustrated with his role in the company and was willing to leave at any time.”
I am tempted to call bogus on that report. While appearing on television is nice, the wrestlers make their money on pay per view. Del Rio was slotted for the WWE world heavyweight championship match. Theoretically Del Rio would have looked at a nice pay per view bonus being in one of the top spots. I can’t imagine Del Rio throwing away a pay per view payday while “recovering” in order to work a RAW which is far less lucrative to his bank account.
The report says that this all comes down to a contract dispute and Del Rio being unhappy. Contract disputes are a funny thing for WWE superstars. There are only a few places left to make a full time living as a professional wrestler, none being as lucrative as the WWE. So when it comes to negotiations and contract leverage, the ball is in the WWE’s court. Del Rio could always go back to Mexico as a conquering hero but the money would be nowhere close to what he could make as a WWE performer.
It is obvious to me that the WWE has soured on Del Rio quite a bit over the last year. He had the mega push going into last year’s Royal Rumble. He was ready to take over one of the top spots after winning Money in the Bank but the timing couldn’t have been worse with CM Punk getting red hot. Since winning Money in the Bank it has never been the same for Del Rio, including his brief title run. While he was currently booked in a top spot on SmackDown against Sheamus, he would have just wound up putting Sheamus over. I could easily see the frustration.
I think all things get resolved and Del Rio sticks around. The time is now to negotiate and losing a top star like Del Rio right before the WWE goes to three hours would hurt. It wouldn’t cripple the program but it would take away a recognizable star that fans see as a headliner. Now is not the time for Vince McMahon to get cute with contracts and at the end of the day I think he knows that.
I have always enjoyed Del Rio’s character in the WWE. He was fresh when he came in and I quickly grew to enjoy his matches. I hope he sticks around because watching SmackDown or even RAW without Del Rio just wouldn’t seem right.
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