Former WWE star Alberto Del Rio, now wrestling as Alberto El Patron, has signed a deal to wrestle for the El Rey Network’s Lucha Underground.
Del Rio, who is currently the AAA world champion in Mexico, made his debut for Lucha Underground at last night’s television tapings in Los Angeles. Following the event, Lucha Underground issued a press release officially announcing Del Rio’s signing. Below are some highlights.
“Lucha Underground has signed AAA World Heavyweight Champion Alberto El Patrón it was announced today by Lucha Underground the new Lucha Libre wrestling franchise from Emmy Award®-winning producer Mark Burnett, United Artists Media Group, Robert Rodriguez and FactoryMade Ventures. The Mexican professional wrestler and mixed martial artist competed in his first match in Los Angeles today, January 17th.”
“We are thrilled to have Alberto El Patrón join Lucha Underground,” said Executive Producer and Showrunner Eric Van Wagenen. “He is a bold and exciting luchador who delivers attitude and skill. He is a very welcome addition to our roster.”
Following his departure from the WWE, Alberto has been highly sought after by many wrestling and mixed martial arts organizations. TNA was pushing hard to get Del Rio for an appearance on their first episode of Impact Wrestling on Destination America, and Bellator fighting was also reported to be hot on his trail. Del Rio did sign a deal to wrestle for Ring of Honor. Del Rio wrestled Christopher Daniels at ROH’s television tapings on January 3 in Nashville, and he also started a feud with Jay Lethal during the tapings. Del Rio is expected to wrestle Lethal at ROH’s 13th anniversary show in March. The match with Daniels aired this weekend on Ring of Honor’s syndicated television show.
The WWE announced they had released Alberto Del Rio on August 7, 2014. It was originally reported that Del Rio was released due to a physical altercation with another employee backstage. However, more of the story came to light later on when it was revealed that Del Rio had hit the WWE web producer due to a racist joke the producer had made and refused to apologize for.
In the following months, Del Rio took Vince McMahon and the WWE to court over a no-compete clause that was present in his WWE contract. The clause stated that he could not work a television taping for another promotion for 90 days following his departure from WWE, and Del Rio wanted to have this dropped so that he could wrestle for AAA in Mexico immediately following his WWE release. Del Rio won the court case and went on to win the AAA world championship.
[Image via CageSideSeats]