Earlier this week, it was reported that former WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio — who was released by WWE last year — may be on his way back to the company, as WWE is looking to add more depth to its roster, and Del Rio is one of the names at the top of their list.
WWE is also interested in bringing in a big Hispanic star, which is why they’re currently negotiating with former WWE United States and Tag-Team Champion Carlito, who left the company in 2010.
Right now, it looks like Carlito won’t be signing with WWE any time soon, but Alberto Del Rio may be interested in returning, as Cage Side Seats is reporting that WWE is now expecting a Del Rio return, and they’re expecting it to happen sooner rather than later.
“It’s expected that Alberto Del Rio will make his return to WWE, it’s just a matter of when. It’s likely sooner rather than later.”
Since leaving WWE, Del Rio has stayed busy, wrestling for numerous promotions around the world, including AAA in Mexico, and Ring of Honor. There was even some talk of Del Rio making a return to the world of mixed martial arts, where he has a professional record of 9 wins and 5 loses, with his most famous fight being a loss to MMA legend Mirko Filipovic, who is better known as Mirko Cro Cop.
Bellator MMA, the UFC’s chief competitor, showed some interest in Del Rio following his WWE departure. However, Del Rio said that he’s no longer interested in fighting.
Several months after his WWE departure, Del Rio did an interview with RF Video, and he touched on a few things that made him miserable while he was with WWE, and one of them was the company’s over-scripting.
Del Rio said that, after a certain point, he would stop doing what he was scripted to do, and do whatever he felt was right, which he says got him in a lot of trouble when he’d head backstage after his segments.
“It got to the point where I was like, ‘you know what, to hell with everything, I’m going to do whatever I want.’ I got heat for doing whatever I wanted several times… for changing promos, for not doing what they wanted me to do. But, this is the funny part, they always say, ‘go out there and have fun!’ But, they’ll also say, ‘you have to do everything I say, step by step.’ So, how are you supposed to have fun?”
While Del Rio never went out of his way to bash WWE after he was released, he’s always said that he has no interest in returning to the company because he’s not a fan of how they operate and how in-control of everything they want to be.
Also, based on how his WWE tenure ended, with Del Rio slapping a WWE employee who allegedly told an anti-Hispanic joke that offended Del Rio, it looked like WWE wouldn’t be interested in bringing him back. Furthermore, shortly after news broke of Del Rio’s release, WWE responded to fans who were upset at the news by telling them to blame Alberto, not the company.
It appears that his opinion on the company has changed due to WWE being confident that they can re-sign Del Rio sooner rather than later. So now, with it being reported that Del Rio isn’t opposed to a WWE return, the assumption will likely be that the former World Heavyweight Champion will return at the 2016 Royal Rumble in January, which would be the perfect place for a Del Rio return.
[Images via WWE, Bleacher Report]