After being out of the company for a little over a year, former WWE World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio made a shocking return to WWE at Sunday’s Hell in a Cell show, as he answered John Cena’s United States Championship open challenge and defeated Cena to become the new U.S. Champion.
Several weeks before Hell in a Cell, it was reported that both WWE in Del Rio were interested in working together again. There were several things that opened the door for Del Rio’s return, and one of the major things was that the WWE employee that Del Rio slapped after the employee allegedly told an offensive, anti-Mexican joke, is no longer with the company.
Del Rio was released from WWE in August of last year, and in the months following his release, it seemed like Del Rio had no interest in returning to WWE. He said in multiple interviews that he didn’t like how over-scripted and creatively stifling WWE was, and he also said that he was constantly getting in trouble near the end of his first run there because he would ignore the scripts, and just do his own thing.
After his release, Del Rio wrestled for several promotions around the world, including Ring of Honor, Lucha Underground, and AAA.
Del Rio, who was working under the name Alberto El Patron after his WWE departure, ended up having a falling out with Lucha Underground due to two reasons: cash and creative. He wasn’t satisfied with his pay, and he wasn’t satisfied with the creative direction of his character.
Even though he wasn’t happy with it, Del Rio reportedly had a great deal with Lucha Underground, which is why he was so unwilling to return to WWE after he was fired. But after his falling out with Lucha Underground, Del Rio was no longer making good money outside of WWE, which helped open the door for his return to the company.
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer is reporting that the deal between WWE and Del Rio was made several weeks ago, but he’s not sure if it was WWE or Del Rio that inquired about a return.
“I’ve heard people say that Triple H was the one who made the deal, that Triple H approached (Del Rio), and I’ve also heard that Del Rio approached WWE. I couldn’t tell you for sure which one is right. But this deal was clearly done weeks ago.”
Meltzer also noted that Del Rio, who is the current AAA Champion, will likely work several dates for AAA next month so the company can get the championship off of him before he leaves the company for good. However, Del Rio working with AAA next month isn’t a guarantee, as WWE may prevent him from doing so.
“As far as what Del Rio is going to do [with AAA], no one really knows. He was really nice to [AAA] when he called, and the impression is that he’s going to work his dates through the end of November, but that’s not a sure thing, because you never know what WWE will start saying. But, Del Rio gave the impression that he would work his existing dates, so they can get the title off of him, but then he would be gone.”
Apparently, Del Rio vs. Cena for the United States Championship at Hell in a Cell was decided several weeks ago, even before WWE announced that a U.S. open challenge would be taking place at the event. The idea, as of right now, is for Del Rio to hold onto the U.S. Title until John Cena returns in December, and then Cena and Del Rio will feud over the championship.
Also, Del Rio reportedly has a light schedule with WWE, as he’s not going to be a full-time guy for the company.
[Image via WWE]