Former WWE and United States champion Alberto Del Rio has been suspended for 30 days due to a violation of the WWE’s Wellness policy, the company announced on Wednesday. The suspension is effective as of Thursday, August 18.
Del Rio, 39, returned last October at WWE Hell in a Cell, defeating John Cena for the United States championship. He faced Cena on last night’s edition of SmackDown Live in a losing effort. With recent reports suggesting Del Rio’s unhappiness in WWE and top officials being down on him, his return match and final match in WWE may have been against Cena.
— WWE (@WWE) August 17, 2016
A recent report from Daily Wrestling News stated that WWE COO Triple H asserted his power over Del Rio by splitting him up from real-life girlfriend Paige in the WWE Draft. “The Game” reportedly views Del Rio as a “liability” because he parties a lot and is a bad influence on the 23-year-old Paige.
The report added that Del Rio’s contract expires in October and he’s interested in leaving. While Vince McMahon is down on Del Rio, he was still interested in re-signing the “Mexican Aristocrat” as of last week’s report.
Del Rio was infamously fired from WWE in 2014 after getting into a physical altercation with a WWE employee over an alleged racist remark. After confronting the employee, who was later revealed as social media manager Cody Barbierri, Del Rio slapped him when Barbierri refused to apologize.
Several months later, Del Rio appeared on YouShoot with Sean Oliver and discussed the incident, expressing embarassment with his action but no regret for defending his culutre. Del Rio also talked about his relationship with WWE’s higher-ups.
“To be honest, I was always dealing with Vince [McMahon] and some other people, I was never a part of Triple H’s group,” Del Rio said. “Vince [McMahon] was fantastic, he was a big supporter of Alberto Del Rio, he was the one who gave me the opportunity to be in a main spot or to do the main storylines. It was him, he always liked my work.”
— WWE (@WWE) August 13, 2016
After leaving WWE, Del Rio became one of the most sought-after independent wrestlers on the circuit. He signed a deal with Lucha Underground and made appearances for Ring of Honor (ROH), Asistencia Asesoría y Administración (AAA), House of Hardcore (HOH), and several others. Total Nonstop Action (TNA) was in serious talks with Del Rio but he later confirmed that the company could not afford him.
“It doesn’t matter where you go, all of the other companies have something good to offer, but if you really want to say that you succeeded in this business you have to be here,” Del Rio told TV entertainment reporter Chris Van Vliet in late January about his return to WWE. “This is the place where I belong, in the major leagues of pro wrestling. That’s the reason I came back and I’m happy. I’m just doing it different this time, I’m not stressing myself with things that I know I’m not able to change.”
The suspension will leave Del Rio off this Sunday’s WWE SummerSlam event in Brooklyn, New York. Should this suspension mark the end of Del Rio’s WWE tenure, he will leave as a two-time U.S. champion, four-time WWE World Heavyweight champion, Money in the Bank winner (2011), and the winner of WWE’s largest Royal Rumble ever in 2011.
[Featured Image by WWE]