Alberto Del Rio covered all the bases this week in an interview with ESPN, “shooting” on a variety of topics that made him one of the most controversial names in wrestling over the past few weeks. In this interview, the Mexican veteran admitted being unhappy in his second WWE stint, confirmed that this month’s controversial stabbing incident happened because someone disrespected his real-life girlfriend, WWE wrestler Paige, and hinted that he just might be making an appearance on TNA very soon.
Since his release from WWE early in September, Alberto Del Rio (a.k.a. Alberto el Patron outside of the company) has been shrouded in controversy. That release, for one, came while the wrestler was suspended for a violation of the company’s Wellness Policy, and was allegedly the result of Del Rio’s frustration with his career direction as a WWE Superstar. And just as he was preparing to fly to Mexico for a televised appearance on AAA earlier this month, he was involved in a stabbing incident, causing him to miss the show and sparking myriad, conflicting rumors on the specifics of the attack.
On top of all that, Del Rio has also been in the news in recent days, standing up for Paige as she serves a 60-day suspension for her second Wellness Policy strike, and getting confirmed as the president of Combate Americas, a Hispanic-centric MMA promotion.
But what does Alberto Del Rio think of all of this? Does he hold ill will toward WWE, what really happened during the stabbing, and does he have any plans to join TNA or other well-known North American wrestling promotions? Those were all topics he touched on when speaking to ESPN’s Brian Campbell in an interview published Wednesday morning.
Regarding his second WWE run, which lasted from October 2015 to September of this year, Del Rio told Campbell that WWE did indeed fail to honor its promises to give him a main event push and that he left the company, as he previously stated, because he was “unhappy with the situation.” But at this point, he is holding no grudges toward his former employers and is grateful to WWE for helping him become a household name in the world of wrestling. Del Rio added that WWE did try to retain him beyond the 11 months he spent with them, but he chose not to stay for another year due to his worse-than-anticipated midcard push and lack of creative direction.
Talking about the alleged Alberto Del Rio and Paige situation in San Antonio, where Del Rio was allegedly stabbed on October 2 while trying to catch a flight to Mexico, the wrestler left it as being “in the wrong place at the wrong time” without giving Campbell too many details. He lamented the conflicting nature of reports on the case, and simply said that he was “in a street fight with a guy who had disrespected my girlfriend,” and that he had to stand up for Paige, hence the stabbing. Del Rio also told a similar story to TMZ, saying that the stabbing was perpetrated by a “drunk” man who “disrespected my girl.”
Del Rio, however, chose not to confirm nor deny to ESPN that WWE was trying to break him and Paige apart ahead of his departure.
The biggest reveal in the ESPN interview was Alberto Del Rio’s admission that he’s currently in talks with TNA Wrestling, where he may be joining several ex-WWE friends on the roster. He also says he may be wrestling select U.S. shows for well-known independent promotion Ring of Honor (ROH).
“I already talked to my friends from Ring of Honor, and I’m a big fan of that company and their talent,” Del Rio told ESPN. “I had a blast a few years ago, and I’m going to have fun with all those guys again pretty soon, as well as doing something with my friends in TNA, especially because my friend Drew McIntyre (a.k.a. Drew Galloway) works for them. I have other friends like Damien (Sandow, a.k.a. Aron Rex in TNA), and Cody Rhodes. I’m just looking forward to doing an appearance with them pretty soon.”
Alberto Del Rio will be turning 40 in May 2017, and he had originally planned to retire at that point in his career. But as he hinted several times to ESPN’s Campbell, he won’t be leaving the wrestling scene just yet and plans to keep competing for the fans regardless of the controversy or any other factors in his life.
[Featured Image by Getty Images/Mike Coppola]