Alberto el Patrón, formerly WWE's Alberto Del Rio, recently appeared on the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast where he discussed his 2014 firing from WWE after a racist backstage incident, and why his second run in WWE was a failure.
Alberto said that during his first WWE run, the company pushed him and other new stars because their old stars were either retiring or going into acting. Del Rio says he became one of the most relevant wrestlers in WWE within a period of ten months, and then a backstage "incident" caused him to leave the company for the first time.
The story goes that a WWE production worker made a racist remark to Alberto backstage, so Alberto allegedly smacked him for it. The former WWE Champion says he doesn't understand why he was the only one in the situation who lost his job, but that the time away from WWE proved he could stay in-demand on his own. Del Rio says he turned down two offers from WWE to return, including one just a few months after his firing to come back at WrestleMania in California.
"I'm not going to lie, the first two or three days I was really worried about being fired, but after the second or third day, I had people calling me from everywhere and I did amazingly," Del Rio said of his 2014 firing. "I was making the same amount of money that I was doing in WWE, working once or twice a week. So I was like, 'oh my God! This is fantastic! Why was I there for so many years?'"
Del Rio returned to WWE in 2015, but he says that confusing writing killed the momentum of his comeback. He feels the storyline WWE came up with for him was "pretty stupid."
"The MexAmerica storyline was so stupid because nobody understood what we were trying to do," Del Rio said of his program with Zeb Colter. "I didn't understand what we were trying to do, so, the people -- it didn't click with the people because it was just really confusing."
Continuing on the subject of his second WWE run, Del Rio says he did everything in his power to make things work out, but says the storylines "weren't there" and he was unhappy. He credited the younger talent in the WWE locker room as being "great, great guys," but says they're from different generations and he didn't fit in.
"All my friends were gone, Rey, Edge, Chavo," Alberto recalled. "I remember Vince saying this to me, 'why don't you try to blend [in] with the guys?' I said, 'because we're so different.' I read books. They play video games and they read comic books. They're 19, 20 years old. I'm 38, 39 years old, so we have nothing in common."
Del Rio says WWE did everything they could to keep him there, but his unhappiness with his direction in the company was ultimately why he decided to quit. You can listen to the entire interview with Alberto Del Rio on the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast.