Recently on Sam Roberts' Wrestling Podcast, AAA's Executive Vice President of Business Development and Lucha Underground Founder, Dorian Roldan Peña talked about current WWE United States Champion Alberto Del Rio's departure from AAA, the unexpected death of Perro Aguayo, and which WWE Superstar he wishes he could add to AAA's roster.
According to Peña, he got word that Del Rio was going to leave AAA for WWE only three days before WWE Hell in a Cell 2015. Del Rio had a one-year deal with AAA and was negotiating a new one-year deal with the company when WWE made Del Rio an offer to return to the company.
"[Del Rio] was our champion and we were in negotiations and after that WWE arrives to the table and you cannot compete with a company like WWE when you're talking about that amount of money." Peña recalled, "we were closing his [new] deal in Mexico and he was just finishing his deal in Lucha Underground, so the timing for him was perfect [for him] to do whatever he wants. And he had this offer from WWE. [It] was a really good offer. I think he [made] a smart decision."
Apparently, Del Rio was open to finishing out the year with AAA, but WWE would not allow it.
"We were trying to figure out with Alberto if we can have [him] for the next two shows." Peña continued, "we asked Alberto if he can work with us until the end of the year, for two or three more shows that we have on television, and he was like, 'I think, yes. Let me ask the WWE.' And the answer was, 'no, I can't.'"
Peña admitted that the situation with Del Rio gave AAA the impetus to look at its own agreements again to avoid those kinds of situations in the future.
"I think that there are two expenses that you cannot cut in your company, and [it is] even more [true] in a [professional] wrestling company: [accountants] and the lawyers. [They are] the two most important things in a wrestling company." Peña added, "right now, for example, with the legal department that we have in Mexico and that we have in the United States, of course, we are trying to protect all of our talent and I think we are not the only ones. If you are going to invest in your talent and young talent, the thing you want to do is to be really protective. And, of course, if they have a better opportunity, they are [free] to take it, so I think the only thing you want is in soccer or another sport, if you want to take one of our talent, come and tell us."
With respect to the unexpected death of Aguayo, in March 2015, Aguayo passed away following a dropkick from Rey Mysterio during a tag team match with Manik against Mysterio and Xtreme Tiger in Tijuana, Mexico at an event for The Crash promotion. Peña said the accident was one of the saddest periods in AAA history, but he pointed out that the accident happened at an event that was not promoted by AAA.
"I don't like to throw out bad answers about things, but, for example, the thing about Perro Aguayo, it was an accident. It happened in an indy show. It was the only show in Mexico that wasn't promoted by AAA with Rey Mysterio. It was the first show, so when Perro called us to tell us that he wants to have this fight with Rey Mysterio because he was the first fight of Rey Mysterio in Mexico, we were like, 'you can do it!' We weren't expecting to have an accident like that. It's something really tragic and something that you don't know how to handle."
Peña described the situation as unexpected and "really complicated", though Aguayo's family was very understanding.
"We had this conversation with his family and his family understands really well that there are accidents in this business and it [was] a really sad moment. It's one of the saddest weeks in AAA [history], in all this 23 years."
When asked which WWE talent he would want for AAA if he could have one, Peña named NXT Champion Finn Bálor, also known as Prince Devitt.
"Prince Devitt. I think so. Prince Devitt. I think so."
In addition to these topics, Peña talked about his big plans for Lucha Underground, and how he came to power within his uncle's promotion. Click here to check out the rest of the interview.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Sam Roberts' Wrestling Podcast with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: Sam Robertsí Wrestling Podcast