Starting in June 2010, Alberto Del Rio received one of the biggest newcomer singles pushes in pro wrestling history. Within the 14 months of his main roster debut, Del Rio had become the first Superstar ever to win a Royal Rumble and a Money in the Bank match in the same year — which culminated with a WWE Championship victory at SummerSlam 2011 when he cashed in his MITB contract.
Arn Anderson was a senior producer for WWE when Del Rio was in the middle of his push until “Mexico’s Greatest Export” was eventually fired on August 4, 2014, due to “unprofessional conduct” following an altercation with an employee who allegedly made a racist joke.
During a recent episode of The Arn Show, Anderson delved deeper into why things didn’t work out between WWE and Del Rio.
“One of the pit stops and when he was really doing well was, he smacked I think, one of the writers, assistants, or something backstage for disrespecting him,” recalled Anderson.
The Enforcer felt the WWE employee was out of line to converse on a personal level with Del Rio without knowing the WWE Superstar.
“Well, number one. Whoever this gentleman was, how well do you know Alberto Del Rio? Do you know him well enough to have slept over his house? Have you taken his family somewhere when the car was breaking down, then they needed a ride? What would lead you to believe you could comment on that to a virtual stranger? Even one of your buddies would have looked at that and said, ‘Hey man, what’s up with that? Watch your mouth’. So, it was what it was.”
He continued, “The worst part of life today is this. The politically correct thing that we all live under mantra. I’m sorry. In that day and time, on that particular afternoon, you said something you shouldn’t have done, and you should have seen what he did to the individual, you should have apologized a hundred times if that’s what it took, just because it was the right thing to do.”
Anderson added that the WWE employee was fortunate to have got away with just a slap since Del Rio was livid with the alleged joke.
“Apparently, it struck a nerve with Alberto, but the fact that you got smacked, you’re very fortunate my friend. That could have ended very badly for you and that’s just my opinion on that.”
While taking other questions from fans, Anderson discussed the possibility of The Rock putting over WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns at a future WrestleMania.
“I’m sure he’s a kind enough individual. I’m sure he is a team player enough,” Anderson said of The Rock. “He is also the biggest movie star in the world. If you think he’s going to go and battle Roman in front of no people, you’re out of your mind.”
Arn emphatically ruled out a potential Roman-Rock match until crowds return to arenas.
“People’s Champion is not just a moniker. That’s what he does. He has a maestro stick, and he moves the audience whichever way he wants back and forth just like all the great ones did. I hate to say it, but I got to tell you. WrestleMania without people is a tough sell because it’s still all the same talent and all the same matches and without those 100,000 people to determine how you feel about what you’re watching, it’s a different animal.”
WWE has reportedly yet to finalize an opponent for “The Tribal Chief” Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 37.