Ricardo Rodriguez Discusses Why WWE Paired Him With Rob Van Dam

Former WWE wrestler and manager Ricardo Rodriguez joined the It's My House Podcast to talk about his career and the current wrestling scene. Rodriguez had thoughts on the current landscape of managers in wrestling and why he feels most miss the point when it comes to managing.

"People don't know their place," Rodriguez said. "So I was basically the decorations on the cake, Alberto was the cake. My place was to not take away focus from whoever I'm with. I've seen it so many times now where the manager, valets are slightly bigger than the person they're with. So they don't know their place. Also, I do think that what helped myself and Alberto was our chemistry together, and that's really because we were together all the frickin time. We rode together, I mean we were seriously together all the time when we were on the road. We did interviews, we would do media stuff together. Anywhere he went, I went and wherever I went he was with me. So we were a team, and not just in the ring, not only that but we were friends in real life, so that helped our chemistry. And I think that that was able to be shown. You can see that on TV."

While mostly known as a manager, Rodriguez did compete as a wrestler in both WWE and NXT, and even once worked the Royal Rumble in 2012. He described pitching the idea to WWE higher ups over and over until it finally was cleared.

"Man it was a special experience and there's certain things in life that whether they're good or bad, like there's certain things that nobody can ever take away from you that experience, and for me it was this," Rodriguez said. "The whole concept came about as sort of a joke, where I just, I do this all the time where I'm like 'the worst they can say is no.' I asked Pat Patterson, I say 'hey wouldn't it be funny if I came out in the Royal Rumble instead of Alberto because Alberto was hurt?' And then he just laughed it off. A couple weeks later, we were in Dallas, we were stuck at the airport because of a thunderstorm. And I was sitting next to Dean Malenko, and I just said it again, randomly. And he laughed about it too.

"And then the day of the Royal Rumble in St. Louis, I'm by the ring and Michael Hayes approaches me and he says 'hey have you seen your car?' And I thought he was talking about my rental car. I thought he had damaged it. So I'm bugging out and then he's like 'no your intro, your car for your entrance.' And what he shows me the car and then he's like 'nobody told you? You're in the rumble.' Like, okay! And that's kind of what happened. So that was it, it was a big surprise for me so I had no expectations."

After spending most of his WWE tenure managing Del Rio, Rodriguez was eventually paired with Rob Van Dam when RVD feuded with Del Rio over the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Rodriguez admitted to not being high on the idea at first, but came to understand why WWE did it.

"I didn't get it at first. I really didn't get it," Rodriguez said. "We were sitting on the bleachers and it was myself, the matadors, Alberto and I think Sin Cara. Then Malenko comes up and he goes 'hey, did they tell you?' I'm like 'no sir.' He's like 'you're with RVD today.' It was funny, but unless you know Malenko's humor, it's gonna be like 'okay yeah, Malenko has a weird sense of humor where you can't tell if he's joking or not.' So I couldn't tell if he was joking or not. I was off TV at this point. So I was like 'yeah whatever I wanna be back on TV.' I didn't question it at first, at least not out loud but in my head.

"Two weeks pass and I go to Malenko and I'm like 'hey I appreciate the opportunity, thank you because I'm pretty sure you're the one that vouched for it, but why?' Just so I can kind of get an idea of how to vibe with Rob. I've loved Rob many years prior but Rob is very off to himself. He's so relaxed that he'll come say hello and then go away for a while. Whereas for me, Alberto and the Puerto Ricans, we were loud and always talking. So I asked Malenko, and he told me what they wanted to do was they wanted to build a bridge between Rob and the title which Alberto had at moment. And the bridge was this guy (points to self). That's when I was like 'oh okay, I get it. So yeah, I was basically the bridge between Alberto and RVD for the title."

Rodriguez was released by WWE in 2014 and has since worked around the world, most notably Egypt and India. Still, if WWE offered him the opportunity to go back, he'd do it in a heartbeat.

"I hope so. I would love to," Rodriguez stated. "I would love to return to that company. They made me. They made it so even now people don't know me by my real name. They'll just say Ricardo and I respond to that. So, I would love to. I would love to go back to, whether it's in front of the camera or behind the scenes. Throughout the last five, six years after I left the WWE and then all these excursions that I've been on, I've gone to learn different hats you know? Producing, being an agent, being the timekeeper, being in gorilla, training. I've learned so many hats that I would love to go back and if it's not in ring at least behind the scenes. And I would love if WWE ever does come to Egypt or even to India, if they do end up doing something there I'd love to be a part of that."

You can watch the full interview below.