During an AdFreeShows.com exclusive One-on-One w/ Jon Alba interview with Ricardo Rodriguez, the former personal ring announcer for Alberto Del Rio spoke about the moment he found out about being signed by WWE. Rodriguez detailed his first experience with Vince McMahon and how he had no prior knowledge of Del Rio before he arrived for his tryout.
“I’m nervous as hell because I don’t know what to expect, and then they bring in Alberto and I don’t recognize him,” Rodriguez said. “I probably should’ve watched WWE before I went in for the tryout, and I still didn’t see the vignettes. I didn’t know anything. The only time I saw that vignette was that RAW where we were backstage in catering so we had to watch the product.
“Then he comes up, we introduce ourselves, and they give us a small little script and I’m nervous as hell. And then Vince comes down, and he comes and he’s like, ‘be more animated, be more Hispanic,’ and in my head, I’m thinking, like, the soccer announcers? Or, I’m thinking the AAA announcers, so be louder.
“I go and do the thing and he’s like, ‘good, do that,’ then we do SmackDown. I do the intro, we go to the back, I don’t hear anything. Then they come up to me again after that night and are like, ‘hey, can you come tomorrow,’ because they’re doing a double taping for Tuesday and Wednesday. Then I go to Fresno again, they pull me to the back, they pull me and this guy named Alex Kozlov and they pull us to the office and say, ‘hey, are you guys under contract… alright we’re going to send you guys to get your physicals done and then we’re going to offer you guys contracts and then send you to Florida.’
“They offered me the contract on the spot and they were like, ‘hey, are you available for Boston?’ So then me and Alex, we went to the back of the locker room and I just said, ‘we just got hired.’”
During his time with the company, Ricardo Rodriguez was involved in several high spots during a ton of different matches. Rodriguez mentioned how a specific WWE Producer constantly told him the company had planned for him to “die” during each of his next skits.
“I kid you not, Michael Hayes, every single pay-per-view, he would always try to find a new way to kill me,” Rodriguez said. “In passing, whether it was at the airport or at a venue, he would say, ‘You’re going to die at the pay per view. I don’t know how, but we’re going to figure something out.’ [I took that as a badge of honor,] I knew it was going to be a high spot in the match.
Rodriguez also spoke about the hardest part of being Alberto Del Rio’s ring announcer was. Ricardo said he completely embraced his role of being the guy used strictly for high spots. The former WWE superstar mentioned one specific high spot that the company decided against during a memorable match he was involved in.
“I embraced it almost immediately,” Rodriguez said. “That I embraced because I knew it was going to be a high spot for me in the match. I was cool with it, there was one that they pulled the plug on and it wasn’t my fault but it was scary as hell and I am glad they did. It was the Hell in a Cell with [CM] Punk, Alberto, and [John] Cena.
“I was going to take an AA on top of the cage, so during rehearsal, we’re all up there and then I’m telling Michael Hayes, ‘Hey man, I’m not afraid but I don’t know if I can get up there because of my dress shoes don’t fit in the f***ing holes.’ We get up there, we’re moving around, it’s high as hell up there moving around, and then something like a cable snapped while we were up there and they pulled a plug on it right away. That’s the only one that didn’t happen but I regret it because I would’ve had an awesome highlight reel.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit One-on-One with Jon Alba with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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