Working in the WWE is a dream come true for many wrestling talent. I have interviewed several former WWE performers who were released, or asked for their release. Although their time with the company did not go as wished, the general consensus is that all least they can say that they tasted what it was like to play for the big league. They also state that it would be foolishness for someone to say that they have no desire to go to WWE, but never been there.
Kevin Owens said something similar during an interview right when he was contacted by WWE for a tryout. Knowing many people in the pro wrestling business who have come and gone from the company, Owens (still Steen at the time) stated that the fulfillment comes in the fact that he at least tried WWE, even if he did not like it. This mentality, combined with hard work, has led him to reigns as WWE Universal Champion, United States Champion, Intercontinental Champion, and NXT Champion.
Someone else who had an impressive resume from the time acquired in WWE is Alberto El Patron. When he made his main roster debut in 2010, there was no doubt that WWE fully intended to push him to the moon. Just months after his debut, he would win the only 40-man Royal Rumble. For the rest of 2011, he would be featured in the World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania 27, win the Money in the Bank contract, cash it in at SummerSlam, and win the WWE Championship on two occasions. In 2013, would also win the World Heavyweight Championship on two occasions, defeating the Big Show and Dolph Ziggler, respectively.
The popularity of Del Rio started to die down, and he would eventually see himself in a less prominent role than when he debuted as the Mexican Aristocrat. After being released due to a backstage physical altercation, he would make a shocking return to defeat John Cena at the 2015 Hell in a Cell pay-per-view, winning the United States Championship. It did not take long after this for Del Rio to become frustrated with his time in the company, as he spent a majority of this run feuding with Kalisto or being a member of the League of Nations faction.
Del Rio, now as Alberto El Patron, was recently interviewed by Awful Announcing. He shared his frustrations with the company, and claims that he is in a position where he could get paid the same working in the indies and Impact Wrestling than he did with WWE, but working half of the committed dates he did with his former contractor.
“I worked for that company for eight years. My first run with the company, I got fired because I stood up for myself against a racist employee who was making racist jokes against Mexicans. That’s in the past, because the company ended up calling me again, we shook hands, we made peace and everything and I ended up going back for a second time. But when I was there, I realized that was not what I wanted any more. The company is the biggest company in the world when it comes to pro wrestling, it was the major leagues of pro wrestling, but after being there and making a name for myself, with them giving me a place to showcase my talent and show the world who Alberto Del Rio really is, I realized I didn’t need them any more.
“When you work for a company like that, you have to be on the road 220-230 days per year, and then I realized I could be making the same amount of money but doing only 120-150 days per year. So I decided to take it and go back to the indie circuit, the indie promotions, just to be my own boss. So I called the owner, Vince McMahon, I said ‘I don’t feel happy with what we’re doing at the moment, I don’t like the schedule, I want to be free again, so if you don’t mind, just let me go.’ I still had two months left on my contract, and he was asking me to stay for those two months, and I said ‘No, I want to leave now, I’m unhappy and I’m starting to lose the love, the passion for pro wrestling. And for someone who was born in the business like myself, that’s unacceptable, something like that is unacceptable, so just please let me go.’ And he did.”
El Patron can now be seen on Impact Wrestling, as he made his return at the Bound for Glory pay-per-view on a mission to reclaim the Impact Wrestling Global Championship, which was stripped from him due to being suspended from the company.
Check out some of the trending wrestling news stories below:
- SPOILER: Big surprise return scheduled for Monday Night Raw
- Backstage news on what was originally planned for AJ Styles on Smackdown Live
- Former X-Division Champion’s WWE debut coming very soon
- Paige and Alberto El Patron apparently broke up weeks ago
- Rumor killer on the Kevin Owens-WWE talent bus story