While there has been much speculation and rumor surrounding the matter, the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter has confirmed that WWE fired Alberto del Rio after slapping Cody Barbierri, the company’s Manger of Social Media Live Events. The incident took place at last Tuesday’s Main Event and Smackdown taping event, when Barbierri made a racial joke about it being del Rio’s job to clean off his plate in catering. The former world champion asked him to apologize, and when he did not, del Rio slapped him hard, knocking him the ground.
Triple H made the call to ADR himself, and the belief is that WWE was going to suspend him until after SummerSlam, but Barbierri threatened to sue the company. According to the Observer, he is not well-liked backstage by many of the wrestlers, who he frequently talks down to, but is a high ranking social media player for WWE, and has the support of the McMahon family. It’s being said that the roster is actually sympathetic to the former Superstar, but it’s not like in the older days, and a trained fighter can’t be attacking anyone, much less a non-wrestler employee.
Del Rio (real name: Alberto Rodriguez) will indeed be appearing for AAA at their TripleMania event this Sunday, and the news is already a major mainstream story in Mexico. The promotion has been interested in bringing him in before this incident, and it was likely he’d end up there when his contract expired later this year anyways. His brother, former WWE developmental talent Guillermo Rodriguez (El Hijo de Dos Caras) has come out and said he expects to do trios matches with del Rio and their father, Dos Caras.
It is assumed that both he and Ricardo Rodriguez have a 90-day non-complete clause in their contract, so the first time del Rio could perform for any promotion on a televised or PPV event is November 5th.