Alberto Del Rio marches to the beat of his own, very specific drummer. His most recent WWE run may not have gone as well as anyone had hoped, but now he’s once again on his own, doing exactly what he wants to do. You get the impression he’s much happier this way. You also got the sense during his last stint with WWE that he seemed at least half-a-step out of tune with the rest of the roster.
During an appearance on Sam Roberts’ podcast, Del Rio was asked about how he fit in with this WWE “New Era” and the answer was simple: not very well! Del Rio blamed two things on his failure to relate to the new generation of WWE stars: number one, the Mex-America angle was stupid and no one know what was happening there.
“The ‘Mex-America’ storyline was so stupid because nobody understood what we were trying to do. I couldn’t understand what we were trying to do so the people didn’t click with it because it was just really confusing, and nothing but respect for Dutch Mantell, I mean, he’s hurt, he couldn’t really walk, so he wasn’t really helping me out there, but even though my work in the ring was fantastic, and I’m in amazing shape. When I came back to WWE I said okay, this is my second opportunity, I’m going to make the most of it so I went back to the gym and started dieting and really working hard. I am in amazing shape and I did everything in my power to make it work, but the storyline wasn’t there.”
And number two: well … essentially, he’s not a nerd-ass dork. He doesn’t say as much in so many words, but he basically isn’t into anything the young kids are into.
“From there I started to feel like I wasn’t comfortable with the company; all my friends were gone. All my friends like Edge, Chavo Jr, Rey Mysterio, and was there in the locker room with great kids, great guys, but different generation; they’re into their comic books, playing video games, looking at their iPads, and whatever and I’m just completely from a different generation.
“I remember Vince [McMahon] saying this to me; ‘hey, why don’t you try to blend with the kids, with the guys.’ I said because we’re so different. I read books, they play video games, they read comic books, they’re 19, 20 years old and I’m 38 so we have nothing in common. I have three little kids, I’m a father, so we have nothing in common.”
And yes, before you say anything, you’re perfectly correct in thinking it’s totally wonderful that Vince McMahon asked Alberto to “blend in with the kids.” It’s also great to imagine Alberto in skinny jeans, scoffing that he doesn’t even own a television. It makes sense that he formed a bond with Paige over their deep generational ties to pro wrestling. Just a couple of old souls, trying to make it through this crazy ride called life, man.