When Alberto Del Rio shockingly returned to WWE last year at Hell in a Cell, he was inexplicably paired with Zeb Colter — also known as “Dirty” Dutch Mantell. The manager and wrestler formed a two-person faction known as “Mex-America.” The angle made not a lick of sense, and was dropped after just a couple months. Del Rio languished, Colter was taken off television, and now both parts of the two-man country are out of the company entirely.
In a new interview with Sports Illustrated, Mantell talked about the already-infamous angle, how it didn’t make any sense and why it was so bad and unceremoniously dropped.
“WWE failed to take into account that it didn’t make a lot of sense,” said Mantell. “Remember, I hated Alberto Del Rio, and he hated me. So, all of a sudden, I disappeared and came back. But it’s not necessarily the first step in wrestling that is the most important, because it’s the second step that identifies and clarifies the first one. That’s what we didn’t do. There was no chemistry, but there was also no logical explanation as to why I would be with Alberto. I said to the guys in the back, ‘I’m not getting the story,’ but people kept saying, ‘Just wait.’ I’ve walked on enough wrestling floors, and I know if a crowd isn’t getting a certain vibe. The chemistry wasn’t there with me and Alberto.”
Mantell also talked about the storyline he really wanted to do — getting back together with Jack Swagger — before WWE released him in June.
“I suggested that I get back with Jack,” said Mantell. “What I really wanted to say during my return was, ‘When I was away, I realized that, instead of building walls, we should be building bridges. Instead of hating on people, I should be loving people.’ That was the build-up, but then we’d find out that, while I was away, I was really having a s— fit about every son of a b—- who f—– me over, and Alberto was one of them. So my plan was to convince Alberto to let Jack join us, and then we’d do the big turn at the end, and that would have helped everybody. They didn’t see it that way, and Del Rio wanted to stay a heel. So I worked six weeks with Alberto, then they went their way and I went mine.”
So the moral of the story is: just put whatever you think of on television. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a beginning, middle, and end for your story. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t make sense or if you don’t know why it’s happening. If you think of it, do it. That’s an inspirational message I think we can all get behind.