The latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter claims that former WWE superstar and champion Alberto Del Rio was fired after originally being told he would only be suspended following the altercation he had with a fellow employee on Aug. 5.

As previously reported, Del Rio slapped WWE’s Manager of Social Media Live Events, Cody Barbierri, during the Aug. 5 “Smackdown” tapings. Although the “slap heard ’round the world” took place because of a racially charged insult, Del Rio wasn’t even around to hear it made by Barbierri. After he had made the remark, it had gotten back around to Del Rio, and that’s when WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross would say, “business picked up.”

Meltzer reports,

“Alberto Rodriguez (Del Rio) was fired for slapping Cody Barbierri, the WWE’s Manager of Social Media Live Events, at television last week. According to several reports, the incident happened at catering. Someone made a remark to Barbierri about not cleaning off his plate, and as a joke, he said that was Del Rio’s job.

Rodriguez (Del Rio) wasn’t there at the time, but the joke, which he obviously took as a racial remark got back to him. He confronted Barbierri and said he didn’t appreciate the remark and wanted an apology.

One performer noted that the story going around was Rodriguez slapped the shit out of him and Barbierri was on the floor, and that the firing wasn’t so much that he slapped him, but how hard he slapped him.”

The report claims that Del Rio was initially told that he would only be suspended due to his actions and wouldn’t be working “SummerSlam.” It wasn’t until Barbierri reportedly threatened to sue WWE that the company felt as if they had to let Del Rio go for legal purposes.

Triple H was the man who reportedly called Del Rio via telephone to let him know he had been released, which Del Rio was furious about. Many superstars in the back are sympathetic with Del Rio and do not believe that he should have been fired for what happened. They also have a lot of heat towards Barbierri as he’s talked negatively about in the back.

Regardless, Del Rio has now signed to the Mexican promotion AAA, and announced his return to the company on Aug. 13. Rey Mysterio, who’s contract was supposedly extended by WWE, is now discussing leaving the company to join Del Rio in the Mexican production, as well as Ricardo Rodriguez, who was let go by WWE at the end of July.

Editor’s Note:
What was that that JTG said, “why did I pick up the phone?”


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