Alberto Del Rio is a former WWE champion, but doesn’t always get along the biggest wrestling company in the world. He was fired in 2014 when he punched a (non-wrestling) co-worker for making a racist joke. He returned a year later, but only lasted a few months before walking out in October 2015. Officially, it was a “mutual parting of ways,” but basically Del Rio wanted to quit and the WWE allowed him to do so (Del Rio’s then-girlfriend and now wife Paige was also suspended at the time for a violation of the Wellness Policy).
Del Rio now works for Impact Wrestling, but only on a part-time basis, and is now known as Alberto El Patron there. He is also the president of Combates Americas, a Mexican-based MMA promotion, which requires a bunch of his time. In a recent interview with ESPN, Del Rio/El Patron explained exactly why he decided to leave the WWE for good.
“That’s actually the main reason I decided to leave WWE, the brutal schedule that you have when you work for a company like WWE. I couldn’t take it anymore. I didn’t want to be on the road for 210-220 days per year,” El Patrón said. “That was one of my first things when I started having conversations with Impact Wrestling. They were asking me for a certain number of dates, and I said, ‘There’s no way I’m gonna do those dates because I also have my dates with Combates America, the MMA company.
“If I put all of those dates with you guys, I’m gonna end up doing what I was doing with WWE and that’s something that I don’t want. I want to be able to enjoy my ride. Of course I want to continue doing pro wrestling shows, but my time is for my family. So if you guys aren’t comfortable with this, I can give you this number amount of dates, and I promise I will give you my best.’ And of course they said yes. That’s the reason they’re happy with me. I’m happy with them.”
Being a full-time WWE wrestler is definitely a lot of work, even with the brand split reducing the required number of dates. There are still a ton of house shows and other commitments that keep everyone busy. There’s a reason that Brock Lesnar demanded a reduced schedule when he returned from his UFC adventures. Del Rio basically decided he didn’t want to be on the road for two-thirds of the year.