WWE: Alberto Del Rio only fired after 'victim' threatened legal action

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The WWE fired Alberto Del Rio on August 7th following an altercation with an employee of the company, but news today suggests that had it not been for the threat of legal action the Mexican wrestler would simply have been suspended by Vince McMahon and co.

As reported by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, it was only after the alleged victim confronted the WWE with the threat of a legal suit that the company took the extra step.

The Incident

Del Rio was fired from the WWE after taking issue to a comment made by WWE's Manager of Social Media Live Events, Cody Barbierri during last week's busy schedule.

Barbierri is alleged to have made a crude joke at Del Rio's expense - insinuating that it was the Mexican wrestler's role to clean his plate.

Del Rio, a veteran of the WWE since 2010, was not there at the time but, according to numerous reports, he made his way to the catering unit to confront Barbierri. He then struck the Social Media exec, knocking him to the floor.

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WWE decision

The WWE were quick to act in sanctioning the wrestler for his actions and the severity of his retaliation with news that Del Rio had been fired by the company breaking late last week.

But it appears Del Rio would not have been exiled from the WWE had Barbierri not sought further punishment.

The Wrestling Observer notes that Barbierri threatened to sue the WWE, and what with the companies continuing financial worries, it seems that those in charge balked at the idea of a potentially costly legal battle.

Had the threat of legal action not been there it seems that Alberto Del Rio would simply have been forced to miss this weekend's SummerSlam pay-per-view through suspension before returning to the ring later this month.

Fan backlash

Del Rio's exit, much like that of fellow departed wrestlers such as Ricardo Rodriguez and CM Punk, has been met with displeasure from a large proportion of the WWE's vocal fan base.

Many have questioned why it is Alberto Del Rio who has been punished for what, if the reports are correct, seems to be a racist remark directed at him from Barbierri.

With the Social Media man seeming to have gone unpunished for his role in the altercation and Del Rio now forced to seek wrestling work away from the WWE it is certainly a contentious issue.

The WWE has in the past been accused of racial stereotyping in a number of storylines but with their latest brush with controversy occurring outside of the ring many are beginning to ask whether the company, and Vince McMahon, are concerned about the direction the WWE is headed.

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