After weeks of speculation, it's official: Alberto Del Rio will not be returning to WWE.
The Wrestling Observer is reporting that Del Rio, who returned to the company last October, has been pulled from all of his future house show bookings, a sign that the star will not be coming back to WWE after his 30-day Wellness Policy suspension ends. According to The Observer, both parties have reached a deal on Del Rio's release, and it will be announced soon.
The terms of Del Rio's release dictate that he will be able to work outside of the United States immediately, and in the U.S. within a few weeks. Though it is a known fact that TNA has an interest in the star, opportunities for him are not what they were the last time he left WWE. Today, lucha libre giant AAA is in dire straits financially, and Del Rio's bridge to Lucha Underground may have been burned.
Del Rio returned to WWE in October of 2015, just over a year after being released from the company following an altercation with an office worker who made a racist comment toward him. He beat John Cena for the U.S. Championship in his first match back, but he failed to get over and, despite rumors that he was being paid handsomely, WWE never invested in a main-event push for the star.
Del Rio's contract had an out allowing the former champion to leave, and due to dissatisfaction with his role - and being placed on a different show than girlfriend Paige - he chose to exercise it.
Scott Fried is a Slammy Award-winning* writer living and working in New York City. He has been following/writing about professional wrestling for many years and is a graduate of Lance Storm's Storm Wrestling Academy. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/scottfried.
*Best Crowd of the Year, 2013