Alberto Del Rio and Paige are one of the highest profile real life couples in professional wrestling today. That designation may be all the more impressive given that, for most of their relationship, neither has appeared on screen with the largest wrestling company in the world, WWE. The two did get together in WWE, though, during Del Rio’s second stint with the company.
The first time Del Rio made his way through WWE, he seemed something like a performer of destiny. WWE gave him a lot of opportunities, including early victories over Rey Mysterio, winning the Royal Rumble and Money in the Bank, getting a WrestleMania world title shot and multiple world championship victories. He left under controversy, with the story of a backstage employee using a racial slur and Del Rio assaulting him. That Del Rio came back at all—much less under two years later—was a surprise to many. Rumor has it that Vince McMahon saw value in him as a marquee star, while parties like Triple H didn’t like his attitude.
Del Rio had a reputation as a partier in his second WWE tenure. In under a year, he had a fling with Charlotte Flair, and then began a relationship with Paige. Paige was still a very young talent, and treated like a star in her own right, winning the Divas Championship in her main roster debut, and proceeding to be a major player in the women’s title picture in perpetuity. Paige’s more technical and aggressive in-ring style laid the foundation for stars like Flair and Sasha Banks to take the civision to the next level. But then she got together with Del Rio.
In their time together, both stars faced WWE suspensions, Del Rio wound up leaving altogether, and Paige has suffered suspensions, gone out for surgery, and aby and large been written out of WWE programming. All the more alarming are the real life, behind the scenes expoits involved in Paige’s relationship with Del Rio. This article looks at fifteen of the most shocking details.
15. Del Rio Was Still Married When He And Paige Got Engaged
When Alberto Del Rio and Paige got engaged in Puerto Rico, it was met by an awkward counter-announcement from Angela Velkei, the mother of Del Rio’s three children. The news? That Del Rio was still married to her.
While Del Rio and Velkei have been outspoken enough against one another that there’s little reason to think they’d ever reconcile, the remaining issue of their divorce not being finalized was certainly an awkward twist in the road. Del Rio has claimed that Velkei was “guilty of cruel treatment” that led to the end of their marriage, while Velkei filed for a restraining order at one point, suggesting Del Rio wasn’t so good to her. Like any divorce story, both parties are probably right and in the wrong , but to some, Del Rio’s broken relationship with Velkei served as warning for how he treats his partners, and more particularly his exes.
14. The Relationship May Have Caused Heat Between Paige And Charlotte
Early in Alberto Del Rio’s second tenure with WWE, rumors abounded about him having a fling with Charlotte Flair. The two never came out as a couple, and neither spoke about it officially, leaving much about the alleged pairing up to fans’ imagination. We do know with more certainty that Del Rio wound up together with Paige not so long after.
There have been quite a few rumors about arguments between Paige and Charlotte, or at least unspoken animosities that come from two women who’ve dated the same man. To make matters more awkward, the two would end up working as on screen partners and then rivals through this time, including a multi-match feud in the fall of 2015 over Flair’s championship. It would end up being Paige’s last meaningful storyline before her suspension woes began.
13. The Two Had An Altercation At An Airport
There have been a number of rumors of public disputes between Alberto Del Rio and Paige, often associated with rumors that the couple is breaking up. For all of these purported incidents, the news broke recently about a confirmed case. After rumors of an altercation between the two at an airport, a fan released audio of the incident to TMZ.
The audio captures Paige saying to leave her alone and Del Rio saying to call the police for assault in a way that it’s unclear is intended in regards to Paige attacking him, or mocking her for talking about him. The fan can be heard on the audio asking if she can help, explaining she’s a big fan.
In the aftermath, Paige made a statement on Twitter, suggesting that the story was wrong, and that she’d gotten bad news about her family and was upset with someone who wouldn’t leave her alone at an airport restaurant. She claims her anger wasn’t directed at Del Rio. To be fair, the audio is pretty limited, but her explanation seems a little fishy given what we can hear.
12. Paige Has Risked Contract Violation For Del Rio
As a WWE performer, Paige is limited in what she can do with other wrestling promotions. Despite the supposed “independent contractor” status of WWE performers, they aren’t allowed to wrestle for other companies without clearance from WWE and particularly aren’t allowed to work on TV for any other wrestling promotion to preserve their special sense of exclusivity to the WWE brand.
Despite these guidelines, Paige is that rare talent who is still contracted with WWE but has appeared on a variety of independent shows in support of Del Rio. Most recently, and perhaps most scandalously, Paige was allegedly seated at ringside for Del Rio’s world title main event match against Bobby Lashley at Slammiversary for the recently rebranded GFW. It seems cameras consciously stayed off of her to technically not violate her terms with WWE, but she was walking a razor thin line in this instance.
11. Del Rio Has Been Charged With Domestic Violence
News broke recently that Alberto Del Rio had been charged with domestic violence. Fans immediately questioned if he had done something to Paige, while Del Rio’s supporters were quick to defend him and the relationship and suggest that there was a range of possibilities for why the charges came about, not to mention that it was a leap to suggest Del Rio was actually guilty.
Details unfurled in the day to follow, including that the charges related to an incident at an airport, after which time the audio file released to TMZ hit the airwaves, suggesting that Paige and Del Rio were in a real and very emotional argument at the airport, despite claims from Paige, in particular, afterward that the whole thing was taken out of context and there are not problems in her relationship with Del Rio.
10. Paige’s Father Did Not Approve Of The Engagement
After Paige proposed to Alberto Del Rio, live at a WWC show, and he said yes, there was an interesting turn. Paige’s father—himself a long term figure in British pro wrestling—took to social media and indicated that he did not approve of his daughter “marrying that man.”
The rationale wasn’t too clear for the post, and it was largely slept under the rug afterward, but it did cause fans to speculate, particularly as more potentially troubling details arose about the relationship in question. Did Del Rio say something inappropriate to Paige’s father? Was the age difference—Del Rio being an older man—a problem to him? Or was it just a matter of a gruff father being protective of his daughter. We don’t know the details yet, but it was one of the first wrinkles to show not everyone close to Paige and Del Rio thought the two were good for each other.
9. They Got The Police Called On Them In Las Vegas
After the Money in the Bank 2016 event in Las Vegas, it was reported that Paige had been taken into custody by local police. A lot of speculation surrounded the incident, starting with the idea that it came from a domestic dispute between Paige and Del Rio. Later, some claimed that the incident was all a publicity stunt and shot as an angle of the Total Divas reality series.
Del Rio later gave an account of the incident, claiming he and Paige had gone out to a show in Vegas and been heckled by people who later accosted them outside. An argument followed, and Del Rio claim police took Paige both to calm her down and keep her safe as a celebrity. No accounts to the contrary have come up, and no charges were filed, so the explanation seems to check out reasonably well.
8. WWE May Have Tried To Split Them Up
There have been a fair number of rumors to suggest that the WWE brass-in particular Triple H, in his role as vice president of talent relations—wanted to separate Del Rio and Paige because they saw Del Rio as a bad influence on the British star. Whether the concerns were legitimate, and whether WWE consciously tried to split them or not, the details do add up. It’s rumored that WWE threatened Paige’s job over the relationship, and it’s objectively true that the company put them on opposing shows during the new brand split, despite little clear reason to do so based on neither having a clear storyline moving forward.
Putting Del Rio and Paige on different brands may have also been geared toward Total Divas drama, given that the draft episode of the reality series featured the couple’s strife prominently. In particular, cameras caught Paige reacting emotionally to be separated from her partner.
7. Del Rio Was Supportive Of Paige In Her Video Leak Scandal
This past spring, photos and videos leaked of Paige in compromising sexual situations. Some involved Paige alone and other saw her performing sexual acts with the likes of Xavier Woods and Brad Maddox (both of them appeared together with Paige in one of the videos). Given that Del Rio has a reputation for having a temper, there was reason to believe he might go into a jealous rage over the media. Instead, at least publicly, the Pride of Mexico was nothing but supportive.
Del Rio canceled his appearance at WrestleCon. In a statement released through his booking agency, he called the media an “invasion of our privacy” and said the had had “to be home with the person that needs me more at the moment and our family.”
6. But Del Rio Holds A Grudge Against Xavier Woods
While Del Rio seemed to take the leaked photos and videos in stride and not hold anything against Paige their have been hints that he doesn’t feel so cordial in regards to other people who appeared in them. After a so called “rap battle” promo segment between The New Day and The Usos, Del Rio went to Instagram to call everyone involved “p****ies” and “yes men” before inviting them to his restaurant where he’d beat them up and then buy them a drink.
Notably the rap battle participants included Xavier Woods who had appeared in a video with Paige. There is some additional context. In the rap battle, in a lyric purportedly not pre-approved by producers or New Day, The Usos said they should keep things PG, not “Rated-R, like ya boy Xavier Woods.” Clearly, that line was a reference Woods and Paige and Del Rio did not appreciate the reminder.
5. Del Rio Is 15 Years Older Than Paige
You don’t have to look all that carefully to discern that Alberto Del Rio is older than Paige. While he’s in phenomenal shape, he’s also clearly a mature adult man, whereas Paige is, at least by physical appearance, just settling fully into womanhood. The truth of the matter is that Del Rio is now 40 years old, while Paige will turn 25 this August.
While age may be just a number, the difference in life experience and presumably maturity level is pretty different for these two. It’s widely held that WWE thought Del Rio was a bad influence on Paige. That might seem like a leap for most relationships between consenting adults, but the theory of the influence of this older man on this younger woman does seem to have some legitimacy.
4. Paige Has Said Del Rio Gets Her Into Trouble
In a video released over social media, Paige and Alberto Del Rio spoke casually, with the suggestion that Del Rio was intoxicated. Del Rio spent much of the clip dressing down his former employers in WWE, in particular Triple H whom he repeatedly referred as “the one with the big nose.”
Paige giggled throughout the video and seemed to be getting along with Del Rio, but also said that Del Rio gets her into trouble. Her suggestion was that despite her getting a reputation for being wild and a trouble maker, it was actually Del Rio who got the both of them into trouble when he was outspoken like that. While the conversation was playful, this supports the widely held rumor that Triple H and WWE management thought Del Rio was a bad influence on Paige.
3. WWE Suspended Paige And Del Rio On The Same Day
In August 2016, an unusual situation arose when Paige and Alberto Del Rio were both given 30 day Wellness Policy suspensions on the same day. Theories about the duel suspension ranged from them both happening to get caught on the same testing day, to the two having been caught using illicit substances on Paige’s recent birthday.
Later, Paige’s account of her own suspension came out, with the suggestion she was taking prescription medication given to her by her doctor, but not approved of by WWE, and that the whole ordeal was a miscommunication. Del Rio’s issue never really got an explanation, but the incident was enough of a cherry on top of his dissatisfaction with WWE for him to end up walking from the company and never returning to an on screen role post suspension.
2. The Couple Was Featured, Then Removed From Total Divas
Paige became a cast member on the Total Divas reality series and was an immediate strong fit for it. Her long history and family background in wrestling made her a distinctive character on the show. Moreover, she was young and attractive, and added some intrigue with hints she was bisexual. And then there was Del Rio.
Total Divas has leaned heavily into the dynamic of capturing female wrestlers who date male wrestlers, as these pairings are of particular interest to WWE audiences who might otherwise balk at the silliness of a reality TV series. As real life drama escalated between Del Rio and WWE, and between Paige and WWE management, the couple became a rougher fit for WWE television ,and WWE wound up pulling the plug on their story arc on the show, transitioning Paige out of reality TV.
1. Paige’s Brother Has Spoken Out Against Del Rio
In the aftermath of Alberto Del Rio’s domestic violence charge and the release of audio from his altercation with Paige at the airport, Paige’s brother spoke out on social media. He claimed Del Rio thought he was a tough guy, but the only person he really beat up was Paige.
Her brother, Zak Bevis, stated that Paige had been used by Brad Maddox earlier and was now in abusive relationship with Del Rio. He went on to express his concern Paige would wind up like Whitney Houston or Amy Winehouse—deceased before her time.
In another interesting turn, Bevis responded to commenters, claiming that Paige not returning to WWE isn’t the choice of the company or Paige herself, but rather that Del Rio won’t allow her to do so. It’s unclear if there’s a basis in fact for these claims or if there only the perceptions of a protective brother.
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