Alberto Del Rio was one of the WWE's top main event heels during his original run with the company, winning a total of four World Championships and a pair of United States titles.
Del Rio had two well-documented departures from the WWE - in 2014 and 2016. On the first instance, he was fired for allegedly slapping a company employee who reportedly made a racist joke towards him.
The former Money in the Bank winner returned to WWE in 2015, but he left in Sept. 2016 due to dissatisfaction with his place in the company. WWE granted Del Rio his release, and he's wrestled for various promotions ever since - while taking up a career in mixed martial arts.
Despite his two ugly departures from the company, Del Rio isn't fully ruling out the possibility of a return.
During an interview with TMZ Sports (h/t Andrew Ravens of Wrestling News), Del Rio suggested that there's no tension between he and WWE. As such, a return to the company seems possible.
"The door has always been open for both sides," Del Rio explained. "I’m not against their business and they’re not against my business. At the end of the day, I understand now as a promoter, nothing is personal. When you’re an athlete, sometimes you think your boss doesn’t agree with you because he doesn’t like you but it’s nothing personal."
Back in March, Del Rio emphasized similar points, even explaining that he apologized to Triple H and shook hands with him. And in Jan. 2018, Del Rio said that WWE "understood" him when he owned up to his mistakes.
WWE has had no problem bringing back superstars who previously left the company on bitter circumstances. The list is long, but it includes Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart, The Ultimate Warrior and Goldberg. If the opportunity is there for Del Rio to come back, you can bet Vince McMahon will act on it.
If Del Rio Returns, It Won't Happen For A While
It's been just over three years since WWE released Del Rio from his contract, and there's no reason to believe they'll bring him aboard in the immediate future. Plus, Del Rio is focusing strongly on his MMA career, as he's set to face Tito Ortiz on the Dec. 7 Combate Americas event. Maybe he'll return to WWE some day, but it's not going to happen any time soon.