According to a post on WWE's official website, Alberto Del Rio has been suspended for 30 days. The report reads:
WWE has suspended Jose Rodriguez (Alberto Del Rio) for 30 days effective tomorrow, Thursday, Aug. 18, for his first violation of the company’s talent wellness policy.
The news comes not long after Roman Reigns' 30 day suspension which expired when he returned to action at Battleground last month. Del Rio main evented SmackDown LIVE this week, facing off against John Cena in a bout that he ultimately lost. The news of his suspension is unexpected, but could end up having major repercussions for the blue brand.
SmackDown LIVE Is Now A Headliner Short
Let's face it, WWE hasn't really booked Alberto Del Rio right in quite some time. However, that hasn't stopped him from being a reliable and consistent main event player. He also happens to be quite a draw. Without Del Rio on the SmackDown roster for 30 days, the show might suffer. Their roster was already much thinner than RAW's when it comes to headliners and now they are one headliner short.
Of course they have WWE Champion Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Randy Orton, Kane, Bray Wyatt, John Cena and AJ Styles to rely on, but Del Rio was still an asset that they could have benefitted from, especially at this time of year.
He Will Miss SmackDown's First Solo PPV
The first brand-specific pay-per-view since WWE's reinstated brand extension will see the resurrection of Backlash. Exclusively featuring the SmackDown roster, this will be the blue brand's chance to really establish dominance in its war for supremacy with RAW. Del Rio may have not been featured on the SummerSlam card, but with this being a SmackDown only event, you could have bet that WWE would have found a rival for him at Backlash. However, as the event airs in mid September, Del Rio's suspension will ensure that he will miss both the event and all of the SmackDown episodes leading up to it.
As this was their chance to show off their headliners, you can be sure that Del Rio's suspension couldn't have come at a worse time.
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More Stars Will Be Brought In To Replace Him
WWE has been bringing in more athletes in order to beef up SmackDown's roster. Originally, we heard Shelton Benjamin would be returning, but that's not happening for the moment due to his injury. However, they have brought in Rhyno and now Curt Hawkins is set to return, wrestling exclusively on SmackDown LIVE.
Interestingly enough, those same rumors suggested that the company was in discussions with Melina, Tommy Dreamer, Carlito and MVP. The list also included Jinder Mahal who returned on RAW. So with two correct so far, let's hope the rumors continue to be true and we see some more of these faces return to WWE. SmackDown needs them now.
Is This The End Of Del Rio's Time With WWE?
There has been a lot of speculation recently regarding Del Rio's current contract and whether or not he will be remaining with WWE. When he was with the company during his first run, disagreements and questionable storylines eventually led to him parting ways with the company. However, he would go on to become very popular in Lucha Underground alongside former WWE superstar John Morrison. He would then shockingly return to WWE, immediately defeating John Cena and winning the United States Championship. Despite a strong start, WWE continued to book him like they did the first time and things have yet to change.
Furthermore, according to reports, Del Rio was upset that he ended up on SmackDown while his girlfriend Paige ended up on RAW. Many have thus speculated whether or not he is on good terms with the company. Could this be the final chapter between WWE and Alberto Del Rio?
Although it's highly likely that we will see Alberto Del Rio again when his suspension expires, it still could not have come at a worse time for SmackDown. With the show's already thin roster and their upcoming solo PPV debut, they needed all the stars they had — and Del Rio was one of them. While I'm sure they will manage and hopefully produce a great event at Backlash, Del Rio's presence would have helped the show — he's a great athlete and can alway be relied on to produce quality matches.
How do you think Alberto Del Rio's absence will affect the WWE landscape? Let us know in the comments below!