Interview: In candid conversation with Alberto El Patron
2017 was a year of both ups and downs for Alberto El Patron. While he did claim the top prize for Impact Wrestling at Slammiversary, he was caught in the midst of much emotional and personal duress for a length of the year.
Never one to shy away from a conversation, the Mexican superstar spoke his mind in a teleconference where he addressed international media. He was appreciative of us for our time and conversed with us at length.
Having just watched Wrestle Kingdom 12, where others who'd made their name in WWE much like him, like Cody Rhodes and Chris Jericho were featured attractions, I asked El Patron if more professional wrestlers were now looking beyond WWE to earn a living:
Of course, of course. Some of us have proved that we don't need WWE, and they don't need us. They've been doing this for so many years, they know the formula and they don't need anyone. Luckily for some of us, we don't need them.
El Patron did not express any ill will towards his former place of employment and even wishes them all the best. However, he mentioned that performers like him, Cody, Jericho and Drew McIntyre did not need to be in a company like that if they weren't enjoying their run.
Of course money is important at the end of the day, but we've been smart in the way we've managed our lives, careers and money. And that's the reason we're able to go to some other places and have fun if we're not feeling comfortable in one place.
Alberto El Patron then adds a disclaimer.
Of course, that's not for everyone...that doesn't mean that every single wrestler in WWE can just quit or leave the company. You got to have the talent and love and passion for the business to go out there to try yourself in another company, and help that company to grow.
El Patron plugged in the Impact Wrestling tapings scheduled to take place in Orlando next week and mentioned standout superstars such as Johnny Impact, Lashley and Eli Drake. The Mexican superstar is also excited to be working under the new Impact Wrestling regime under Scott D'Amore and Don Callis, for the forthcoming set of tapings.
At the same time, he's also full of praise for Jeff Jarrett, especially for booking him in a program with his dad and his brother, and LAX. El Patron mentioned he'll always be grateful to Jarrett, for the same. He adds that the storyline was 'good television'. He is hopeful about the future of Impact Wrestling:
I know Jeff is no longer with Impact Wrestling, but we have another group of people with the same idea, with the same goal which is to take Impact Wrestling to the place where it belongs. We have the right people in the back. We have an amazing crew, amazing wrestlers and in 2018, we're going to show the world what Impact Wrestling is all about.
Addressing the storyline mentioned above, I asked him about working with Konnan, the leader of LAX. El Patron prefaces this by saying he's known Konnan his entire life:
He was in wrestling in Mexico with my uncle Mil Mascaras, with my dad Dos Caras. He ended up coming to the United States and we ended up having a really good friendship when I joined AAA and Lucha Underground. We did amazing things today.
El Patron thinks that destiny brought the two men together again and he hopes that the two men can also work together sometime in the future. Why did El Patron go from playing a babyface in this popular storyline to coming back as a heel at Bound for Glory?
Everyone knows I like working as a heel. Even when I was in WWE working as a babyface, I was begging them to put me on the dark side. After a year, they decided to do it. It was the same situation here in Impact.
El Patron believes that the audience should have the freedom of deciding whom they like and whom they don't.
I'm so lucky that even though I'm working as a heel, the way I like to work, people they still cheer for me. They cheer for the things I do. Wrestling fans, they always appreciate a good worker.
El Patron is an emotional man, who is very attached to his fans. He has been very open about the fact that his days in wrestling are numbered and that he has at best, two years left to go. What does he hope to accomplish by then? El Patron says he may not retire yet!
Every time I go back to Impact, every time I get in the ring, I think different. If everything goes the way I think it's going, I think I'm going to be doing this two years from now. But I'm saying this right now and situations change all the time. The only reason I'm saying this is because I don't like the stuff behind the curtain.
So what makes Impact Wrestling so different? Why is he so attached to the company? How is the locker room in Impact Wrestling different? El Patron said that Impact Wrestling is so nice, they gave him his own area, because of how old-school he is...
I'm from a different generation. When I'm in my locker room, I'm either reading a book or talking to my little baby. So I asked Impact Wrestling if I can have an area where I can go and have Alberto time- be with my thoughts, write my memories, be with my books and they were so kind that they said yes.
He added that he's always talking to his co-workers. And the vibe among them is fantastic. Finally, to wrap up our conversation, I ask about his recent restaurant that seemingly shut down. What was the reason behind it?
El Patron explains that his restaurant, La Cantinita in San Antonio, is a franchise from Mexico that he brought to the United States. The owners of the franchise were doing nothing to help El Patron out. He suffered big monetary losses because nobody knew the brand in the United States. Neither did it make sense to rent a huge area, for the same purpose.
All I needed to do was tell people that the restaurant is mine and people would come. And that's how exactly it was.
The restaurant returns under a new name at the end of February. El Patron is just as excited about it, as the Impact Wrestling tapings in Orlando and his plans for Combates America. 2018 may just be his year. We wish him all the best!
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