WWE News: Alberto Del Rio convinced Andrade Cien Almas not to leave WWE
The current NXT Champion has opened up about Del Rio persuading him to stay and fight for his chance in WWE
What's the story?
He's NXT's top man right now and had WWE's first five-star rated match (as per Dave Meltzer) since 2011, but things weren't always going so well for Andrade Cien Almas in WWE.
In fact, the current NXT Champion confirmed recently that he was very close to leaving WWE at one point, and the man who persuaded him to stay was, in fact, Alberto Del Rio.
In case you didn't know...
Almas is currently embroiled in a rivalry with Aleister Black which is one of NXT's biggest talking points right now. The NXT Champion even made his main roster debut with an impressive stint in the Royal Rumble Match.
His previous feud - which saw Johnny Gargano effectively lose his job - grabbed the headlines when WWE called their battle at NXT TakeOver earlier this year the greatest match in NXT TakeOver history with Dave Meltzer giving it WWE's first five-star rating since 2011.
NXT Champion Almas would later challenge Gargano to one more match, title vs career, in a match where Almas effectively ended Gargano's NXT career.
The heart of the matter
Well, this one goes back to last September when Alberto Del Rio, now known as Alberto El Patron, was interviewed by Mas Lucha in Mexico on a number of topics, including current NXT Champion Andrade "Cien" Almas wanting to possibly leave WWE at the time.
The former WWE Champion claimed that gave some advice to Almas to help him stay with WWE. Here's what El Patron said, last September:
I talked to my good friend Manny [Almas] and, poor guy, he wants to come back. Unfortunately, when you go into that company you have to abide by their rules. That's just how it is.
Del Rio went on to say that learning English and being in top physical shape were incredibly important if Almas wanted to succeed there.
It's the nature of our business. I always put it like this. There is a problem with all the talent that goes there, it's the inability to speak the language. I adapted and changed myself. I have been the only one to go on and win everything that I won.
Much like Del Rio, Almas, too, wore a mask before reaching WWE, but has since performed without the mask since arriving in WWE. Almas does, however, still wear his sometimes for entrances and, like Del Rio, has a manager who is very good at speaking.
I told Manny this the last time I saw him. He asked me if things were different on the main roster. I told him, 'Things are going to get worse up there.' I said, 'It's up to you. Put all you can into learning English.'
Del Rio reiterated that this is the advice his mentor gave him.
I told him the exact same thing Dean Malenko told me. In my humble opinion, if it worked for me, it'll work for you.
One think Alberto Del Rio was known for on his most recent spell with WWE was his incredible physique, and he noted that was one think Andrade had to work on.
The physique is an important aspect over there. Manny looked incredible here. Over there he looks a little fat. For WWE, that is one of their principle ideals.
I miss everything, fighting here, the friends, my family and the food, but I knew that to succeed and fulfill my dreams I needed to leave Mexico. When I came to WWE I thought about coming back, because of the lack of opportunities and criticisms. But I talked to Alberto [El Patron] and he told me to stand up for my chance and I kept fighting for what I wanted.
Well, things have gone pretty well for Almas recently and, after defeating Drew McIntyre for the NXT Championship, he's now performing on a whole other level.
WrestleMania weekend sees Andrade Cien Almas defend his NXT Championship against Aleister Black at NXT TakeOver: New Orleans.
Well, I'm personally a huge fan of Andrade Cien Almas, so it's crazy to think that he was very close to quitting WWE at one point. I'm just glad things have all turned around for Almas now and I can't wait to see him go up against Aleister Black next month!
Send us news tips at firstname.lastname@example.org