According to WWE.com, Ricardo Rodriguez has been suspended for 30 days for violating the Talent Wellness Program:
In accordance with its Talent Wellness Program, WWE has suspended Jesús Rodríguez (Ricardo Rodriguez) for 30 days effective immediately for his first violation of the company’s policy.
This would explain why Rodriguez was not with Alberto Del Rio last night on Raw during the champion vs. champion match. Fortunately for Rodriguez, this was only his first violation. WWE will not disclose what caused Rodriguez to fail the wellness test.
At the same time, I could see this being a blessing in disguise for Rodriguez. He has been Del Rio’s butler or personal ring announcer since they both debuted on the main roster in 2010. Rodriguez was initially treated poorly by Del Rio, reminding some WWE fans of Virgil and the Million Dollar Man, Ted DiBiase.
As such, I was hoping that Rodriguez would eventually split from Del Rio and become a full-time wrestler. We have seen moments of wrestling potential by Rodriguez, but he is stuck in Del Rio’s corner.
When Del Rio turned babyface at WWE TLC 2012, he was saving Rodriguez from an attack, and thus, he began calling Rodriguez his best friend. When Del Rio turned heel at WWE Payback, Rodriguez seemingly did the same. Rodriguez wasn’t smiling or making jokes like he had previously.
Del Rio and Rodriguez could have formed a tag team as faces or heels if WWE were willing to allow Rodriguez to wrestle more often. This suspension will hopefully lead to a change in how WWE handles Rodriguez’s character.
When R-Truth was suspended for a wellness policy violation, The Miz turned on his tag team partner. With WWE leaving Rodriguez off WWE TV on Raw, I have a concern that he will be back in the same place in 30 days.
Rodriguez has so much potential; it seems troubling that WWE doesn’t use him more effectively. He became much more over with the WWE Universe than Del Rio ever has. Del Rio quickly becomes stale, whether as a face or a heel, while Rodriguez is always entertaining and funny. His humor reminds me of Santino Marella.
When Rodriguez does return, Del Rio should turn on him. If Del Rio loses his World Heavyweight title at Money in the Bank, he could blame Rodriguez for not being there and having his back. Rodriguez could then split with Del Rio as Virgil did with DiBiase.
Hopefully, Rodriguez would have a different future than Virgil did, who ended up just jobbing to the majority of WWE Superstars at the time.
I am not so confident that WWE will actually take advantage of this opportunity, but at least Rodriguez’s suspension gives them the option.
How do you think WWE should book Ricardo Rodriguez and Alberto Del Rio when the former returns from suspension? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
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