Following on from CM Punk's reported departure from the WWE after the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, there is concern that yet another top star could follow him out the door in the near future.
From being arguably the top guy on the SmackDown brand, Alberto Del Rio has endured a difficult few months, and PWInsider.com (via Marc Middleton of LordsofPain.net) is reporting that Del Rio is considering leaving the WWE:
There was talk at Monday's RAW that Alberto Del Rio is making noise about leaving WWE once his contract expires.
Del Rio has been frustrated due to going from a top guy on the SmackDown brand to someone who is fed to Batista. There's a feeling among that with Del Rio already having talked about retirement, his age and the fact that he had success in Mexico, maybe it's time for him to leave and be happy rather than hang on.
Whatever the feeling over Del Rio during his time with the WWE, it is clear that he has a point about his treatment by the WWE. It has been a remarkable fall from grace for the former world heavyweight champion since losing his belt, and his timid rivalry with Batista appears to be simply a train to push The Animal forward.
He is 36 years old, after all, and is at an age where one last tilt somewhere else could be a preferred option instead of sticking it out in WWE's midcard.
Things haven't really worked out for Del Rio since his split with former ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez, as the latter turned face and left Del Rio behind.
If you are looking for a guy who can seriously deliver in the ring and bring the crowd to their feet, then Del Rio is without doubt one of the very best. He is an excellent wrestler and a superb technician inside the ring.
The only problem is, how does the WWE rebuild Del Rio? This is part of the problem that has seemingly annoyed CM Punk—that there are simply too many part-time stars in the company for the full-time guys to make their mark.
With Batista and Brock Lesnar embedded in the main event scene of the company, it is difficult to see how Del Rio is going to restore himself to the former heights that saw him win multiple championships.
Another negative for Del Rio is the unification of the main belts in the WWE.
With both a WWE Championship and a World Heavyweight Championship on the scene, there was more scope for Del Rio to have a sustained claim to be a champion. He doesn't have that anymore—and may never again with the WWE.
It would be a huge loss to the company if Del Rio were to follow Punk out the door. When the dust settles on WrestleMania XXX and the part-time guys leave—the roster will be looking incredibly thin without Punk and Del Rio.