Since the story first broke on WWE.com, little concrete has emerged about the “altercation with an employee” that led to Alberto Del Rio’s release from the company.
The most widely reported version of the story says that Del Rio slapped a member of WWE’s web team at television this week, but even that story remains both unconfirmed and subject to conflicting and evolving narration.
As the surprised pro wrestling community looks for answers about what drove WWE to not only release Alberto Del Rio but attribute the release to “unprofessional conduct,” Wrestling Observer Newsletter editor Dave Meltzer appears to have introduced a new item to the discussion pool.
As members of his F4WOnline.com message board were discussing the situation and speculating which employee was on the other end of Del Rio’s alleged slap, Meltzer commented “Cody Barbierri.”
While the longtime wrestling reporter did not elaborate, the clear implication was that Cody Barbierri is the identity of the involved employee. That Barbierri identifies himself as WWE’s manager of social media live events suggests there might be fire behind the smoke.
The story on the main F4W website does not feature a reference to Barbierri. It does, however, provide an updated account of the backstage altercation.
According to the new report, a WWE social media manager was apparently asked to clean his plate following a meal in catering. With what could potentially be a racist/xenophobic implication, the employee allegedly joked that it was Del Rio’s job to clean the plate.
The comment supposedly got back to Del Rio, who confronted the employee. Dissatisfied with that interaction, which some say did not include an apology to Del Rio, the wrestler allegedly delivered a slap.