Ricardo Rodriguez Thought Former WWE Talent Was “Really Racist”

Ricardo Rodriguez announces Alberto Del Rio

Ricardo Rodriguez joined WWE in 2010 and featured on the main roster as Alberto Del Rio’s personal ring announcer. Naturally, the star also did everything he could to make sure that Del Rio emerged victorious in his matches.

While Rodriguez was partnering with Del Rio, Dutch Mantell returned to the company alongside Jack Swagger. Under the guise of Zeb Colter, Mantell worked as an anti-immigrant heel character, which was essentially a caricature of the Tea Party Movement.

This put him in opposition with Mexican star Del Rio and his manager/announcer Rodriguez, and an on-screen feud played out between the two sides.

In fact, it appears that Mantell’s heel act was working a little too well. Speaking on his podcast, Story Time with Dutch Mantell, the veteran said that Ricardo Rodriguez legitimately believed that he was racist.

“You know, he told somebody, he said, ‘He’s really racist,'” Mantell said. “I went, ‘What?’ ‘Cause we sold him that we hated Mexicans. So, that’s doing your job if you can convince the people you work with that you’re really racist, ’cause I’m not racist. I hate racist people, I hate ’em. I only hate two types of people: racists and Mexicans. That’s a joke, people.”

Mantell added that Vince McMahon was also a huge fan of his character.

A lot of our whole push was based on immigrants ‘sneaking across the border,’ Vince loved that,” Mantell recalled. “They would tell me sometimes, ‘In this interview, do the little sneaking across’ and he said, ‘Always roll those R’s when you say Alberto Del Rio.'”

In the years since portraying the gimmick, Mantell has admitted that he wasn’t always comfortable playing the character, and asked for at least one of his promos to be toned down.

What Happened To Ricardo Rodriguez?

Ricardo Rodriguez remained with WWE until 2014 when he was released following a relatively short spell alongside Rob Van Dam. Since then he has returned to the independent circuit and made a one-off appearance with AEW as a commentator in 2021. Since 2022 Rodriguez has also been running his own wrestling academy called “Three Legacies Wrestling Academy.”

H/t to Wrestling Inc