Val Venis signed with WWE in 1998 and remained with the company for just over a decade. During this period he won the Intercontinental, Tag Team and European titles, becoming a firm favourite with fans during the Attitude Era.
Due to his relatively lengthy tenure with the company, Venis saw a number of Superstars come and go, with some making more of an impact than others. At the time, the WWE locker room was also known as quite a tough place to be, especially if you weren’t in favour with the more experienced stars.
Val Venis – ” I Felt Bad For Him”
With this in mind, Venis was recently asked which Superstar was bullied most during his time with the company. Speaking to Wrestling Shoot Interviews, the former Intercontinental Champion named Essa Rios as the man who came in for the roughest treatment.
“The most bullied person I saw was Essa Rios. I felt bad for him man. I felt bad for him. I don’t know man, guys would be pushing him around and now he’s a veteran now, they don’t push him anymore from what I understand. But there were times where he just wanted to go out there and perform,”
Continuing on, Val Venis said that Rios was treated like he was a secondary talent as he was an “easy target.”
“They treated him like he was, and blatantly and openly treated him like he was secondary underneath talent that should feel privileged and honored to be in the locker room. I don’t know if they were doing it to try and make him get out of the locker room. I think they were doing it just for laughs and he seemed like an easy target. But I remember a couple times people like just shout him around verbally. Yeah, Essa Rios was the guy that I saw that people would jump on a few times,”
Essa Rios debuted with WWE in late 1997 under the name Aguila. The high-flying star formed part of the Light Heavyweight division, but we renamed Essa Rios in February 2000. Upon being repackaged, Rios appeared alongside Lita as she took her first steps with the company.
However, Rios quickly dropped down the card and left WWE in late 2001. The Mexican star has still enjoyed a lengthy career, appearing for the likes of IMPACT Wrestling, AAA and CMLL.
H/t to Sportskeeda