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Former WWE Champion and current AAA Heavyweight Champion, Ring of Honor and Lucha Underground star Alberto Él Patron appeared on the PWI Podcast for Pro Wrestling Illustrated and spoke about a number of topics including his run in WWE, why he chose to sign for Lucha Underground and ROH over TNA, TNA's offer to him, the money he is making now compared to when he was in WWE and the possibility of a return to MMA. Below are some of the excerpts from the interview:
Why he chose Lucha Underground and Ring of Honor over TNA:
"I don't have anything but respect for TNA. They made a really good offer to me, and I'm really grateful for that. The reason I didn't go there is because those guys at Lucha Underground helped me in all my legal proceedings against WWE. So I owed them that. It was not a matter of not wanting to go to TNA. It's just that Lucha Underground and AAA, they paid for my legal services. They introduced me to my lawyer. And the reason I'm working right now is because of them. WWE wanted me to stop working in the United States for a year. And that was going to happen if it wasn't for these guys. I'm a stand up guy. If you help me, I'll return the favor one day. That's what I'm doing with them. Plus, they made me a good offer."
Life outside of WWE:
"I can tell you this: I'm doing pretty much the money I was doing in WWE in my good years. Last year was totally different. Last year is when I started to have issues with somebody there, somebody important in that company. And that's when everything changed. So the money wasn't the same, and that's why I started thinking about not signing with them. Because at the end of the day—Yes, we love this business, we have passion for this business—but we need to pay our bills. So that's the reason I wasn't happy over there."
WWE wrestlers being under management's thumb:
"Now everybody's talking about how passionate I am when I'm doing my promos in Ring of Honor and the House of Hardcore in Philly and all those other places. And all I can say is that you can feel the passion and the love because that's who I am. That's me. That's the real Alberto. In the other place, I never said anything because I wanted to. And if, for some reason, I changed one line, they were all mad and would be fining me. So people need to understand, when you work for that place, you are like a robot. You need to do exactly what they say and how they say it … You could get fined over everything … Everybody is terrified. We all were—or they are—terrified of changing something or trying something new. Of course there are some exceptions who can do and say whatever they want. But that rule doesn't apply to 90 percent of the wrestlers. "
A possible return to MMA:
"There's some offers out there. But I don't want to go back to MMA, because, number one, I'm making money in pro wrestling. And I'm 37 years old right now. I don't know if that's something that I really want to do. I will do it if the right money is there. So far, all the offer's good, but they're not so spectacular as to make me go back to the MMA world. I've been saying this since the first offer came: If you make me the right offer, I will do it. I'll just need time to train and get back into fighting shape. "
The PWI Podcast is available for free at www.pwi-online.com.