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September 22, 2015

Alberto El Patron Talks Working For Vince McMahon, The WWE Schedule, Lucha Underground, More

I spoke with Alberto El Patron last week, who did color commentary in Spanish for the new MMA series Combate Americas, which launched on NBC Universo last Thursday and will take place every Thursday. The series comes a year after the reality series became the first fight-themed program in history to win a major TV award - "Best Variety or Reality Show" - at the 29th annual Imagen Awards last August. Fighters from the reality series as well as new, up and coming Latino talent and established, free agents will be featured in the live event series.

Below is the second and final part of the interview. Click here for part one of the interview, where El Patron discussed his MMA background, why a potential fight with Bill Goldberg doesn't interest him, if he would be open to fighting CM Punk in the UFC and more.

You left the WWE on less than good terms after standing up for yourself [to an employee who made some racist comments]. Over a year later, has your relationship with them changed at all? Are you open to a return?

"Oh, we're good. We shook hands, we talked about what happened. They apologized, I apologized. We're good right now. I'm pretty happy with what I'm doing now. The schedule in that company is brutal. I was doing over 250 appearances per year, I was never home. At the moment, I'm working everywhere they want to see me, and I have the opportunity to spend time with my family. I get to enjoy my kids, I'm at home 4-5 days a week, I do 1-2 shows per week. I'm happy, I don't have plans to go back, but like they say, 'never say never.'"

There are a lot of guys like you and Batista who mention the schedule. If they fixed that, and gave a couple of periods [between pay-per-views] a year where guys could rest up, do you think that would improve morale?

"Of course. We would all be more healthy. There was no time for us to rest, because I was going back home a day and a half for almost seven years. That was the reason some of us were getting tired and hurt. If they made changes, it would help everyone and they'd all be happier."

What was your reaction when you found out the employee who made the racist joke had left the company?

"I knew he was going to be fired. After all this happened with them, we started to talk again. I apologized to them, and they told me they were going to fire him. I don't know why they let me go and kept this guy so long after all this happened. It is what it is, it's all in the past. I'm doing fantastic. I'm showing all my co-workers that if you have the talent, there's a place for you out there. You need to leave the WWE bubble for a while, because there's life after WWE. I'm showing everybody that you can leave, and you can make more money than WWE just showing up, and I'm working 1-2 shows per week for the same money."

Vince McMahon seems to be stepping his responsibilities down. What was it like working for Vince, and how do you see that and the business changing as Triple H assumes more of his responsibilities?

"Vince McMahon is a gentleman. I loved working for him. He was always nice to me, helping my improve my character, giving advice to me to be better. He's a great boss. I can't tell you how the business will change, because I haven't watched WWE since I left, not even five seconds. I'm not one of those guys that goes searching for information online to find out what WWE wrestlers are doing. I left that place, and I'm doing great. It's not that I don't watch because I have a problem with them, I'm just not interested in what they're doing. I prefer to spend those hours with my kids. "

You signed with Lucha Underground earlier this year. What's that experience been like?

"It's good. It's a new product. It's growing and getting more viewers every week. They have good talent, but they also have people that I have no idea why they're there. But that's the same story everywhere. I had the opportunity to work with one of my good friends, Johnny Mundo. We had the chance to work a great series of matches, and I really enjoyed it."

Have you heard anything about a second season of Lucha Underground? Would you be a part of it? [Please note that this interview was conducted before the second season of Lucha Underground was announced this week]

"I don't know if I'm going to be a part of it. They said they were going to start in the Summer, then June, then August, now I think they say December. I don't know what's going on over there. I have to talk to the people in charge, and I will be talking to them this week. We'll see what happens."

You had been approached by TNA last year as well. What made you decide to sign on with Lucha Underground over TNA?

"Money was better with Lucha Underground. At this point in my life, I have nothing to prove. I've proven to everyone I'm one of the best in-ring performers in the world. They know every time I'm in the ring I give more than 100 percent. At the end of the day, it's about money and Lucha Underground made me a nice offer."

Do you think it makes it hard for a new group like Lucha Underground considering there is so much WWE content out there?

"It's really difficult to compete with such a big and great organization as WWE. Lucha Underground has the right idea. Good talent, and if they keep doing things the way they started, they can grow and be an important organization in pro wrestling."

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