A former WWE star has discussed being accused of being “really racist” during their time in the company by one of their on-screen rivals.
In February 2013 Dutch Mantell returned to WWE screens as Zeb Colter, the anti-immigration, ‘don’t tread on me’ flag-waving manager of Jack Swagger. This led to a feud with Mexican star Alberto Del Rio, who was accompanied for matches by his personal ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez.
The storyline elicited a real-world response with Mantell and Hager forced to record an out-of-character interview to explain that they were just playing roles with WWE noting that the company was using real-world events as part of storylines.
Speaking on his Story Time with Dutch Mantell podcast, the former Zeb Colter noted that Ricardo Rodriguez had once accused him of being a legitimate racist:
“You know, he told somebody, he said, ‘He’s really racist.’ 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 noted that one of his more memorable lines of dialogue was a particular favourite of Vince McMahon’s:
“A lot of our whole push was based on immigrants ‘sneaking across the border,’ Vince loved that. 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.'”
During his appearance on the show, Jake Hager discussed feeling burnt out at the end of his WWE run and admitted to drinking too much at the time.
h/t Wrestling Inc.