I spoke with a source regarding WWE's termination of Alberto Del Rio and was told the company had "no choice" but to terminate him from a legal perspective. I was told the employee in question -- Cody Barbierri -- could also face disciplinary action.
This key observer described the situation to me like this:
"Even if Cody told a racist joke, by handling things the way he did, Del Rio left WWE's hands tied. If I worked at Burger King and I'd heard a rumor that somebody was talking bad about me, I'd be fired instantly if I attacked that person. Had Del Rio properly reported Cody rather than confronting him, Cody likely would have been suspended, if not terminated."
However, I'm told that's "just not how the boys handle business" and rather than alerting company executives, the tendency is to handle matters face-to-face by confronting the other party. As it was explained to me, sometimes in the heat of the moment, talent tend to forget WWE is a publicly traded company and they can't go around attacking employees for any reason -- especially hearsay.
This is why Del Rio was terminated on the spot "due to unprofessional conduct" even if his behavior was justified by the inappropriate joke.
Click here for our complete report on the incident that I published on Saturday.