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'Shark Tank' Winner

WWE Star Made My Son Cry

DEMANDS APOLOGY

10/9/2012 5:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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A mother will do anything to protect her kid -- just ask former "Shark Tank" winner Shelly Ehler ... who's picking a fight with a 6'5", 239-pound WWE star after he made her 8-year-old cry.

Ehler -- who scored a $75k investment on "Tank" for her ShowNo towels -- has a serious beef with Alberto Del Rio ... who snatched her son's handmade sign during a WWE event in Anaheim, CA this weekend ... and RIPPED IT UP (or at least tried to).

In the video (above) Del Rio isn't quite strong enough to rip the sign in half (it is cardboard) ... so he takes off small, pathetic, chunks instead.

FYI -- it's standard practice for the wrestlers to interact with audience members "in character." In this case, the sign was pro-Sheamus ... the wrestling arch-nemesis of Del Rio.

But TMZ spoke to Shelly, who says her 8-year-old was terrified by the wrestler's actions and instantly burst into tears. She adds, "Del Rio is a bully. I looked at him and said 'he's crying' ... and he mocked him."

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Shelly -- who says her 8-year-old cried all the way home -- vented her frustrations to the wrestler on Twitter and then fired off an angry letter to the WWE.

In the letter she says, "Take signs from adults NOT KIDS!  My son was bullied by your superstars and it is not okay."

Despite her demands, Shelly claims she's heard crickets from Del Rio -- but his manager tweeted her back and said, "lol blah blah blah."

FYI -- as soon as Shelly contacted Sheamus about the incident ... he immediately offered to send her son a signed photo and meet with him next time he's in town.

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7:15 AM PT -- A rep for the WWE tells TMZ ...“While Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez were portraying their WWE characters, we sincerely apologize for any misunderstanding that may have occurred.”

For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!
146 COMMENTS

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1.

John Basedow    

What an A-hole.

710 days ago
2.

Seriously    

Lol blah blah blah

710 days ago
3.

Diamond Goddess!    

I'm sur ethe Sharks just L-U-R-V-E that she took their $75K and took her kid to WWE with it!
Mark Cuban always says you have to "eat, sleep, and breathe" your business.
And then she publicly complains, so now everyone KNOWS she was there.
LOL!!!

710 days ago
4.

Jay "The Brain" Mann    

What marks. If they've ever watched wrestling before, they know that they do this **** all the time. Seriously, Del Rio didn't just see your kid and think "You know what, that kid looks like he'd be fun to piss off." then ripped up the sign. Del Rio's not a bully. He's a heel. There's a difference. #getaclue #mark

710 days ago
5.

Mikey M    

I know i'll sound like a jerk, but bad guys have been doing this for years (pro-wrestling goes back i dont know 40-50 years?), doesnt matter who it's too, they stay in character no matter what, kinda needs to get over herself. it was cool of sheamus to offer the autograph tho. it wasnt all bad.

710 days ago
6.

Kelly Kelly    

Oh puhlease! Not to be mean, but the kid should be grateful he got to interact with a WWE superstar. I'm a girl, and if Del Rio or any other superstar would of tore up my sign, I would have taken what was left and framed it on the wall. Enough with this bullying crap already.

710 days ago
7.

JoeyBing    

Del Rio did his job. He played the heel the way you're supposed to. No offense lady, but your son sounds like a little pansy who you probably coddle way too much. It's a show....nothing more. What you need to do is have the baby-daddy show this kid how to grow some balls. Maybe next time a heel grabs his sign, he'll slap him upside the head and take the sign back.

2-1 says this kids a bleeder!

710 days ago
8.

jonesy    

well del rio will be forced to write a mandatory apology and be suspended very soon. the wwe absolutely does not take anything damaging to the company's image lightly.

710 days ago
9.

CJ    

I feel bad for the kid but I would never take an 8 year old to a violent event like that!

710 days ago
10.

News Flash     

Del Rio had skid marks on his pants, he's the big sissy.

710 days ago
11.

Sascha    

8 years old kids should not watch that kind of stuff. The mother is more then stupid!

710 days ago
12.

Sascha    

8 year old kids have no business watching that stuff. What kind of Mum is that anyway???

710 days ago
13.

Sean    

If that kid is going to cry about that then I hate to see what he'll do when he finds out it's all fake.

710 days ago
14.

LadyN    

Anyone who ever watched a wrestling event knows the signs just incite the rivals. That is why they bring the signs in. And it's usually an HONOR when a wrestler rips your sign up! What is the kid going to do with it? Bring it home and put it on his wall? My kids were thrilled when the bad guy snatched their signs - probably because as a mother, I explained wrestling to them (and worked in the business). Parents, explain to your kids that wrestling is all about a story and it is not real and no wrestler wants to hurt them. Do your duty before taking a kid to a show.This isn't about Santa Claus. Kids should understand that there isn't any real violence and that even the crowd is part of the show.

710 days ago
15.

Ace    

I'm soooo tired of hearing the word "Bully". The word should be banned. Every time someone has a little problem with someone else there a bully. Get a life people!

710 days ago
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