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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!
147 COMMENTS

No Avatar
76.

wonkers    

Whaa. I am so tired of people whining. SUCK IT UP. You went to a wrestling show and the wrestlers were doing their job, playing their characters. GET OVER IT. Idiots demand apologies, whiners demand apologies, wussies demand apologies and entitled people demand apologies. Has this whole country turned into a bunch of politically correct wussies? This is not the attitude that made this country great. This is the attitude that is destroying this country. YOU, you crazy, stupid, entitled woman are destroying this country

653 days ago
77.

Anthony    

How about teach your kid that there are bad people in the world and he's just has to develop a hard shell. If you don't, he'll just be an overly, sensitive man-child.

653 days ago
78.

selina    

OMG you pathetic lady... That's what happens at these games, and you were lucky enough to get great seats to interact with them. Its people like you that will put a stop to them interacting with the audience, because of feelings being hurt. If you have a sensitive kid, dont take him to places like that.. go sit in the nose bleed seats, and hopefully the crowd having so much fun and being loud won't upset your son.
get a life

653 days ago
79.

Shannon    

I'd love it if that happened to me! I haven't even gotten the opportunity to even sit ringside! Lucky kid! Mom needs to settle down, and hopefully when the kid gets a little older, he'll realize just how awesome that really was.

653 days ago
80.

karenjj    

OH PUUUULEEEZEE LADY. Don't take your kid to a WWE event if you don't know what goes on there. Cry me a river. GET OVER IT AND STFU!!

653 days ago
81.

lauren    

oh day this boy will be soooooo embarassed by his mother......what did she expect @ a wrestling match!!! good manners??? Dumb ****

653 days ago
82.

Debz    

I guess you're not a REAL fan.. It would be AN HONOR if one of these guys would take my sign and rip it!!! Maybe this woman and her son shouldn't go to any other event.. If you can't take it, don't cry about it, just don't go!!! I'm sorry, but that's just the way it is, you know what you're getting into when you go to a WWE event.. Be happy, you were THAT CLOSE to ringside.. How lucky is that? I guess this mother babies her son too damned much.. It'll be her fault when he grows up to be a softy . Maybe you should just stick to taking him to Walt Disney movies....

653 days ago
83.

DallasJacq    

Your kid is watching two guys act like they are beating the hell out of each other, but some ripped cardboard makes your kid cry?! Grow a pair.

653 days ago
84.

Mary    

If you lie down with dogs...

653 days ago
85.

Cortez    

Haha wow... this disgusting excuse for a parent has caused her son more harm than this pro-wrestler could with a steel chair. Perhaps she should DEMAND an apology from The Grinch for stealing Christmas next.

In the future, she really ought to do her homework before taking her child out in public. If she had ever bothered to watch wrestling programming, she'd know that this is common practise. The fact that she couldn't be bothered to look into what she was taking her son to shows neglect and ignorance on her part. Demanding an apology from a professional for doing his job shows her arrogance.

She owes her son an apology for putting him in this situation without doing her research. She owes Mr. Del Rio an apology for harassing him over something that was her own fault as a neglectful parent. She owes me an apology for the headache I got while trying to comprehend the depths of her self-righteous stupidity.

653 days ago
86.

Danny    

her kids a punk. wrestlers interact with kids all the time, rip signs, give them tshirts or hugs and stuff...its part of the show. her kids needs to man up. he was just playing into his character. its not bullying, its a scripted show and hes doing his job to sell the product...blah blah blah is right. if this was still the attitude era that 8year old kid would have probably stuck his middle finger at the wrestler and continued to enjoy the show...man up kid, man up!

653 days ago
87.

geezlouise    

Another whiny helicopter mom. In 12 years the kid's going to be another bratty 20 something who can't solve a problem because mom has done that for him all of his life. I wonder who the real bully is in this story - the wrestler or the mom.

653 days ago
88.

Meow    

Everyone seems to have forgotten that this is just a CHILD. Maybe he didn't understand that ADR was just doing his job. I have a 6 year old who is a HUGE WWE fan and if a wrestler did that, seeing that my child was in tears, I'd be just as pissed. And I understand that he was playing a character, but once he saw that the child was crying, he should've walked away.

653 days ago
89.

Jeffxbr    

I was in the front row. What the camera did not show was Sheamus chasing Del Rio away after that happen and coming over to hug the kid. The mom was in tears and told Sheamus how upset her kid was. The little boy was very happy to hug him and rubbed Sheamus hair. I agree with everyone that it is a honor to have a bad guy rip up your sign, macho king did it all the time! but it was sad to see the kid upset. I'm glad for the happy ending! Sheamus chased the "bully" away and the kid got to hug his hereo.

653 days ago
90.

jsfarnham08    

FOR F---'S SAKE, ARE YOU KIDDING?!?! Del Rio was playing the character he's supposed to play ... GET OVER IT LADY!! As everyone else has already said, it's an honor to interact with a WWE Superstar or Diva. Do you know what I would give to hold up a picture of a goat in front of Daniel Bryan?!? If you or your kid can't handle it, STAY THE HELL HOME & watch it on TV!! Free up those killer ringside seats for those with thicker skin & brains!

653 days ago
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