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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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Previous 15 Comments | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7
91.

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.

680 days ago
92.

SittingInJudgement    

Alberto Del Rio was doing his job-my question is, why didn't you do yours?

The WWE brand is clearly promoted as a PG-13 product. I have a son and while I am a wrestling fan he will not watch until he is old enough to understand what he is really watching.

He wanted to go to the show? Well, kids ALWAYS want to do things they are not ready for and it's YOUR job as a parent to establish boundaries. When he is 10 and you take him to see a scary, Rated 'R' movie are you going to demand a 'mea culpa' from the director because your child is having nightmares? When he is 14 and wants a tattoo, are you going to let him get one and then demand an apology from the artist when he finds out how much it hurts to get it? When he's 17 and wants to have a beer are you going to let him take a drink and then blame the brewing company because he's an alcoholic by age 21?

You keep saying "he's too little to understand" as if that is an appropriate response and in some ways, it is. He IS too little to understand--you, however, are old enough to know better.

680 days ago
93.

Kacy    

Really... you let your 8 year old son go to a wrestling show. And its his sign being ripped up that offends you? That is the least violent thing going on there. What is wrong with you?? if you have decided your son is old enough to watch and attend wrestling then maybe you should tell him to grow up and get over the ripped sign....

680 days ago
94.

Stephenson    

She just wants some free stuff from WWE. she knows that Alberto was just playing heel

680 days ago
95.

DoorBreaker    

Hell I'm going to an live even this monday, I have the right mind to make a sign thats whey Please Rip My Sign I won't Cry. Just be glad this kid isn't in shcool if the was he would get picked on like cray. I would love for a wrestler took time to take my sign and rip it.

679 days ago
96.

Alex    

It's all part of the job description, Shelly. ADR plays the 'heel' character (bad guy), and Sheamus plays the 'babyface' (good guy). In professional wrestling, something as trivial as ripping a fan's sign is one of the many feats heel wrestlers perform to intentionally draw 'heat' (jeers) from the audience-see Ted DiBiase basketball segment. Del Rio was only doing his job...lighten up, Shelly.

679 days ago
97.

Dan Delv    

Sorry but the bad guy's in wrestling have been doing this for years. At a non televised event the "HEEL aka BAD GUY" does things like rip signs to gain hatred from the crowd. I bet the little boy was happy when the good guy ended up beating up Alberto Del Rio since "Heels" never win in the main event of House Shows.

666 days ago
98.

mark     

That is total crap. I would have been in my glory @ that age if a wrestler took my sign. i probably world have saved the scrap paper just because a wrestler acknowledged my sign.

447 days ago
99.

matt    

wow what a p.u.ss.y ........ the kid I mean

405 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

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