The WWE Wellness Policy was made official by WWE in an attempt to clean up the public perception of the company. Wrestlers have been passing away at a young age in high numbers and addiction issues have been a major reason why. The heavy use of drugs is something that has been synonymous with wrestling for a long time. Vince McMahon used the Wellness Policy as a way to change that. Wrestlers are drug tested to make sure they are not using any banned substances. The drug tests are random and wrestlers reportedly take two-to-four tests per year to ensure they're clean.
Punishment for violation of the policy will see a thirty-day suspension for first time offenders. The second time will land someone sidelined for sixty days. A third violation is meant to lead to termination of contract, but that isn’t official. WWE can choose any punishment they wish for the violations. Those are just the standard of what has been expected and history shows they live up to their word. Many names have been suspended with the news making headlines in recent years. Roman Reigns and Paige are two huge stars that failed drug tests last year. We'll look at some of the lesser known stories of WWE stars violating the Wellness Policy.
15 Kurt Angle
The impending return of Kurt Angle to WWE as a part of the 2017 Hall of Fame class will mark his first appearance for the company since 2006. Angle violated the Wellness Policy in 2006 as one of the first high profile names to fail the drug test. The violation came in the Summer of ‘06 leading to a thirty day suspension.
14 Darren Young
Not many current fans are aware Darren Young has violated the Wellness Policy because it happened a long time ago. Young failed a drug test back in October of 2011 during a time when no one cared about his position on the card. This was after he was kicked out of Nexus and sent back to the NXT television. Young did his time of thirty days before coming back to the same NXT show as if nothing changed.
Despite very rarely ever wrestling actual matches, Hornswoggle violated the WWE Wellness Policy back in September 2015. Hornswoggle was employed by WWE for many years and the high point of his career saw him work in storylines with DX and Vince McMahon. Hornswoggle served the thirty-day suspension following the drug test failure, but WWE never put him back on television.
12 William Regal
A lot of suspensions over the first few years flew under the radar due to it coming in bunches. William Regal was one of the rare names to fail the drug test twice. The traditional thirty and sixty day suspensions came for Regal after violating the policy. Unfortunately, the second suspension came at the worst time in 2008 just less than a year after the first.
11 Mike Chioda
Referees are not exempt from the rules in WWE. It was a huge shocker when Mike Chioda violated the Wellness Policy for failing a drug test back in August 2011. Very few people remember this due to a referee not playing an important part of the show. They tend to blend in and you don’t notice when they are gone. This was a positive for Chioda that made it a forgettable mistake.
Ryback was actually one of the first wrestlers to violate the Wellness Policy in 2006 during his time in developmental. Many would take a look at him and assume he at least experimented with steroids at one point or another. WWE suspended him long before his success of the Ryback character. The early brush with trouble definitely could have sunk his career, but, to his credit, Ryback turned it around to have a successful career.
2007 saw WWE suspend ten noteworthy talents at the same time for getting steroids from the Signature Pharmacy in Orlando. They were raided and discovered to have distributed steroids without examining patients. A few of the wrestlers to get busted here will appear on this list. All of them getting suspended at the same time made each name stand out a little bit less.
8 Luke Gallows
Luke Gallows is another current star that violated the Wellness Policy during the early days. During his time as “Freakin’ Deacon” in developmental, Gallows was suspended for failing a drug test back in 2006. It didn’t stop Gallows from rebounding and making his way to the main roster a few years later with the Festus gimmick. Sadly, the Festus experiment flopped horribly and he eventually found his way out of the WWE.
The last few years of Carlito’s run in WWE saw many reports leak that the company didn’t believe he took his job seriously. Carlito allegedly didn’t show the desire to improve or the passion to move up the card, despite having the talent. The final breaking point for WWE came in May of 2010 when Carlito violated the Wellness Policy.
6 Billy Gunn
WWE holds their trainers and coaches at the Performance Center to the same standard as the wrestlers on the roster. Billy Gunn found this out the hard way last year when he violated the Wellness Policy after failing a drug test. The company didn’t realize Gunn was still competing in powerlifting competitions on his time away from the job as a coach at the Performance Center.
5 Booker T
The 2007 drug raid of a pharmacy in Orlando saw a few big names get outed. Booker T is a legend of the sport with very few negative marks on his professionalism in the wrestling industry. That makes it surprising to remember he was one of the names suspended back in 2007 for being on the leaked list that were given steroids without a proper prescription.
4 John Morrison
John Morrison was one of the names involved in the Signature Pharmacy scandal. The timing was terrible for Morrison than most, considering he was receiving the biggest push of his career. Morrison won the ECW Championship and was becoming the face of the brand at that point. The thirty-day suspension forced WWE to take the title off of him.
3 Eva Marie
The most recent suspension that went relatively unnoticed saw Eva Marie fail a drug test in August of 2016 right before the big WWE SummerSlam event. Eva would get removed from the six women tag match and was replaced by the returning Nikki Bella, much to the delight of Barclays Center. Paige and Alberto Del Rio were both suspended in the same week, overshadowing Marie's suspension.
2 Dolph Ziggler
Dolph Ziggler suffered his first and only strike violating the WWE Wellness Policy back in 2008. The timing was horrible as WWE introduced him as the Dolph Ziggler character for the first time, before his suspension took him off television. WWE didn’t hold it against him as they could have easily just killed the character, but Ziggler returned after the suspension ended.
The most shocking name that violated the WWE Wellness Policy has to be Edge. WWE employed Edge as a relevant star on the show for many years and he always seemed like the model employee. Edge delivered in the ring, on the microphone and did a lot of work off screen to help the company. That made it all the more surprising when he was one of the ten names linked to the Signature Pharmacy scandal.
WWE sent a message that no one was exempt when they suspended a big name star like Edge for thirty days in 2007 and actually kept him off television. Randy Orton and Roman Reigns have been two of the main event names to get heat for violating the Wellness Policy. Edge took the suspension, learned from his mistake and kept moving forward. He did such a good job that most have no idea that he actually violated the Wellness Policy.
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