WWE implemented the Wellness Policy following the death of Eddie Guererro back in 2005. Before the Policy was added to the contract of every full-time wrestler, there wasn't anything contractually obliging wrestlers to have sufficient health checks to ensure they were healthy enough to compete.
Many of the WWE Universe think that the Wellness Policy is all about testing wrestlers for banned substances, but there is also a part that states that all Superstars are to have regular cardiovascular stress tests; a test that would have proved that Eddie Guererro was unfit to wrestle days before his death more than a decade ago.
The policy isn't there to stop wrestlers from taking any performance enhancing drugs. It is there to ensure that all of their superstars are fit and healthy and that they are not addicted to any drugs that could lead them to suffer from any potential side effects.
That being said since the policy was brought into action in 2006, more than 40 wrestlers have been suspended after they violated it, but interestingly, the policy doesn't actually apply to part-time stars. This means that all of the following are full-time stars that you forgot were actually suspended by WWE over the past decade.
Carlito is a former United States and Intercontinental Champion. He was a member of the famous Colon Family that Primo and Epico now currently represent on WWE TV. Carlito was part of WWE for six years before he was released back in 2010 when it was announced that he had violated WWE's Wellness Policy for the first time.
It was reported that WWE decided to release the former Tag Team Champion because of his addiction to painkillers and the fact that he refused to attend a rehab facility. WWE usually suspends their talent and then gives them a chance to figure themselves out. But because it was apparent that Carlito was addicted to pain killers and he was refusing help from WWE, the company decided that there wasn't much else that they could do to help him.
14 Evan Bourne
Evan Bourne was once one of the most popular high flyers on WWE's roster. His Shooting Star Press was one of the best finishing moves that WWE had at the time, but like many other high-flying stars Bourne's biggest downfall was the fact that he failed WWE's Wellness Policy more than once.
Bourne's first violation was back in November 2011 when WWE stated that he had been suspended for 30 days for his first infraction. Less than two months later in January 2012, WWE announced the night after he and Kofi Kingston failed to capture the Tag team titles was because Bourne had once again failed the Wellness Policy and this time he was suspended for 60 days. Bourne never returned to Raw, he broke his foot in a car accident in March that year and was later released from WWE without ever returning.
13 Heath Slater
Heath Slater is the first member of the list that is still with WWE despite failing the Wellness test much earlier in his career. Heath has always had a rollercoaster style path in WWE, and it seems that this came to a climax back in 2011 when it was announced that Slater had failed the Wellness Policy for the first time and he was suspended for 30 days.
At this point, Slater was part of a storyline that included The Usos and Justin Gabriel, but he was taken off TV and didn't return to action for months afterward but seemingly learned his lesson. Slater hasn't failed a test in the past six years and still remains a part of the company, as one-half of the inaugural SmackDown Tag Team Champions.
12 John Morrison
Johnny Nitro made an impact in his first few years with WWE as one-half of the Tag Team Champions known as MNM along with Joey Mercury and Melina. It was then decided that Nitro should have a run as a singles competitor and WWE also thought that changing his name to John Morrison would help.
Merely days later, Morrison was suspended for 30 days after it was revealed that he had violated WWE's Wellness Policy for the first time. At this time Morrison was over on ECW and part of a feud with CM Punk. Morrison wasn't punished as much as many other stars and was allowed to step back into the feud with Punk when he made his WWE return a month later in the Summer of 2007.
11 Kurt Angle
Kurt Angle is still considered to be one of the best technical wrestlers to have ever stepped between WWE's ropes. Angle is an Olympic Gold Medalist and he has recently been announced as the headliner for the 2017 Hall of Fame.
Back in 2006 Angle was coming to terms with the fact that he was hurting and wanted time away from the company. At WrestleMania 22 Angle dropped the World Heavyweight Championship to Rey Mysterio and then headed over to ECW. Angle was working hurt for much of the year and was later suspended by WWE for violating their Wellness Policy for the first time. It was during this time that Angle asked and was granted his release from the company. He has stated many times since then that he quit the company, it wasn't a mutual decision.
10 Darren Young
Darren Young has been a Superstar who has bounced around the mid-card of WWE for the past seven years. Young joined WWE back in 2010 and it was that very same year that he made a huge mistake. Young was suspended just a year after he made his WWE debut when he was taking part in NXT's Redemption series.
Back in 2011 it was announced that Young would be suspended for 30 days. And like many other stars, Young quietly sat out his suspension and was allowed to return to WWE five weeks later and slot back into a rivalry with Titus O'Neil, a friend, and rival that has been part of many storylines with Young over the past seven years. Young obviously learned his lesson and hasn't had any problems with WWE executives since.
9 Rey Mysterio
Rey Mysterio may have left WWE a number of years ago, but he is still remembered as one of the most popular Luchadores of all time. Mysterio was plagued by knee injuries throughout the later years of his WWE career, but an apparent addiction to performance enhancing drugs was also a problem for the 175-pound star.
Rey was first suspended back in 2007 for his first violation. He stated that it was a prescription drug that was used and that he couldn't produce it in time to avoid the suspension. Rey was then suspended again in 2012, this time for 60 days for his second violation. People then began to speculate that Rey was one of many WWE wrestlers who were using performance enhancing drugs at this time, thanks to a Sports Illustrated article that named Rey Mysterio.
8 Sin Cara
Sin Cara is another masked Superstar who was suspended by WWE during his early years. Back in 2011, while Sin Cara himself was suspended by the company for violating the WWE Wellness Policy for the first time following their Money in the bank pay-per-view, WWE decided that they could find a way to keep the character on TV while the real Sin Cara sat out his suspension.
WWE had a different Superstar portraying Sin Cara for the 30 days before they allowed Mistico back into the fold. Later Mistico left WWE and Sin Cara was replaced with Hunico. Mistico later stated in an interview that he didn't know what he tested positive for since he had only had a routine injection for his knee pain whilst he was in Mexico.
R-Truth is another Superstar who has remained with WWE despite being suspended earlier in his career for violating WWEs Wellness Policy. Truth started out in WWE back in 2008 but it wasn't until 2011 that WWE suspended the popular star for his first violation. At this point, R-Truth was part of a team with The Miz called Awesome Truth, but the violation allowed the team to go their separate ways.
WWE allowed R-Truth to sit out his suspension and then return to WWE. They would allow him to return to programming a month later. Truth hasn't been suspended for any violations since and has remained as part of WWE's roster, often floating around the mid-card scene but sometimes WWE decide to gamble and give Truth a decent push. Even though, in fairness, he hasn't been seen on WWE TV in weeks.
6 Rob Van Dam
The Human Highlight Reel and the former ECW and WWE Champion is fondly remembered by the WWE Universe after his many years in both WWE and ECW.
Rob Van Dam was the WWE Champion back in 2006 when he made one of the biggest mistakes of his career. According to the Wellness Policy, a drug-related arrest can lead to an instant dismissal from the company. RVD and Sabu were arrested in 2006 on drug possession charges that were later reduced to a fine. Rob was suspended for 30 days and forced to drop the WWE Championship on Raw and the ECW Championship on the Tuesday night episode the following week. Rob was never able to recapture the titles and it seemed that WWE was not ready to put their trust in him again either.
5 William Regal
The current General Manager of NXT is considered one of the most technically sound wrestlers in the history of the industry. The English Superstar paved his own path in WWE, but all of that could have come to an epic conclusion back in 2008.
Regal was suspended for 60 days in May that year when it was revealed that he had violated the Wellness Policy for the second time. Regal was earlier suspended back in 2007 while he was acting as Raw General Manager and was now just one violation away from being axed by the company. WWE obviously stood by Regal and over the past almost 10 years, he has no more infractions to his name and has managed to work his way up to a position of power within the company.
Ryback made the decision to walk away from WWE back in 2016 after an argument over payment. Something that Ryback wasn't worried about sharing with the WWE Universe. This isn't the first time that Ryback has been at odds with WWE.
Somehow The Big Guy managed to fail a drug test with WWE before he even made his debut on the show. It was while he was performing down in OVW back in 2006 that it was announced that Ryback had been suspended for 30 days following this violation. Ryback stated that he had been taking various over the counter bodybuilding supplements that led to a false reading. These supplements were later taken off the market, but WWE did allow him to take a second test which he later passed.
The Rated R Superstar has done some crazy things during his time with WWE. The former eleven-time World Champion was forced to retire from WWE back in 2011 when it was revealed that Edge was suffering from a career-ending neck problem.
Earlier in his career, Edge along with many other stars in WWE was suspended for violating WWE's Wellness Policy for his first and only time in 2007. It seems that many stars at that time were using the same kind of pharmaceutical drugs and theses caused many positive readings on drug tests and meant that many stars were suspended at the same time. The Wellness Policy was still in its infancy at this point after being unveiled in 2006, but Edge didn't violate the policy again for the rest of his career.
2 Dolph Ziggler
Dolph Ziggler has recently turned heel and has finally found a place on the SmackDown roster over the past few weeks. This is in stark contrast to the way Dolph was used when he first debuted in WWE as a male cheerleader, which is at least a form of progress.
The former World Champion was suspended for 30 days back in 2008 for his first violation of WWE's Wellness Policy. Dolph sat out his suspension and was able to return to WWE TV after this and has remained clean since then. Dolph's career has been plagued more by injury than it has by policy violations, but he is still considered to be one of the most misused stars in the company's history, which still doesn't sit well with the WWE Universe.
1 Randy Orton
Randy Orton is a former World Champion. He is one of the biggest stars of the current era and while he's made a lot of history during his time in WWE inside the ring, it's his history that he made as part of the Wellness Policy that has many fans talking.
Orton was suspended for using performance-enhancing drugs back in 2005 before The Wellness Policy was introduced. Randy was then suspended in 2006 and again in 2012 for 60 days for his second violation. Orton went to rehab and worked on his problems and because of this WWE removed one of Orton's strikes. This means that if he violates the policy again he will only be suspended for 60 days. This has never happened in WWE before, and it will be interesting to see if the company allows it with any other stars.
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