Earlier this week, Evan Bourne got the news that no WWE superstar wants to hear, that he was being suspended for 30 days for his first Wellness policy violation. In recent months, there has been a surprising spate of first time offenders caught by their drug testing procedures, after a near two year period of relative inactivity. Sin Cara got the ball rolling with his suspension in mid July. Quickly following were head referee Mike Chioda, Tough Enough winner Andy Leavine, NXT season five contender Darren Young and Smackdown jabroni Heath Slater. The only recent change to WWE's Wellness policy was their decision to ban synthetic cannabis, so could some of these drug test failures be explained by a fondness for K2 and Spice within the WWE locker room?
In Bourne's case, it certainly seems likely, as Dave Meltzer reported in the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter that:
The violation was believed to be for using a synthetic version of marijuana that a number wrestlers had been using for some time because it allowed them to beat the marijuana test. However, the company announced a change in the policy and began testing for the components of the synthetic version. Because the real version is the one drug where there is only a fine, of $2,500 for a positive test, as opposed to a 30-day suspension, it has led to the talent that wants to use the drug going back to the original version.
So it sounds like Bourne made the costly mistake of continuing to use the synthetic stuff, perhaps thinking the tests for such a new drug wouldn't be effective and wanting to avoid the fine that comes with smoking real pot.
Meltzer had no good explanation as to why WWE didn't script Air Boom to drop their WWE tag team titles on Raw this week as part of Bourne's punishment. Maybe there isn't one and this is just a sign of how little WWE management values those titles that they don't even care that they're effectively put on ice for a month due to Bourne's suspension. However, an alternative suggestion is that WWE may have decided to show leniency in this case as Bourne was using a substance that was legal until recently and had just been put on their banned substances list. More importantly, given that Bourne and Kofi Kingston only formed their tag team three months ago and WWE has put a serious investment into branding and merchandising their newest babyface duo, the decision to keep the titles on them could be evidence that WWE don't want to derail Air Boom's momentum more than was absolutely necessary.