Just under six months ago, Rosa Mendes (real name Milena Roucka) was sent home by WWE from the company's annual spring tour of Europe for "personal reasons". As is so often the case, that phrase was code for Mendes having substance abuse issues and was in such bad shape that WWE management felt compelled to act.
Thankfully, instead of refusing to believe she had a problem and complaining about her treatment, Mendes took advantage of her unscheduled time off to clear her head and get back on the right track.
Shrewdly, WWE didn't rush her back on television, having her attend their television tapings for several weeks without appearing on them to see how she coped being back in the wrestling locker room environment, which is full of temptations.
Mendes made a cameo on the August 26th Monday Night Raw dancing with The Miz before his match with Fandango, but it wasn't until this week's edition of the show that she returned to the ring, teaming with Aksana & Alicia Fox to lose to Natalya, Eva Marie & JoJo (which apparently was a rib on Eva Marie who doesn't realize how much she has to learn as a performer).
However, according to former WWE creative team member Court Bauer on his podcast, there was a notable hiccup in her backstage behavior, but she wasn't the person punished for it. That's because senior road agent Michael Hayes, who is the company's go to guy for coming up with match layouts and finishes for their top pay-per-view matches, was spotted having drinks in a bar with Mendes, despite her problems with alcohol being well known by him. When Vince McMahon was tipped off that the old rogue was leading their young damsel astray, the decision was made to suspend Hayes for several weeks over his lapse in judgement. If he wasn't well liked by the big cheese, then the punishment would have likely been much more severe.
Hayes has had quite the checkered history with drunken indiscretions in the past.
Notorious drinkers and all around party animals, The Fabulous Freebirds lasted less than two months in the WWF in 1984 due to being so out of control, which is saying something given the standards of decorum was so much lower in those days.
Despite many of his friends passing away early from their demons, Hayes has never fully grown up. He was one of the many who consumed too much alcohol on The Plane Ride From Hell and ended up starting a fight with JBL on the flight, which led to Sean "X-Pac" Waltman cutting off his mullet when he finally passed out in retaliation. He also got obscenely drunk at Triple H and Stephanie McMahon's wedding and made a fool of himself with his inebriated karaoke singing, so much so that Linda McMahon had to put him in his place by going on stage and taking the mic away from him.
Eventually his drunken escapades caught up with him, as he was suspended for 60 days from his position as head Smackdown writer in April 2008 when Mark Henry complained about Hayes telling him "I'm more of a n****r than you are!" at the official WrestleMania 24 after party. That may have taught him to knock off the racial slurs, but obviously not to lay off the alcohol.
It seems like Michael Hayes is cut from the same cloth as Ric Flair, who constantly brags about turning John Cena into a hardened drinker and attempting to get reformed alcoholics Ted DiBiase, Shawn Michaels and William Regal back on the booze. At least Hayes has his shit together better than The Nature Boy, but obviously has a similarly messed up attitude towards drinking. Hopefully, he's at least wiser about who he drinks with in the future, but given the saying "once a Freebird, always a Freebird" that can't be guaranteed.