Brian Kendrick talked to Slam! Wrestling about the later period of his WWE stint and had some interesting things to say...
He still enjoyed going out and wrestling at house shows, but hated going to the TV tapings every week:
"TV sucked because you saw a circus, backstabbers, power hungry people, suck ups, weak people," Kendrick said. "Also lots of really great, nice, funny people. But I felt like a tool sitting in the bleachers waiting in case they need my skills for something."
He smoked cigarettes solely to spite Vince McMahon:
Kendrick even said he was smoking cigarettes during that time and if he had one now, he'd puke.
"The boss, I heard, not from his mouth, hates cigarettes, so I would smoke a half a pack a day at work," he said. "It was also an excuse to get the f--- out of the building for 10 minutes at a stretch."
In detailing his phone call with John Laurinatis (described as "cowardly") where he learned of his release from the company, he confirmed that he did frequently fail drug tests for marijuana:
I asked for the real reason, 'Is it the pot fines?' I had a script for it, I had heated discussions with Dr. Black, I had to refuse a test to get him to call me at one point. He wouldn't admit to that.
The marijuana issue is one that isn't necessarily talked about enough in realistic terms. By most accounts, WWE tests for marijuana solely because it's illegal and they're under a microscope. Failures don't count as strikes toward suspensions and possibly termination, but they do lead to fines. At first, the fines were looked at as a "pot tax" that most of the wrestlers could afford with quarterly tests, but as more wrestlers failed, the punishments got more harsh. Tests got more frequent (leading to more fines) and the most frequent offenders got de-pushed.
It's understandable on the surface, but as you dig deeper, it gets problematic. Bret Hart strongly believes that the aggressive testing for marijuana in the early '90s with high fines led many wrestlers to instead resort to easing their pain with more drinking and pill popping, which were both ignored at the time, at least in terms of drug testing. None of the wrestlers who smoked pot seemed to develop any problems with it, but soon many of the wrestlers developed major drug and alcohol problems. This is all detailed further in Hart's book. Scott Hall, no stranger to drug and alcohol problems, has mentioned that the first time he ever met Vince McMahon, the boss was arguing with Brian Knobbs, who had just tested positive for marijuana and fined $10,000. While Knobbs argued that he should just be able to go to his hotel room and relax, Hall claims that McMahon told the better known half of The Nasty Boys that he'd just have drink more and take more pills. While obviously, there are wrestlers who don't rely on any chemical help to function, those who do seem a lot safer with one chemical than several others.