WWE.com reported today that R-Truth has been suspended for 30 days following his first violation of the company's Wellness Policy. It couldn't have come at a worse time for the former NWA World Heavyweight champion as he had just main evented a "big four" pay-per-view (PPV) in Survivor Series where he teamed up with (now former) partner The Miz against the team of The Rock and John Cena.
Truth's character - with his seemingly loose grip on reality - was gaining some traction and the performer was actually getting accolades from those who previously brushed him off as a cheap pop magnet for kids with his call and response style of rapping.
In what can amount to wrestling's version of "The Odd Couple," he was paired with The Miz and the team was put in the company's biggest storyline, the tangled web of deceit and lies involving CM Punk, Alberto Del Rio, Triple H, Kevin Nash, and John Laurinaitis. The team worked - shockingly well - and immediately became one of the best parts of Monday Night Raw.
But rather than being just a small story by itself, Truth's suspension is a part of a much bigger picture that shows exactly how laissez faire the WWE truly is in regards to its Wellness Policy.
In the linked piece above, my colleague Keith Harris wrote that Evan Bourne was suspended for using a designer drug - likely Spice - which is a synthetic form of marijuana while partying recently. Getting caught with that in your system will lead to a 30 day suspension for a Superstar, exactly the punishment Bourne received.
The real deal, though? Actually smoking some ganja is a mere slap on the wrist. $2,500 it'll cost them if they piss hot.
The fact of the matter is this: if Bourne broke the rules, he should be punished. But how fair is it when the same rules don't apply to everyone?
In the same piece, Harris wrote there were rumors another Superstar - one with a bigger profile - had also been at that party and came back from a drug test red-handed. But unlike Bourne, this person was popped, not for Spice, but for regular, old missionary-style marijuana.
Rumors then began to surface - going into the PPV weekend -- the Superstar in question was one of the four men involved in the Survivor Series main event. Then of course, R-Truth is suspended today.
Coincidence? C'mon, Vinny Mac, don't bulljive a bulljiver.
It's hard to believe Spice wasn't initially found in R-Truth's system instead of regular marijuana. Bourne is just one half of the tag champs, a division the WWE can put on the backburner if need be. But Truth was smack dab in the middle of The Rock's big return and couldn't be so easily cast aside.
The company had no problem suspending Bourne immediately but held off on Truth's because it would have hurt business. Isn't that why the Wellness Policy was instituted in the first place, though? Because the heap of dead wrestlers piling up was bad for business?
The WWE is trying to have it both ways. They want to have an image-friendly drug policy in place to throw in the face of anyone who brings up wrestling's behind the scenes drug culture but rarely want to actually enforce it if it puts them in a bind.
At a time where storylines are tepid and the brass at WWE actually seems antagonistic towards its fanbase, the company can't afford another drug scandal.
The WWE needs to fold or go all in with the Wellness Policy because the way it's being handled right now, it's simply a joke.