Well, that didn’t take long.
WWE officially announced Friday that two Superstars, Chris Masters and D.H. Smith, were suspended for violations of the Wellness Policy. This was Masters’ second, leading to a 60-day suspension, while Smith was slapped with his first suspension of 30 days.
We all knew that the new policy would lead to names of violators being put up in the public eye. But I honestly was surprised with how soon it happened considering the motivation one would think public scrutiny would bring.
Masters, a.k.a. Chris Mordetsky, is not as much of a surprise. We all know that he’s faced problems with substances in the past, having gone to rehab to deal with his use of pain killers and later facing a 30-day suspension when he was tied to the whole Signature Pharmacy debacle.
Smith, however, a young wrestler who has just seen his star rise to new levels and looks to have unlimited potential, did somewhat startle me.
But stepping back and giving the matter some thought, the first thing we must realize is that despite all speculation, we have no idea what substance or substances these men tested positive for. Most people automatically assume steroids, and they are wrong to do so.
We all know steroids have been used in the business, and at times it was probably the norm more than the exception. But with the current policy not revealing what these men tested positive for, it could just as well been pain killers, HGH, or any number of items restricted under the policy. Honestly, I haven’t read the policy verbatim so I couldn’t tell you right now what substances are banned in the WWE.
But my, oh my, how many of us rush to judgment.
Just look at the current poll on Wrestle Zone regarding the situation. As I write this column, 3,360 of you have voted and an overwhelming 75.7 percent of you think the WWE should release Chris Masters now and just forget about the three-strike policy.
Sure, let’s just throw out the rules and forget that every one of us is human.
Chris has one more shot before he faces termination by the WWE, so I sincerely hope that whatever he was using, be it steroids, pain killers, or whatever, he takes this time to get the help he needs to not finish himself off in the business.
Smith, who has said that he learned from his father’s mistakes, now has one of his own to learn from. The man has just been presented with an amazing opportunity that most never ascend to, and he needs to make sure that he doesn’t squander his own chance at greatness and deprive the fans of what looks early on to be a great talent in the business.
But it’s this writer’s position that while we may all be free to form our own opinions, we the fans have no right to cast judgment upon these men for whatever infraction they may have made. Fans don’t face the pressures of performance and appearance that wrestlers do. Fans don’t face what must be ongoing pain from lingering injuries brought on by abusing your body each night in the name of entertainment.
Instead of casting judgment, how about showing some support for these WWE Superstars in the hope that Masters never leaves the WWE because of the Wellness Policy, and that Smith never faces another suspension for the same?
I wish these men luck in their battles, not knowing individually who may be facing a stupid mistake or who might be facing a hard fight with addiction. Whichever it may be, gentlemen, don’t let a substance be the reason your career with the WWE comes to an early end.
Sean “O’Mac” McGuinney’s day job is as a newspaper editor. He has been a journalist for nearly 10 years and has covered everything from government to sports. The wrestling? Well, that’s just been enjoyed since he was a kid. Don’t ask how long ago that was.