I like Evan Bourne. I hate that, as a wrestling fan, I won't get to see him perform for 60 days or longer. I hate more that he didn't learn his lesson. Rules are rules. Evan was CLEARLY aware of those rules. He consciously decided to ignore them (for the second time) and deserves the consequences he's now facing.
WWE has every right to suspend Evan Bourne for disobeying the rules. The end.
Or is it?
In my opinion, the topic that SHOULD be debated going forward is not legalizing marijuana, or banning alcohol, or whether the punishment fits the crime. The real issue at hand is whether or not WWE is holding ALL of their employees to the same standards they are apparently holding Evan Bourne to — and I seriously doubt they are.
That has been the issue with the Wellness Policy from the beginning. In theory, it's a good thing. WWE should do all it can to protect the immediate wellbeing and the long-term health of it's talent. However, that shouldn't be negated when it suits them. It shouldn't be negated ever. Yet, I'm afraid it is.
Evan Bourne is a guy Vince can use as an example without affecting his bottom line. Plus, it illustrates to outside critics and even Congress that he's "trying" to do the right thing. Would he do the same if Undertaker got caught smoking pot? What if Randy Orton was still using steroids?
The 2007 steroid bust was a different situation in that the list of superstars caught was already public knowledge before WWE even had a chance to act. Additionally, the Wellness Policy was still relatively new at that time and even though Vince was forced to make a point, he got to spin it in his favor. "Look! It works!"
Now that the Chris Benoit incident is mostly behind them and WWE doesn't have Congress breathing down their necks as heavily, how strict are they with their policies? It seems "quite a bit", but is that subjected to only lower or mid-level talent? Due to the lack of "A-level" guys suspended in the last few years, it could certainly be argued that it is.
I guess it's possible the upper echelon of talent simply do no wrong anymore. John Cena is the perfect angel he's made out to be and it's only the "green peas" that apparently have a rebellious side they refuse to give up.
I'm not here to claim I know for sure WWE "isn't" going directly by the book as they would suggest. I'm just saying that between recent history, the former employees with axes to grind and of course, Sturgeon's Law, there's room to doubt. And when there's doubt, there's people like me waiting in the wings to focus on it in order to spark debate and discussion.
Chris Cash is the co-host of the Voice of Wrestling radio show, an editor for WrestleZone.com, and an overall good guy. There are four ways to call him an idiot and react to the OPINIONATED article above: 1) Out loud. 2) On Twitter @RealityofChris. 3) Via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. And 4) The comment section below. Take your pick and enjoy, but please remember that Chris Cash is a sensitive person with an uncontrollable tendency to cry when mocked, ridiculed and/or insulted.
Have a news tip? Attended an event and want to send a live report?