In a week where the focus should be on the build to the biggest SummerSlam in WWE history, a black cloud has been cast over the company due to the Wellness Policy violations from WWE superstars Alberto Del Rio, Paige, and Eva Marie. To make matters worse, Cageside Seats is reporting that even more suspensions might not be far behind.
It would be unfair to speculate on who might succumb to future violations, so the focus of this article will remain on those who were suspended this week. The announcement of Del Rio and Paige’s suspensions came on the same day (this past Wednesday) but they did not go into effect until the following day. That’s the first time in the history of these violations in WWE that a suspension didn’t begin the day of the announcement. Eva Marie, on the other hand, was suspended the same day (Thursday) as the violation was made public.
Del Rio, Paige, and Eva Marie were all suspended for 30 days seeing how it was their first violation of the policy. A second infraction results in a 60-day suspension and a third results in termination from the company. Eva Marie’s husband, Jonathan Coyle, expressed his frustration in a tweet that has since been removed, but read, “When the public finds out why my wife was unjustly suspended they will be absolutely outraged! Official statement and facts coming soon.” That statement came to Pro Wrestling Sheet from Eva Marie directly.
“I am disappointed that this suspension has occurred, yet understand and respect that WWE upholds their Wellness Policy to the letter and won’t compromise on its integrity. I violated policy by not turning in portions of required paperwork in the time frame WWE Medical deemed timely. I look forward to my return! Thank you for your support.”
The paperwork that Eva Marie is referring to is her prescription for Adderall, according to Daily Wrestling News, which she tested positive for and caused her to violate the policy, resulting in the suspension. If you recall, Adderall is also the drug that caused Roman Reigns to miss 30 days last month. Confirmation from WWE was never announced publicly, but they are not required to release the drug in question in these matters.
A WWE source noted that the medication is not approved by the company, but since Eva Marie insists she has a prescription from a medical professional, she will appeal the suspension. It’s unlikely it will be overturned over the course of the next month, but the best Eva might hope for is the financial compensation for the month’s worth of missed time.
There are now 13 advertised matches for this Sunday’s SummerSlam, including the multi-woman match Eva Marie was originally booked in. The WWE website still lists the match on the card, acknowledging Eva Marie’s suspension casts a cloud of uncertainty over the bout. As of now, it’s being billed as a 3-on-2 handicap match pitting Becky Lynch, Carmella, and Naomi against Natalya and Alexa Bliss.
There has been some speculation that Nikki Bella could be inserted into the match to replace Eva Marie, but that could prove tricky to bring a returning Nikki back to a heel team. There is also the chance that the WWE could use Nia Jax in the role, in a spot fill-in, one-time deal as she’s a member of the RAW roster.
Besides figuring out how the company proceeds with the women’s match Sunday, it will also be interesting to see how they book Eva Marie upon her return next month. Unfortunately, the suspension will run through September 11’s Backlash which is Smackdown Live‘s first brand-exclusive pay-per-view, meaning Eva will miss two marquee events, just like Alberto Del Rio. The only difference is, Del Rio’s time may be running out in WWE, while Eva Marie’s main-roster career has just started to take off.
[Image via WWE]