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Five Questions To Be Answered From Roman Reigns Wellness Policy Violation
(1) When did WWE know about the violation? There were last-minute booking changes over the weekend leading into Money in the Bank, per the match betting lines.
First, on Friday, Dean Ambrose became the favorite to win the MITB ladder match over Kevin Owens, who was the initial favorite. Then, on Sunday, Seth Rollins suddenly became the favorite to beat Roman Reigns in the WWE World Title match.
That played out in the ring with Ambrose winning MITB, Rollins beating Reigns for the WWE Title, and Ambrose cashing in MITB on Rollins to become WWE champion.
Prior to Tuesday’s news of Reigns’s suspension, it seemed like the booking decision was the result of WWE deciding to make a change after two months of Reigns as WWE champion. Now, the story is the Wellness violation forced WWE’s hand to make a change, rather than WWE looking at the information and making a change.
(2) Will Reigns still be in the Battleground main event? Fortunately for Reigns and WWE, the next PPV is more than one month away, so Reigns will be able to return to the ring at the July PPV, barring additional punishment.
And, since WWE knew about the Wellness violation before Tuesday, they obviously would not have included Reigns in the WWE Title match when it was announced Monday night on Raw.
Reigns will presumably just miss the next month of TV with a storyline explanation, then re-appear at Battleground to challenge for the WWE Title.
(3) How will Reigns be presented in the Draft? Imagine the Raw or Smackdown GM standing on the stage July 19 picking Roman Reigns’s name as his/her Top 5 pick. But, Reigns is unable to appear on the Draft special because he’s suspended, prompting cat-calls from the live crowd. That might be a little awkward. It will require a strong storyline explanation for Reigns’s month-long absence to get people not to think about the real reason why Reigns is off TV.
The other option is to not have Reigns drafted at all, then he is placed on a brand after the Battleground PPV. It will be interesting to see how WWE handles Reigns going forward since the end of his suspension falls in-between The Draft and Battleground.
(4) Will this affect Reigns’s long-term standing with WWE? History has not been kind to wrestlers who have violated the Wellness Policy, or had a legal issue, while in a prominent position.
In 2013, Jack Swagger was one of the top heels in WWE when he was arrested on suspicion of DUI after a Smackdown TV taping. Swagger eventually lost his standing as punishment and has not been positioned the same since then.
However, Reigns seems to be in a much different position as The Guy WWE is building around long-term. This seems like it will be a minor hiccup unless WWE management completely sours on Reigns for besmirching the company while in a top spot.
(5) Okay, what was Reigns suspended for? It’s what everyone wants to know, but WWE does not publicly disclose what caused Reigns to violate the Wellness Policy. That won’t stop the expected cat-calls from fans when Reigns returns to TV. Reigns will just have to live with questions hanging over his head unless he publicly addresses the situation and, as Titus O’Neil says, tries to turn a negative into a positive.