Well Pretty: Roman Reigns and the Wellness Policy Violation | Smark Out Moment

Well Pretty: Roman Reigns and the Wellness Policy Violation

Posted by Steph Maxwell-Kavanagh Wednesday, June 22, 2016
I've billed myself for a long time as a reluctant Roman Reigns fan. Some of that is to do with the reaction you get from other wrestling fans when you say you like Roman, especially as a woman. "Oh, because he's hot?" "You know he can't wrestle, right?" "But he's really boring." Everyone is ready to tell you that your opinion is wrong, or stupid, or both, and that you're probably only into watching someone wrestle because you like their pretty face.

Now, I can't say that the last point is thoroughly inaccurate, but then, I've met men who will swear up and down that they hate Eva Marie, but still get a certain look in their eyes when she's on screen. This is not a female phenomenon. For me, it seems like the guy behind the character is a stand-up guy, and I wish they'd give him a personality more than that in the ring, but I like the sheer power and strength, and the surprising maneuverability that Roman has, along with his leading-man good looks and the way his voice makes my knees go weak.

Wrestling Star Violates Company Wellness Policy
You can't deny it, the man's pretty.

So why has the Wellness Policy violation made me feel weird and small and not okay? What is it that makes me think Roman wouldn't do this?

Firstly, let's look at my other two favorites. Seth Rollins on a Wellness Policy violation? I'd be sort of upset that the talk about effort and hard work was somewhat bullshit, but the guy has a history of making terrible life choices, so I can't exactly say I'd be shocked and appalled. Dean Ambrose? I'd just automatically assume it was something illegal at a party, and that he was enjoying himself too much to care about possible policy violations. But Roman Reigns? The guy's a dad who wears socks with sandals, seems to have a stable home life and relationship. What the hell is going on here? Why do I feel upset and hurt that someone I thought was a good guy might be taking drugs, when I literally don't care if my wrestlers are taking drugs, as long as they're not putting themselves in danger?

Former Champion Reigns Violates Wellness Policy
He holds that title like he'd hold a baby.

The company itself isn't helping anyone with being coy about what, exactly, Reigns has been pulled up for. There's a long, long list of drugs banned on the Wellness Policy—unless used with a therapeutic use exemption (prescribed by a doctor, that is)—but there are other methods for crossing the Wellness Policy, too.

Illegal drugs are obviously an issue, although cannabis is just a fine these days. You can also be called up in opposition to the policy by missing tests and physicals. Sure, you tell the crowd who already bay for Roman's blood every night that he's taking HGH, testosterone or steroids, and be ready for your company to have to put in a lot more security when the dude comes back. But tell us it was something illegal and interesting? That might actually give him some character people could get behind. Tell us he missed some test or physical because he was home with his wife and child, and watch the women in the audience melt a little more at the sight of those cheekbones.

Wrestling Star Tweets About 30 Day Suspension
I like that whoever had to screencap this for the WWE site doesn't follow Roman.

Keeping secrets is something WWE can do, because as they're not a sport, and they're not regulated by a governing body who publish the results of policy violations. They don't have to tell us anything, although when one of their biggest stars has to be taken off television.

Well, actually, no. Triple H vanished after WrestleMania and hasn't been involved in kayfabe since, so maybe they don't have to tell us and we'll all just make up our own minds as to what happens. Maybe everyone who loses the title gets a month off to rest and relax and manage other WWE promotions. Maybe that could be a thing.

Whatever the case, it's going to be interesting to see how WWE spins the triple threat match at Battleground now, if it goes ahead, and how this will affect the draft coming up on July 19th, which Roman will miss due to his suspension. Now all I have to do is reconcile the weird, betrayed feeling I've got in my heart with my sheer joy in Ambrose as champion and Seth newly returned.

Wrestling. It's a strange, strange beast.

Steph Maxwell-Kavanagh is an English wrestling fan and writer with too many opinions. She is the owner and writer for Rasslin Rehash. You can follow her on Tumblr and Twitter.


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