Two Major WWE/ECW Stars Arrested on Drug Charges, Suspended
I am sorry for the break in columns but I needed to deal with a family matter as I said in my last column. I am preparing a news column but wanted to give you some late breaking news.
If you are wondering why Rob Van Dam dropped the WWE belt to Edge on Raw and then the ECW one to Big Show, it is because he and Sabu were pulled over for speeding on Sunday night and the police smelled marijuana in the car leading to a search of the two. RVD had both marijuana and five Vicodin (a narcotic pain killer) in his possession and Sabu had drug paraphernalia and nine pills of currently unknown origin but believed to be controlled substances.
The two were arrested on July 2 as they were driving from Sunday’s ECW show in Huntington, WV to Monday’s Raw taping in Philadelphia, PA.
They were cited and posted bond at the scene and were able to continue on. Rob Van Dam and Sabu were ushered into a closed door meeting with Vice President of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis at the arena when they arrived on Monday. The result was Rob Van Dam dropping the WWE title ahead of schedule and then dropping the ECW one.
The two have been suspended from WWE for 30 days following the arrest and that suspension played into Tuesday’s ECW show as a storyline was written to explain the absence of ECW's main star, Rob Van Dam.
WWE.com responded to the arrest Monday on the site saying:
"In the wake of being faced with five violations, including drug possession, by the Ohio State Highway Patrol, WWE.com reports that Rob Van Dam and Sabu arrived at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia at 1:30 p.m. today and immediately went into a meeting with Vice President of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis.
Following the meeting, Mr. Laurinaitis told WWE.com that Rob Van Dam and Sabu will be eligible to compete tonight on Raw and tomorrow night at ECW on Sci Fi while an ongoing investigation is being conducted by World Wrestling Entertainment. The two men will be appearing in court Thursday morning at Ironton Municipal Court."
The whole statement can be found here: WWE investigating Rob Van Dam and Sabu charges.
The court appearance has been pushed back and no date has yet been set yet.
I applaud WWE for suspending the two but wonder…if a worker gets caught with illegal drugs and is arrested, is that less of an infraction than one with a bad attitude who treated the fans in a vile manner and who treated the women with disrespect as Randy Orton did? He got a 60 suspension for his deeds. While Orton’s behavior was certainly not acceptable and he had been warned many times before the suspension, we’re talking about illegal controlled substances and arrests with RVD and Sabu. Shouldn't they be more harshly punished than Randy Orton?
I am a fan of both men and I don’t want to see them fired but I do think WWE needs to be sure to send a message out to everyone on the roster that illegal drugs will not be tolerated under any circumstances.
The wellness program put into place after Eddie Guerrero’s death says that any worker who is arrested for illegal drugs is subject to termination. Will WWE fire RVD and Sabu if they are charged and found guilty (which they obviously will be as the evidence was right there)?
Should WWE fire the two? Should they suspend them for a longer time?
I really don’t know. I do know that this is a very serious case and one that WWE must handle carefully because it will set a precedent for any and all future arrests.
The story was reported in the Ironton Tribune Newspaper. You can read it here: Wrestling stars busted in Hanging Rock.
For now, we will have to wait and see what the future holds for Rob Van Dam (Robert Alex Szatowski) and Sabu (Terry Michael Brunk).
I really hope that the two will straighten up and that they will return to WWE/ECW rather being released. However, I also hope that WWE makes sure that every person on the roster realizes that they will not look the other way when it comes to drugs.
RVD is well known as a "pothead" and many jokes about his marijuana use have been cracked over the years but this situation is no laughing matter.
The suspension of Van Dam and Sabu comes at a terrible time as Kurt Angle is taking an unspecified amount of time off and the ECW brand is already hurting for good talent. Expect some shuffling of the WWE roster to fill the gaps left by the three major ECW stars.
I will be back in a few days with a full update and more. Thank you for your patient as I dealt with the sudden death of my father and the aftermath.
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