Substance abuse is a hard problem to shake and is one that is found often with pro wrestlers. Wrestling legends such as Jake “the Snake” Roberts, Scott Hall, X-Pac, William Regal, Mr. Perfect, Lex Lugar, and Kurt Angle have struggled with substance abuse. Umaga, a cousin of Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson had his career and life cut short by substance abuse. Within Professional wrestling a such as substance can be cause by the fame and success of a wrestler and/or injury. Stars like William Regal and Umaga never reached their full potential in the ring as the money, fame, and crazy lifestyle of pro wrestler lead to constant partying and nights of drinking and doing drugs to the point that they dependent on the substances. Though professional wrestling is scripted and practiced to avoid getting the athletes injured, but with any sport serious injury can be unavoidable. With serious injury comes major surgery and with major surgery comes with rehab usually involving power narcotic painkillers. One of the biggest stars of the late 90’s early 00’s, Kurt Angle has had several major surgeries including four neck fusion surgeries which lead to Angle’s sever painkiller addiction. Angle’s addiction got so bad that his children became terrified of him, his wife no longer wanted to be around him, and he damaged his relationship with Vince McMahon which lead to Angle leaving WWE and going to TNA.
Along with Zayn, Smackdown’s Roman Reigns and NXT’s Leo Rush decided to not do the taping during the global health emergency. Reigns pulled out of his WrestleMania 36 match against Goldberg for the Universal Championship and has not been seen or heard from on WWE TV since before Mania. You can read all about the fallout between Reigns and WWE here. Leo Rush was the first Superstar to go public about not wanting to wrestle during the pandemic. Before WrestleMania Rush made his decision to opt out of wrestling during the pandemic then was released as part of WWE’s mass releases a few weeks after WrestleMania. Reports are now coming out that Rush was released because of his public opinion of not wrestling during the outbreak. It seems that the “zero consequences” statement from the WWE was a PR move with no intentions of honoring the statement. The WWE has a history of pulling shady moves like this and Sami Zayn has felt the wrath of WWE management before.