Lost in Translation
August 27, 2009 ? In accordance with WWE’s Wellness Program, effective Wednesday, September 2, Oscar Guiterrez (Rey Mysterio) is suspended for 30 days for a violation of the company’s policy. (Courtesy: WWE.com)
In the past, many WWE performers have failed policy according to the Wellness Policy. A handful of them have also been considered upper-echelon performers. All previous offenders had been smart and carried out their suspensions without claims of ignorance or negligence.
That was until Rey Mysterio decided to speak out about his suspension via The Record (Mexican newspaper) not but two days after his suspension had been made public.
Many within WWE are not happy with Mysterio’s comments about his suspension, the specifics behind their actions, and his overall attitude towards his company’s Wellness Policy (Courtesy: Wrestling Observer/Figure Four Online).
What could Mysterio have said to bring about such a reaction? Why did Mysterio come forward about his transgression and yet those in the past have not? Thanks to the modern miracle of web translating and my piecing together of broken English into coherent conversation, ?Reality? sets in?
Before I go any further, if you wish to read the entire interview and brush up on your Spanish, follow the link: ?Es una injusticia: Rey Mysterio?
As reported by Salvador Rodriguez, Mysterio is very annoyed? disappointed? frustrated? insert any other relative adjective you can think of. Here are some choice responses from his interview:
Rodriguez: How have you taken the suspension?
Mysterio: Very badly. The situation and what it has done to me was handled very badly. I will say that the Wellness Policy on prohibited substances is intended to clean the image of wrestling, but does it in a different way. Because of this, I believe the policy is very unfair.
Rodriguez: You seem annoyed. What happened?
Mysterio: Doctor Black (the one in charge of the tests in WWE) was not able to speak with my doctor to confirm that the medicine I had been using was prescribed, and so they decided to suspend me.
For three weeks I was in Spain and Germany promoting Summerslam. When I returned to work, the doctor did not tell me until Wednesday that if my doctor does not clarify one of the medications they were going to suspend me for thirty days.
Rodriguez: And your doctor did not call?
Mysterio: I told him what happened and he told me that he would clarify it, but I did not know if he did it in time or if the forms were correct. To suspend me for thirty days because my doctor was not able to confirm my medication seems unjust. If I did not have a prescription I would understand the suspension because I had done something illegal, but because I used the substance I came up positive.
Mr. Mysterio? for over three years you have been made aware of your company’s policy. Under contract with them, you are responsible for adhering to that policy. If you believe that your company’s practices are unjust, unfair, or biased against you? then resign. It’s as simple as that.
Now before all of you on the other side of the monitor immediately start pounding on the keyboard to voice your loathing and hatred towards me, hear me out first. This has nothing to do with the reasoning behind Mysterio’s suspension nor does it involve how high of a status Mysterio has within the company.
It is no secret that Rey Mysterio has been in the crosshairs of steroid and substance abuse in the past when his name came up in the records of Dr. Phil Astin, who is serving a 10-year federal prison sentence for illegally distributing prescription medication and the one responsible for facilitating medication to Chris Benoit. Mysterio has every right to feel as if he is being lumped into the same category as his fallen performer and thus into the same stigma.
But so has Randy Orton? Edge? Jeff Hardy?
No one in their right mind is making a sane and viable connection between Benoit and the previous performers stated.
Rodriguez: What is the name of the medication for which you turned up positive?
Mysterio: I do not have it on hand. It is on the bottle, but it was prescribed for my knee and my arm. It is an oral medication.
You have been suspended for thirty days.
You are expected to lose a substantial amount of money? an amount of money that I?m sure could feed a family of four in Tijuana for possibly a decade.
You are considered one of the best professional wrestlers not only in WWE but in the entire world.
Your consistent rise to superstardom is dashed because your doctor failed to notify your company that your medication was indeed prescribed? taken orally and not injected? for your knee and arm.
I?m sorry? but if this horrendous atrocity had happened to me? I would know the name of that medication like the pattern of the Velcro on my mask. If this medication was legally prescribed to me and I had documentation and verbal communication from my registered physician confirming this, I would be shouting its name from the top of the WWE headquarters!
If this truly was such an improbable and horrifying injustice done to your career, Mr. Mysterio? then why are you not forthcoming about the entire infraction?
If you are so demoralized and humiliated about the stigma and the association regarding your suspension, why are you not taking responsibility for it?
You have wrestled overseas before. You have gone through countless surgeries and given hundreds of diagnoses from thousands of licensed professionals. You have filed the necessary paperwork and have had your physicians legitimize your medications. Your slate has been clean ever since the Wellness Policy was introduced in February of 2006.
Instead of claiming responsibility for your inaction and failure to communicate with your doctor leading to your suspension, you blame the policy itself. When asked about the medication that brought about the red light, you don?t remember it. With responses like these, you were made to be an Attorney General for then-President George W. Bush and not a professional wrestler.
It is now understood why past performers who failed the Wellness Policy kept quiet and accepted the punishment? they did not want to be viewed as another Alex Rodriguez or Rafael Palmeiro; another athlete claiming ignorance, diverting responsibility, or accusing the system itself.
Be thankful children will still be cheering for you on October 2nd, Mr. Mysterio, for being so impressionable yet so na?ve.