As reported on earlier at this link, WWE announced today that the firing of Umaga (Eddie Fatu) from the company on Monday was due to his second violation of the WWE Wellness Program and refusal to attend rehab.
The announcement falls in line with reports of Umaga claiming he quit as he didn’t want to attend rehab. This comes just one day after WWE told The Sun in the UK that all Wellness violations would be announced publicly, although they claim the decision to hold off on announcing Umaga’s violation was that they needed to review the policy in the case of someone being fired under these circumstances.
This doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense to many considering they would have known about his drug test failure before making the decision to release him from the company. Umaga had a previous violation back in late 2007 (his first violation) for being part of the Signature Pharmacy list of athletes who were receiving steroids and other drugs. Fatu had been receiving packages of Somatropin, a growth hormone, during 2006.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that plans for Extreme Rules were a bit different as it relates to Umaga and his future with the Smackdown brand since his return. Creative didn’t receive word until late in the week that he would be leaving the company and was scheduled at that point to beat CM Punk in a Samoan Strap match at the PPV. The result was then changed when all of this went down. The original plan was for Punk to still get the win on Smackdown two days before the PPV to make things look even, but Umaga was still scheduled to win the strap match at the PPV and Punk would still cash in his “Money in the Bank” briefcase later in the night. As of late last week Umaga was still being groomed for a possible program with The Undertaker when he made his return to the company in mid to late July when he was expected to be off crutches. An Undertaker vs. Umaga program had been planned for nearly a year, but injuries for both men kept it delayed.