Greg DeMarco is back to revisit a topic that comes up from time to time, steroids in pro wrestling. Should they be allowed? Read on and see!
Just over a week ago, we received word that Bobby Roode and Primo were each suspended for 30-days as a result of the WWE Wellness Policy. The automatic assumption is the use of (or more accurately, failing a test for) performance enhancing drugs. The WWE announcement linked above does not give a ton of detail: “WWE has suspended Robert Roode and Eddie Colón (Primo) each for 30 days effective immediately for a first violation of the company’s talent wellness policy.”
Primo has since addressed his suspension, saying it’s the result him not appearing for a test because he was in Puerto Rico and not on the road with the company. He let them know he was away, and didn’t hear anything for two months before being notified of the suspension. Robert Roode hasn’t addressed his suspension, which might be a different scenario altogether since he was on the road, and was actively appearing until being written out after a stretcher job.
But this all brings up a bigger question…
Do We Need To Suspend Wrestlers For Performance Enhancing Drugs?
I can’t honestly see a scenario where we need to automatically suspend a wrestler for using performance enhancing drugs. PEDs can be used, in conjunction with a physician, to safely help a performer. As much as people want it to be, professional wrestling is not a sport. At every level, from WWE to Japan to the Independents, this is sports entertainment. It’s a show.
“But Greg, a wrestler’s physique does matter to WWE!”
Yes it does, but not everyone needs to use PEDs to impress WWE. Kevin Owens is a multiple time champion. Daniel Bryan is clean as a whistle. Seth Rollins has never been popped for failing a test, and he looks phenomenal. Luke Gallows makes a half-million dollars a year and looks like he’s never even seen PEDs.
Furthermore, if you’re willing to play the physique card, then what do we do about breast augmentation? If physique matters, then that’s performance enhancing as well. Are you ready to suspend female performers indefinitely until they get their fake boobs out?
Didn’t think so. And it’s like Miranda Morales pointed out in a recent Greg DeMarco Show: their body, their choice. (Note: she was talking about Roode and Primo when she made that comment, not female talent.)
You will notice that I referenced the care of a physician being involved in a wrestler using PEDs to enhance their career. That to me is most important. A Wellness Policy is largely in place due to public perception, and WWE’s was put in place when that perception was much different than it is today. It’s largely outdated.
On a recent edition of his podcast, Jim Ross shared that he’s okay with PEDs, and that his focus was the same as mine is here: health. He recommends regular health screenings for all talent. I totally agree.
We need to focus on the right things. Professional wrestling is a visual performance. The visuals are achieved in many different ways. Focus on health, not a specific list of banned substances. It’s time for WWE to scrap the current policy and write a new one, one that leads the industry in the right direction.
Pro wrestling, along with sports entertainment, is a fun ride. Enjoy it! Follow me on social media @ChairshotGreg and drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.