July 5, 2006
RVD suspended 30 daysSabu draws a $1,000 fine
By CHRIS SCHRAMM - SLAM! Wrestling
WWE has suspended Rob Van Dam for 30 days following Sunday's drug related charges against him. In the two days following, Van Dam, lost both the WWE World Title and ECW Heavyweight Title. Neither change was expected before the charges.
On Sunday, Van Dam (Robert Szatowski) and Sabu (Terry Brunk) were driving through Southwest Ohio when they were pulled over for speeding. Police found on the two men, after a search of the vehicle they were in, marijuana, Vicodin and unidentified pills.
Both men were expected in Ironton Municipal Court on Thursday morning, but the court date has apparently been changed with no new date yet publicly announced.
WWE announced Wednesday afternoon that Sabu had been fined $1,000, and would continue to keep up his schedule. He did not appear on television for RAW or ECW this week. He did wrestle a non-televised match on Tuesday in Phildelphia.
Following Tuesday's ECW Heavyweight Title loss, Paul Heyman, figurehead leader of the ECW division, suspended Van Dam. The suspension made to appear as an angle in an article on WWE.com, but the suspension is very real.
The incident with the two men brings up memories of Hacksaw Jim Duggan and The Iron Sheik's arrest for drug possession in 1987. The two men were riding together in New Jersey when they were pulled over. Duggan was charged with drug possession and drinking while driving. Sheik was charged with drug possession.
The arrest made news across the country. The two men were feuding at the time, and it was an embarrassment to the WWE. The two men were taken off television immediately. Duggan would return in a few months while Sheik was released from the company.
Ultimately, Duggan received a conditional discharge and Sheik was given one year probation. Both would return to the company over the years as well.
Will WWE follow through with their drug policy? A policy that states Van Dam could be fired for possession of drugs. Will the WWE do what they done to many others in a similar situation: offer rehab?
As a publicly-traded company, the news of the arrests of Sabu and RVD has rippled throughout the country, including non-wrestling outlets thanks to the distribution of the story via wire services.
More information on the status of both men is expected following their court appearance.