But WWE performer Jack Swagger picked a heck of a time to be speeding...while in possession of marijuana.
On its most recent PPV, Swagger bested five other competitors in the "Elimination Chamber" to win a WrestleMania 29 championship match against World heavyweight titleholder Alberto Del Rio.
|Jack Swagger and manager Zeb Colter.|
On Tuesday night, following the taping for Smackdown (which airs on Fridays on SyFy), Swagger got in his car and headed off – very fast and apparently very high. Cops pulled him over and charged him with speeding, possession, and DUI.
WWE could have immediately written him out of their plans for WrestleMania, as they had two days to rework Smackdown before it aired. They did not.
Swagger is not out of the woods, however. WWE has in the past used a possession charge to strip a titleholder of his belt (Rob Van Dam). On the other hand, Randy Orton allegedly smoked dope in the building where WWE was taping shows and was never penalized. And WWE Dvia Cameron was arrested for DUI last year and attempted to bribe the police officer. She, too, is still on the active roster.
Swagger should be punished by WWE for his actions. Perhaps he's blown his chances at winning the title any time in the near future. However he is certainly hotter (media-wise) then at any time in his career. And on Monday night, it will be interesting to see how the live crowd reacts to him, knowing his current situation.
If WWE wants to capitalize on the arrest and turn it into some kind of positive, I would propose the following scenario.
Swagger and Colter come to the ring. Swagger wears a suit. He takes the mike and says something like this:
First of all, I want to apologize for my actions last week.
By driving while impaired, I could have seriously injured other motorists or pedestrians.
Now that I've gotten that out of the way, let me just say... It wasn't my fault.
I love professional wrestling.
I have always loved professional wrestling.
But it's hard.
Hard to learn, hard to compete, hard to become the best.
It's mentally hard and physically hard.
To become the best, you have to put wrestling first. So mentally, you turn off your life. And you turn off any physical pain.
Last year, I suffered a back injury. But I wanted to prove that I was the best, so I turned off the pain until I couldn't turn it off any longer.
During my time off, I found ways to treat the pain in my back. And I put my life back together.
When I was ready to reclaim my spot, I returned to the WWE and entered the Elimination Chamber and won. It was one of the greatest nights of my life.
Did I have any pain in my back? Sure. But I could turn it off.
A few nights later, while I was waiting backstage, a package was delivered to me. There was no return address, so I should have just thrown it away. But I didn't.
Inside was a note saying, "This will help your back pain."
The note was taped to a plastic envelope containing medical marijuana.
I'm not ashamed to say that I have used medical marijuana in the past. Like I said, I suffered from a legitimate back injury and I had a legal prescription.
However, I had no prescription for this medical marijuana and I was in a state where medical marijuana is not legal.
Long story short, you all know what happened.
Whoever sent me that package set me up. Somebody backstage in that arena waited until I had that package in my hands. Then they watched me leave the building and they waited and they called the cops.
Like I said, it wasn't my fault.
As Zeb Colter says, there are people in this country who don't belong here. And there are people here in the WWE who don't like what he says. They don't like the truth. They want him gone, and they want ME gone.
Well, all they're going to get is the apology you people just heard.
Alberto Del Rio...I have people investigating that package. And if I find out that you sent it, or that you know who sent it, there will be repercussions.
|Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez|
I mean taking your passport, and your livelihood, and sending you back where you belong. Out of the WWE, out of this sport, out of this business, out of this country.
At this point, Swagger should be looking into the camera with his back to the ramp.
Alberto Del Rio runs from the ramp and attacks Swagger, ripping his suit off. As Colter tries to interfere, he is tackled by Del Rio's sidekick, Ricardo Rodriguez. Officials have to come to the ring and separate the men.
Working the arrest into storyline, Swagger stays a heel. By accusing Del Rio of being complicit in his arrest, he adds heat to their feud. And if everything works out, "the authorities" can come forward at a later time and reveal who DID frame Swagger, leading to the next feud.
Or the WWE can just punt, and take Swagger out of the title match. They didn't change Smackdown, so clearly they're waiting to see the public reaction. Well, here's my reaction. Your move, booking committee.