So many fans have wondered why the WWE was giving Randy Orton such a huge push recently with there being two Wellness Policy violations against him. Surely the WWE wouldn’t invest this much time and money into a guy who was just one mistake away from losing his job, right?
An interesting tidbit appeared this morning in Eric Gargiulo’s Camel Clutch Blog review of TLC. In his story, he said the following:
The rebuilding of Randy Orton may be the WWE story of the year. Orton had been in the dog house for a longtime and become just another guy in recent years. Fear of Orton getting cut with another Wellness Policy violation prohibited a large investment in their A-plus player. What happened?
Back in November the WWE instituted a big change to their Wellness Policy program. The biggest change was the implementation of the Violation Redemption Program. What that means is that instead of a third strike ending employment with the WWE, the talent now can enter the 18 month Redemption Program. In other words, Randy Orton’s job is safe with another strike.
After a little bit of research, I stumbled upon a Bleacher Report article by David Bixenspan from last month. In it, he mentions that the WWE has made multiple revisions to the Wellness Policy. Aside from the change that Superstars can now apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (most commonly referred to as a TUE) which gives them permission to undergo a procedure that adds testosterone into the body, the WWE also implemented the Violation Redemption Program. The program allows for a Superstar with two-strikes to undergo an 18-month program with the reward being the removal of a strike or strikes. The following is an excerpt from Bixenspan’s article which shows exactly what’s entailed in the Redemption Program:
There are four requirements to the Redemption Program, which I will try my best to translate into plain English:
The talent is assessed by the Medical Director (or an addiction specialist recommended by the Medical director), who will analyze/identify the talent’s issues, develop a treatment plan and determine the talent’s entry date into the program.
The talent must comply with the treatment plan made by the Medical Director (or recommended addiction specialist) for the length of the program, which is 18 months. The policy mentions “treatments, therapies and support programs,” so the treatment plan could theoretically include requirements ranging from medications used to combat addiction (like opiate-blocking drugs or anti-alcohol drugs) to seeing a therapist to regularly attending 12-step program meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous.
Talent must undergo the same “unannounced follow-up testing” that was already required of talent with two strikes; except it’s for the 18 month duration of the Redemption Program instead of the 12 month period for those who don’t try to enter the program.
Talent cannot violate the substance abuse policy while involved in the redemption program, which should be obvious.
If the talent successfully completes the 18 month program, (s)he can request that the Program Administrator, with the Medical Director’s approval, remove one of his/her two strikes.
In other words, Randy Orton went from two-strikes to just one. His job is 100% safe and this now explains why the WWE has pushed him to the moon as the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion with confidence.