There’s some bad news for current WWE United States Champion Andrade tonight because he has been suspended 30 days by WWE for a Wellness Policy violation.
The suspension news comes from Pro Wrestling Sheet, who reports that Andrade was informed of the suspension this morning. It is unknown what substance he may have used in order to test positive per WWE’s Wellness Policy.
Andrade’s Wellness Policy violation has not been mentioned on WWE.com or WWE’s Corporate website as of this evening. Perhaps they will do it on Tuesday morning.
Earlier tonight on Raw, Andrade defended the US Title against Humberto Carrillo in another title match even though Andrade beat Carrillo clean on the Royal Rumble Kickoff show on Sunday. This match ended in a disqualification when Andrade’s manager Zelina Vega jumped on Carrillo. After the match, Carrillo gave Andrade a Hammerlock DDT onto the exposed cement after Carrillo pulled up the mats at ringside. It’s the same thing that Andrade did to Carrillo two months ago on Raw. The payback from Carrillo will likely be used to write out Andrade from WWE storylines for the next 30 days by saying he suffered an injury.
More details on the suspension have been reported by PWInsider’s Mike Johnson, who notes that there was a rewrite to Raw’s script because WWE was made aware of Andrade’s suspension earlier today. The original plans would have seen Carrillo in a new storyline, but instead they used Carrillo to write off Andrade by doing the injury angle. It was also mentioned by PWInsider that Andrade plans to go back to Mexico tomorrow.
The PWInsider story added that tonight on Raw was likely Andrade’s last appearance on Raw until at least February 18 and his next possible Raw appearance would be Monday, February 24th in Winnipeg, Manitoba. If the suspension begins on January 28 then that means 30 days would be February 26. Perhaps they will lift the suspension early in order to set up an Andrade match at the Super Showdown PPV on February 27. I’m not sure if they are allowed to do that or what the rules are.
Andrade’s 30 years old. His real name is Manuel (Manny) Oropeza and he is engaged to 10-time WWE Women’s Champion, Charlotte Flair.
It is not known how WWE will utilize manager Zelina Vega while Andrade is out selling the injury while he is suspended. Vega could be off TV while Andrade is off as well, or she may be featured in the ring as a wrestler more. Vega is married to WWE superstar Aleister Black, who is also on the Raw brand.
UPDATE: An official statement was released by WWE on Tuesday morning.
STAMFORD, Conn. — WWE has suspended Andrade (Manuel Oropeza) for 30 days effective immediately for a first violation of the company’s talent wellness policy.
TJR Thoughts: It’s an unfortunate situation. I don’t want to see anybody suspended, but it’s going to happen sometimes. I don’t know if Andrade is using some illegal substance or if he took something by mistake. Who knows? When you look at Andrade he’s obviously in great shape. The hope is he can learn from this and not let it happen again. Andrade has a very bright future in WWE and since they didn’t the US Title off of him, the company must still have expectations for him in the years ahead.