WWE have suspended chief backstage agent Michael Hayes for publicly encouraging Diva Rosa Mendes to drink, according to former WWE writer Court Bauer. He revealed on his Podcast that the suspension is for a “few weeks” and will likely not result in any further disciplinary action.
The suspension is not for the act of drinking itself, but Mendes has a widely known problem with alcohol and the company does not appreciate somebody in Hayes’ position encouraging her.
The problems of Primo and Epico’s former valet were first aired when she had to be escorted from a San Antonio International Airport restroom in the Summer of 2012. She was found drunk and emotionally distraught by a member of the public, who then contacted the police. Though Mendes originally claimed she had been a victim of domestic violence no charges were ever filed, and the Wrestling Observer notes that officials within the company thought she was making the story up to downplay her alcoholism.
In April of this year Mendes was then suspended from the WWE European tour for excessive drinking and emotional problems. “Milena Roucka (Rosa Mendes) left the international tour for personal reasons,” WWE admitted at the time.
It was subsequently revealed that she was advised to enter rehab, which she agreed to, and this is why she was off television until recently.
It is therefore understandable why the company would suspend Michael Hayes for such a severe lapse in judgment.
Hayes himself has a history of questionable backstage antics. During the infamous 2002 “Plane Ride From Hell”, that saw several employees involved in drunken incidents on a flight from the UK back to the US, Hayes ended up goading JBL in to a fight and getting laid out as a result. During his nap Sean Waltman then reportedly cut off his mullet as revenge. This took place while an inebriated Goldust was serenading his ex-wife Terri Runnels, Curt Hennig and Brock Lesnar were having an amateur wrestling match in the isle, and Ric Flair was flashing young air stewardesses.
WWE has since cleaned up its image considerably, but Hayes wouldn’t quit his social faux pas. In April 2008 when he was head writer of SmackDown the former Freebird was suspended after Mark Henry reported him for using racial slurs. The story goes that at party during Wrestlemania weekend Hayes quipped to Henry “I’m more of a n****r than you are!” This was also at a time when Henry was scripted by Hayes to go by the moniker “The Silverback”.
Allegations of racism would reemerge in the departure of Bobby Lashley. Paul Heyman told the UK Sun that Hayes’ team would refer to Lashley as “Black Lesnar”, and shortly before his departure wanted him to play a Mr. T like character.
In an interview with the Voice of Wrestling radio show, Lashley explained:
“I can tell you I personally don’t like the guy”.
He went further on Myspace stating:
“Sometimes people will hate you personally and try to destroy you which has happened here. Evil has prevailed however like I said before if you continue your struggle doors will open around these people.”
It seems despite all of this Hayes remains part of WWE’s inner circle and essentially has a job for life. As for Mendes, while it doesn’t look like she’s been punished in any way (and we don’t really know to what extent she was drinking at the time, if at all) one has to assume she’s in the “doghouse”. It’s surprising they haven’t already released her considering the fact that others have gone for much less. Perhaps we’re seeing a more compassionate side of the company, that or they want to prevent her from leaving and running her mouth.
I’m not one to pass judgment, but perhaps somebody should inform Hayes that it’s not the 70s and 80s anymore. The days of partying like a rockstar and running his mouth are over. WWE also has to be criticized for their double standards. They can sever ties with legends like Ric Flair and Jim Ross for having fun on a laid back video game discussion, but when a racially ignorant buffoon starts partying with a female talent young enough to be his daughter, who has only just completed rehab, he only gets a slap on the wrist.