As Raw went off the air Monday night, with WWE stars and divas assembled atop the ramp to honor Daniel Bryan, wrestler Titus O’Neil grabbed Vince McMahon as he exited the stage. McMahon spun around, briefly scuffling with O’Neil in what appeared to be a playful, albeit awkward, exchange.
In a surprising turn of events, O’Neil has reportedly been suspended for his actions. The length of the suspension is currently unknown, but rumors are circulating that the punishment could be as severe as 90 days, which would cause O’Neil to miss what is being hailed as the biggest WrestleMania in history.
O’Neil’s absence from the card would hardly effect the event in a major way. As a talent routinely used in the lower-midcard, his salary falls in the $125,000 range, though it’s likely higher due to the seniority of the six-year veteran. But with the WWE Network era has come reduced pay-per-view bonuses, so for O’Neil being left off the card would add financial insult to injury.
A 90-day suspension for O’Neil would be especially stinging. WWE is justified in setting an example that it’s not okay to roughhouse with the boss, unscripted on national television. But the suspension of a high-character performer that might rival (or exceed) that of a more serious wellness violation is absurd.