Just in case you missed it, this past week on Monday Night RAW Kurt Angle made an off-hand joke about IMPACT Wrestling during a backstage segment with Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. The two former Smackdown stars came to RAW looking for a job, and the WWE Hall of Famer humorously responded that he believed “TNA is hiring”.
During today’s IMPACT conference call with members of the wrestling media, current IMPACT World Champion Austin Aries was asked about Angle’s comment and thought it was interesting that a reference to a company that “doesn’t exist anymore” has been one of the most talked about things coming out of a three-hour show. The self-proclaimed “Belt Collector” played it cool, returning shot-for-shot about WWE’s policy for drug testing and talent being fined heavily for the use of marijuana.
“I think every wrestling company is hiring. They’ve obviously done quite a bit of hiring themselves over the last six months. Someone should probably give them a memo and update them that TNA no longer exists, so they’re writing team was a little outdated on their joke. It’s cool man. We are hiring. If you come here we won’t test you, or take money out of your pocket for smoking marijuana. There’s a lot of perks to coming here. It’s all about what you want for your career and out of your life. We’re trying to provide something that’s an alternative.”
The use of marijuana used to be an official “strike” against the WWE Wellness Policy many years ago, but was changed relatively quickly to a simple escalating fine. One source has stated the fine is $2,500 for the first positive test, and it increases every time a superstar is caught. Over the years it’s become affectionately known as the “weed tax” among wrestlers who frequently and openly partake. Of course, the specific details of the policy in 2018 may have changed with time.