Evan Bourne had finally arrived at the end of 2011.
He was part of a tag team that was rebuilding the tag team division and had the fans' respect. The team of "Air Boom" even had their own name and was starting to get a serious push.
While Kofi Kingston and Bourne couldn't make it in the company on their own, they were climbing the ladder together. If they had a chance at a real run, it might have turned into something for both men.
And then Bourne violated the wellness policy for the WWE.
The second time the WWE made Air Boom drop the titles to Epico and Primo at a house show. Most times titles will change hands on TV.
The WWE doing this showed that Bourne had blown his chance and wouldn't be getting another shot anytime soon.
But the WWE would have done better just by stripping Bourne of his title and making an example of him.
This sounds spiteful at first, but it isn't. When an employee messes up, he should be called out on it, not have it swept under the rug.
Bourne messed up. Part of failing to follow the rules means having to face the consequences. There are few punishments worse then public shame.
That isn't to say the WWE should have humiliated Bourne and destroyed him as a wrestler or a person, but mentioning his violation of the wellness policy to fans on the air would have helped matters. No one wants their personal shortcomings to be known by many, but when you work for a company like the WWE, that is what is going to happen.
It might have even been enough to stop Bourne from committing the second violation.
The WWE Wellness Policy is scrutinized heavily by many outsiders. Pro wrestling is known for trying to trick fans and has storylines that are somewhat absurd to those who don't enjoy them.
Many don't take the wellness policy seriously and it's hard to not at least see critics' points when those that violate the policy are able to be written off TV.
Instead, if a wrestler doesn't follow the policy, they should be immediately suspended from the company for the amount of time stipulated. Then, it looks more realistic.
When the policy is implemented to keep up the coherency of a story, it hurts the overall perception of it.
Air Boom is effectively dead.
Having the champions lose the title at a house show to opponents who hadn't been built up before audiences on TV ruined their momentum.
Just like when R-Truth violated the wellness policy; it ruined the energy Awesome Truth had going for it and ended their partnership. While it did great things for Truth, the same can't be said for Miz, who is still feeling the effects of it.
Now Air Boom is gone and it didn't even have to happen. If the WWE had just admitted that Bourne violated the policy, then fans could have waited for the two men to reunite and capture the titles back.
Kingston would have had to be stripped of his titles just like Bourne and that wouldn't have been fair.
While it might have been hated by the fans, it would have helped Kingston in the long run. It would have seemed unfair for him to lose his momentum and his title because of the mistakes of his partner, but it would have had to happen to keep the wellness policy intact and effective.
It also would have won him support from the fans, who have been indifferent to him for a while now.
Watching Kingston struggle to succeed as a singles wrestler after being ejected from the tag team division would help him get over with the fans and help him garner more affection for himself as a babyface.
Epico and Primo could have taunted Kingston and Bourne by showing that they were the champions. They could beat whatever opponents the WWE put in front of them and then thank Bourne for helping them.
It might not get every fan to hate them, but enough would be agitated by the new champions lack of tact that it would rub them the wrong way. Both Epico and Primo could use it as a base for agitating the crowds and making themselves the most annoying champions on the WWE roster.
Every time they walked into the ring, they could remind fans that they didn't make the same mistakes as Bourne and that until he came back, they would be champions without a problem.
They could even go so far as to say by the time he got back that he wouldn't know what to do with himself or how to interact with Kingston.
This would get old fast and would irritate the crowd to the point of booing both men the second they grabbed a mic.
As much as Bourne could be embarrassed, knowing that Air Boom could continue when he got back and that his public profile had taken a hit could be seen as a challenge.
He might give up, but any wrestler who makes it into the WWE has had to face some kind of adversity. Anyone who makes it several years into the company has had to do more than that and a few failed tests. A little time off shouldn't deter any of them.
A wrestler like Bourne, who has had to struggle with the fact that he isn't the biggest or the best on the mic, would probably see it as another challenge and rise to the occasion.
At least he should have been given the opportunity.
The other wrestlers on the roster would have gotten to see what a suspension could cost them when they aren't just written off of TV, but publicly punished.
It would be the loss of rewards more than the loss of revenue and a chance to build themselves then the actual time off. A loss of rewards is more effective in changing attitudes than punishments. If the WWE had announced Evan Bourne's suspension and stripped him of the title, that is exactly what they would have shown themselves capable of.
It is something that needs to be changed and a shame it hasn't already.
Matthew Hemphill writes for the MMA and professional wrestling portion of Bleacher Report. He also hosts a blog elbaexiled.blogspot.com which focuses on books, music, comic books, video games, film, and generally anything that could be related to the realms of nerdom.