WWE RAW: The Post-Suspension Part of Evan Bourne's Career Begins Tonight

Robert AitkenAnalyst IJanuary 17, 2017

After serving a 30-day suspension for violating the WWE Wellness Policy, Evan Bourne returns to WWE programming tonight on RAW.

Bourne was one of a few superstars suspended recently for what is widely believed to be a synthetic substitute for marijuana.

Nearly two years ago, fines became stiffer for marijuana and alcohol violations.

The two substances are specified in the Wellness Policy as not actual violations, but their stiff financial punishments prompted superstars to attempt in looking elsewhere.

WWE has since altered their Wellness Policy to include the synthetic substitutes as violations if tested positive for the drug.

The substance is actually legal in the United States, but is still a violation according to WWE in an attempt to curb the tendencies of their employees.

Bourne is not the only superstar in recent months to be caught with this substance.

Just in the last five months, Bourne has joined Darren Young, Heath Slater, Sin Cara, R-Truth and referee Mike Chioda as offenders.

All have already served their suspension except for R-Truth, who began his after being written off two weeks ago.

Now that he has returned, how will Bourne be booked?

To get more insight, let's look at each of the recent offenders and how they have lived on from it:

Chioda had the easiest transition, getting right back into the ring to judge matches. He hasn't had nearly as many main event matches as he used to, but that doesn't truly stick out as a punishment for Chioda.

Slater was hardly a big part of the SmackDown roster before his violation. Slater returned as a part of the live SmackDown last week, surviving long into the battle royal.

Darren Young and Sin Cara both have had negative experiences.

Sin Cara was written off with "injury" at Money in the Bank, only to return and feud with an impostor of himself. Sin Cara would win the feud to a point of revealing the impostor to be Hunico.

Not helped by his injury at Survivor Series, Sin Cara now sits until next spring and watches as Hunico tries to establish himself on SmackDown.

As for Darren Young, the ex-Nexus member was almost written off of NXT entirely. Young would return to the show, but has certainly lost his momentum.

Bourne's can roll either way, but there are some interesting facts about Bourne's suspension.

For one, and most importantly perhaps, is that Bourne stayed on as one half of the WWE Tag Team Champions with Kofi Kingston. Their team, known as Air Boom, has captivated audiences and really gotten wrestling fans excited about a revitalized tag team division.

Following the suspension, Bourne was not addressed on television, but remained as a part of the champion team.

Kingston did not suffer without Bourne, which would have been unfair.

It also, however, meant that Kingston would not be used in anything too significant.

The suspension itself likely cost Bourne a spot on Team Orton at Survivor Series.

Now that he has returned and is still a champion with Air Boom, what changes?

In fear of a repeat performance, Bourne will likely hold onto a shorter leash with his booking.

Bourne's next suspension would last for 60 days. That risk may just be too steep for WWE to run with. This could number the days of Air Boom as titleholders.

Perhaps, this is the break for Primo and Epico to own the gold. This certainly hurts Evan Bourne's chances for singles gold in the foreseeable future as well. Bourne has never held singles gold in WWE and may not be doing so anytime soon.

As for Air Boom itself, the backlash of the suspension may end the tag team sooner rather than later.

Sure, the belts stayed on them without Bourne, but the timing may end up being right.

Bourne is becoming an albatross to hang around Kofi's neck.

Kingston has already had multiple things to compete with and hold him down from that next level. Right now, that biggest obstacle is Bourne himself. Hanging around with a guy that not everybody in the back can trust? That's not a fair punishment for Kofi.

The duo may be breaking up and it might be Kingston who turns heel. Both have been faces for their entire WWE careers, but Kofi shows better signs of pulling the heel turn off.

Just as how Sin Cara's suspension helped launch the careers of Epico and Hunico, as well as potentially reviving Primo's career, Bourne's backlash could be in benefit of Kingston.

Kingston has done nothing wrong, but could possibly get some sympathy for almost being punished due to Bourne's mistake.