WWE News: William Regal opens up on his past addiction issues

William Regal at the height of his power

What's the story?

William Regal has recently spoken out about his addiction problems in a conversation on X-Pacs Podcast, quotes via NoDQ.com.

“WWE didn’t have to put me in rehab because they didn’t do that stuff at the time. They looked after me, even after 10 weeks they said we’ll continue to pay for it, but we’re going to let you go,” Regal said.

In case you didn’t know...

The former King of the Ring winner was well known for his continual breaches of conduct linked to substance abuse in both WCW and WWE. Regal was first cut because of his addiction from his reasonably successful run in WCW, before immediately being hired by WWE. Regal said, “I got hired instantly to the WWE and people there didn’t know about the problems I had, but they figured it out pretty quick.”

After another run in WCW, and swift return back to the WWE, barring injuries, Regal enjoyed his most successful run to date. In 2008, Regal received a main event push, and was crowned King of the Ring. Not soon after, William was suspended due to a breach of the WWE’s wellness program. Before that violation, it was widely tipped that Regal was due to have a run as the World Heavyweight champion.

The heart of the matter

Regal has never shied away from the subject of addiction, and how it affected his career. The subject is still raw within the WWE.

With constant abeyances throughout the timeline since the introduction of the WWE wellness policy, it only seems appropriate to talk about the matter. Suspension due to violations of the policy are still an ongoing issue.

Regal talks about the need to take the initiative over addiction and the responsibility for your own actions:

It’s nonsense, you just have to take responsibility for yourself, I don’t care what you grew up with, there’s a point where you just have to go stop it, just behave yourself.

"Sometimes, people never get out of it, sometimes you snap out of it, some people need a system or a crutch to get through it. Good for them, whatever works for you, just get yourself through it."

As recently as this year, Superstars have been suspended for substance abuse. However, the level of abuse will have been severely downgraded, thanks in part to the wellness policy, and a shift in culture within the organisation.

What's next?

After bringing his in-ring career to an end, Regal has gone on from strength to strength. Now the General manager of NXT, and one of the head backstage trainers, Regal will be applying his knowledge from his long illustrious career to the potential WWE Superstars of tomorrow.

Regal must be all too aware of setting an example to the rising talent, to avoid the problems that were all too prevalent in the past.

Author's Take

It’s a shame that a talent such as William Regal no longer supplements the main roster with his amazing character work.

Easily regarded as one of the best technical wrestlers in the business, and perhaps one of the greats to never win a heavyweight title, it seems like it would be a shame to waste his knowledge and talent in a job outside of wrestling.

NXT's roster has a sure-fire calibre of technical talent, a host of great characters, and the determination to overcome.

Regal has always been an idol, he's down to earth, and full of worldly advise. It only seems right he continues to act as a mentor within the WWE.

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Edited by Nishant Jayaram
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