WWE hasn't apparently forced The Undertaker and Kurt Angle to pull out of their signed appearances for Starrcast II during Memorial Day Weekend.
Both WWE legends had signed on to appear at the fan convention that is being held in Las Vegas the weekend that All Elite Wrestling holds their first event, Double Or Nothing, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Starrcast is being produced independently from AEW, though Conrad Thompson (who promotes the evenr) has appeared for AEW in the past and the convention is obviously booked to coincide with the AEW show.
Apparently, Vince McMahon personally got involved in preventing Undertaker and Angle from appearing at Starrcast, according to a report from Sports Illustrated.
“The announcement went wide and viral,” said Thompson. “I was told it had gotten WWE’s attention and that Vince McMahon texted The Undertaker about the appearance. ’Taker’s representation, which is a company called Get Engaged, called to tell me, ‘WWE says he can’t do it.’”
Ultimately, Get Engaged returned the deposit to Thompson.
“I had a friend discuss the situation with Vince McMahon, and I was assured the ‘heat’ wasn’t on me or my event but rather that The Undertaker shouldn’t be doing personal appearances outside of WWE,” said Thompson. “I was assured that damages would be covered, a suitable replacement offered, or some sort of compromise to make everyone happy.”
Replacing The Undertaker is an impossible task, but that has not stopped Thompson from making an attempt.
“I suggested Vince McMahon, Hunter, or Stephanie McMahon,” said Thompson. “And I said I would donate 100 percent of the proceeds to Conor’s Cure and match the donation personally, which would turn a negative into a positive for everyone involved.”
The report goes on to note that Thompson has asked for Shawn Michaels as a replacement for The Undertaker but has not received any confirmation back from WWE. He has hoped to book him in an event side by side with Scott Hall, who is appearing at the convention, and have the two discuss the 25th anniversary of their WrestleMania X ladder match.
“I asked to keep Kurt Angle and announce Shawn Michaels as the replacement for The Undertaker,” said Thompson. “I offered to book everyone ‘through the office.’. I wanted to play by the rules but I felt like I already had, since each of these guys were actively marketing themselves for outside appearances via booking agents or their own social media. I have checked in daily for a week now and nothing is changing.”
Thompson goes on to discuss his frustration with WWE over the whole ordeal and how it will ultimately have a negative impact on wrestling fans.
“I had an agreement in place with the talent,” said Thompson. “Without exception, I dealt directly with the talent or their management, they set their terms, and I complied. First class travel accommodations were made and marketing was done. Now, thanks to the influence of WWE, the performers are missing out on substantial income and the fans are being punished.”
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