By Markus Gronemann,
wXw in Germany seem not to be able to catch a break. After Shane Douglas pulled out on Thursday, Vader pulled out this morning(!). Here is a translation of wXw’s statement on the issue, which they posted at 6:17 am (the fan fest part started at 12.00 pm with the Moonsault fan fest featuring John Morrison and the Legends convention runs from 2.30 to 5.30 pm with the wrestling show starting at 7.00 pm):
— Translation of wXw’s statement —
Vader refuses to board plane
Vader, Funk, Masters and Corino – they all arrived yesterday in England. Harry Smith arrived last night directly in Germany, the wXw office already met with John Morrison yesterday evening for dinner. After Shane Douglas’ cancellation, all further guest stars seemed to be a lock, but ten minutes ago, we received a message that we never would have anticipated.
Our trainers and mentors implied to us again and again how important professionalism and respect are in this business, but today we learned how these golden rules can be put into question in an instant, even by a veteran of multiple decades.
This morning, when Terry Funk, Chris Masters and Steve Corino were about to gt into their booked cab to the airport, Big Van Vader refused to leave his hotel room. Various attempts by our English partner promoter [author’s note: probably Steven Fludder of Preston City Wrestling, where all talent appeared last night], Masters and the end Terry Funk himself to convince Vader otherwise proved fruitless. After Vader already refused to wrestle his agreed-upon match last night, today he decided that, despite already having received an advance payment, the fact that there is a sold out meet & greet session for him and the fact that we promoted the event around him, he would not fulfill his contractual obligations.
We are deeply ashamed at having to make this announcement, but Big Van Vader will not be in Oberhausen today. After already agreeing to a huge list of concessions and special conditions for Mr. White, to be able to present you one of the biggest stars in wrestling history, this is a slap in the face for us. We can only imagine how big your disappointment must be, but as far as Vader is concerned, we are facing you empty-handed today.
Even though we already paid Vader, we of course offer to return the money to everybody who purchased tickets for his photo session.
For us, it’s going off to the arena and finish the preparations now… clean the egg off our faces and keep going… let’s take a symbolic stand in Oberhausen today – we are not dependent on an unprofessional moneygrubbing guy, if we want to celebrate our sport!
— End of statement —
Analysis: This really sucks, as I know lots of guys who are attending this event specifically for Terry Funk and Vader. We didn’t fly out to Oberhausen for this show, but Vader, Terry Funk and the Harry Smith/Tommy End matches would have been our big incentives as well. I also feel bad for the wXw office, who put a lot of effort and money into putting this event together (they stated that, as far as costs go, this show was almost as expensive to put together as the whole three days of the 16 Carat Gold Tournament each March usually are). This is their first Legend’s show/convention and they really wanted to make a splash and give the fans something unique and special, especially after there were various attempts at similar shows by other promotions in Germany over the years and these usually were a disappointment to the fans (lots of no-shows, bad organization, etc.). I still hope the event is a success for them and that they aren’t scared off trying something like that again down the road.