WWE is reportedly “exercising its right to withhold talent from any events deemed not in the company’s best interests” by pulling The Undertaker and Kurt Angle from Starrcast II.
Event organizer Conrad Thompson told Sports Illustrated a deposit was made to Undertaker before announcing his inclusion in the event back in February. Shortly after, however, he was contacted by The Dead Man’s management team who told him WWE said he couldn’t appear at the event.
Taker’s deposit was returned after the two sides spoke.
“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,” Thompson told Sports Illustrated. “I was assured that damages would be covered, a suitable replacement offered, or some sort of compromise to make everyone happy.”
Adding, “I suggested Vince McMahon, Hunter, or Stephanie McMahon … 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.”
Unfortunately, Thompson was told he couldn’t book main roster Superstars. He then tried to book Shawn Michaels, but HBK reportedly backed out due to “the close proximity of Starrcast and AEW.”
“I asked to keep Kurt Angle and announce Shawn Michaels as the replacement for The Undertaker,” Conrad explained. “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.”
According to SI, Kurt Angle and Undertaker both signed new WWE deals after taking the booking which allowed their employers to keep them from appearing at Starrcast II.