Chicago promoter Danny Daniels, co-owner of independent promotion AAW Wrestling, has issued a public apology after booking “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin for his latest show, in light of a series of controversies surrounding the New Japan star.
@AAWDannyDaniels: “To those that were upset that Michael Elgin was on the show. I apologize. My goal from day one was to put on the best shows possible and that was my sole intention. Obviously I let people down. Elgin made this whole weekend with [Tetsuya] Naito possible for three groups, so I wanted to be loyal.”
“Elgin is a friend of mine and I know his family has been going through a difficult time. So I wanted to help him out as he’s done numerous times for us. It was a poor decision by my part. Again this was strictly my call as I thought the fans would like the outcome. I was wrong.”
Last November a woman identifying herself as Moses (or “Mo”) released a series of tweets claiming that she had been sexually assaulted by a midwest independent wrestler named Sean Orleans, a trainee of Elgin who frequently wrestled for his promotion Glory Pro in St. Louis. It quickly came out that not only did Mo go to Elgin with this information, but he chose not to act on it until the situation picked up steam on social media – a full 8 months after the incident allegedly took place.
Mo released numerous direct messages with Elgin revealing a repeated history of problematic behavior, where at one point he even demanded “[pictures]of bruises time stamped” as proof before firing Orleans, calling her a “f–king maniac” and a “f–king drama queen”, while also managing to insult and belittle fellow wrestler Jeff Cobb, who he was partnering with in New Japan at the time.
In an interview with PWPonderings.com, Mo talked in detail about the alleged incident with Sean Orleans as well as a sexual relationship she had with Elgin dating back to 2016.
“He was very smooth,” she stated. “Offered to take care of me after my surgery. Offering anything I needed, while showing me the kind of influence and power he had. They call this part of abusive behavior grooming.” Elgin is married to veteran independent wrestler Rachel “MsChif” Frobel, and the couple has a two-year-old son.
This weekend, Elgin worked his first notable series of events in the United States since the controversies began stacking up. He faced NJPW headliner and former IWGP Heavyweight Champion Tetsuya Naito in the main event for Pro Wrestling Revolver in Dayton, OH on Friday, and was met with loud choruses of “f–k you Elgin” among other, even more vulgar chants throughout their match. But it was Saturday night when the social media backlash really began.
While many were unhappy about Elgin’s appearance at Revolver, he was heavily promoted for the show and those who bought tickets did so knowing he would be on the card in a high profile role. However, back in December AAW pulled Elgin from their year-end show, a night he was scheduled to challenge for the promotion’s heavyweight title, and a statement was issued claiming that he would no longer be booked for shows “until this situation can be resolved with all parties.”
When “Hot Fire” Myron Reed’s music hit Saturday night at the Logan Square Auditorium in Chicago, more than 500 people in the sold-out crowd came alive for the rapidly rising young star. His opponent? Unknown.
Because the event sold out in record time – largely due to the presence of Tetsuya Naito at the top of the card – AAW decided to run a mystery show, with no matches or competitors announced ahead of time outside of the main event. The instant Elgin’s music hit, signifying him as Myron’s opponent, there was trouble. Boos immediately filled the venue while some shouted profanities and threats of physical violence, while many turned their back on the match and others left the building entirely. Logan Square turned a deathly shade of silence for five minutes, before Reed scored a quick upset victory and the two left as quickly as humanly possible.
Danny Daniels insists that the mystery card was not done to cover up Elgin being booked for the show. Although it’s been speculated that Elgin demanded to be booked on the tour, as he put together the deal for Naito to work in the Midwest this weekend, Daniels stated emphatically that it was his decision and his decision alone to pull the trigger.
“I enjoy the mystery shows as we’ve done three of them in the past 18 months when the show sells out super quick. I wasn’t looking to hide anything, just wanted the crowd to get excited for the uncertainty. Again, the mystery card wasn’t because of him. It was because fans enjoyed the last two we did when we sold out right away.”
“Want to make it clear that it was my choice to put Elgin on the show. He didn’t force me, I just wanted to give the fans as many great matches as I possibly could. Naito and Elgin tore it up on Friday so I made the decision in the morning. He was going to be there regardless.”
“That being said, AAW will not have Michael Elgin on the shows. This company was built on listening to our audience. Again I apologize to all that were offended. My intention has always been to give extra on every show as a ‘thank you’ for the fans spending their money on us.”
“It’s not the first mistake I’ve made doing this gig, as it’s challenging. Again if you choose to not support us, I fully understand and want to thank you for helping us grow throughout the years. We don’t take paydays, we do this for the fans. So again I apologize for my mistake.”
Michael Elgin was… not well received at Logan Square tonight. #AAWShowdown pic.twitter.com/OmZrvfS6yz
— ProWrestling.com (@pw_dotcom) February 18, 2018