Last night's CEOxNJPW show (Daytona, Florida) is drawing some heat towards Kenny Omega - who booked and helped finance the event - after it was discovered a sex offender was allowed to wrestle on the card. Chasyn Rance, a register sex offender in Florida, defeated Aaron Epic in the first dark match of the event.
After numerous individuals on social media made Omega aware of the situation, he responded that he, "produced all matches from dark match #2 on. I gave the ring crew (also a wrestling school) carte blanche to have our first dark [match]."
He continued, "I'm gutted that people feel betrayed by their involvement, but at no point did I feel I was working with criminals or anything of the sort. As I'd said earlier, they were nothing but polite and helpful throughout the entire experience. I'll know better for next time to only use those I'm absolutely familiar/comfortable with."
Here it is: I produced all matches from dark match #2 on.I gave the ring crew (also a wrestling school) carte Blanche to have our first dark. No entrances,no name graphics. And thus they had a match. I met Chasyn once in 2004 so his name was familiar. The other guy I'd never met.— Kenny Omega (@KennyOmegamanX) June 30, 2018
Regardless of their history or whatever, this crew of people were all very helpful in set up, tear down, and various odd jobs around the arena. I'd felt giving them the opportunity to have a dark match was the least I could do as a way to show appreciation.— Kenny Omega (@KennyOmegamanX) June 30, 2018
I'm gutted that people feel betrayed by their involvement, but at no point did I feel I was working with criminals or anything of the sort. As I'd said earlier, they were nothing but polite and helpful throughout the entire experience.— Kenny Omega (@KennyOmegamanX) June 30, 2018
I'll know better for next time to only use those I'm absolutely familiar/comfortable with— Kenny Omega (@KennyOmegamanX) June 30, 2018
Omega's initial responses didn't exactly smooth things over and he ended up tweeting another statement shortly after:
"I wanted to thank everyone that tuned into the stream or joined us live for CEOxNJPW. All of our talent had a great time and fed off your incredible energy throughout the entire night. I'm incredibly proud of everything I personally produced, but unfortunately made a terrible oversight by allowing a dark match featuring local talent I wasn't personally familiar with. (Admittedly, I'd met Chasyn Rance in 2004, but a lot can happen in 14 years.)
I'm terribly sorry for anyone in the building that felt unsafe or personally offended by his inclusion on the show. I will personally provide refunds to anyone in attendance that couldn't enjoy themselves because of this.
As for fans that were taken aback on stream, again, my bad. I'd allow our ring crew (also a wrestling school) to participate in a dark match (minus graphics and music) as a show of appreciation for the hard work they'd done to help prepare our set for the show. There were a large group of people and I'd very simply asked for 'two guys that could have a basic and effective dark match.'
Chasyn and Epic were the wrestlers they chose and I was reassured they were more than capable. The match itself went fine, and both of them were pleasant backstage, but I didn't realize until much later via social media, etc, that the first dark match I'd allowed for caused trauma amongst some fans. By no means do I wish to support of defend these people - I trusted blindly and potentially tarnished the name of an event that was very important to me and took a lot of time and fiances to realize. I'm sorry for anyone truly hurt by this and can assure people that I won't be taking chances like this in the future. I will monitor every detail directly if/when we challenge CEOxNJPW part two."
Omega is scheduled to defend the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Cody at next Saturday's NJPW G1 Special in San Francisco, California.