Oriental Wrestling Entertainment (OWE) Vice President Michael Nee recently spoke with The South China Morning Post and revealed that four Chinese wrestlers from their roster were invited to AEW Double Or Nothing, but they couldn't get visas to travel on because of the embassy. It was noted that a large part of OWE's roster is made up of kung-fu specialists and former monks that trained at the Shaolin Temple. Some of those talents were set to be represented on the Double Or Nothing card until the visa issues came up.
"There were four of our talented Chinese wrestlers invited to Double or Nothing, but they couldn't get visas because of the embassy," Nee said. "We gave them everything we had – invitation letters, documents, we were all prepared but it didn't happen. We tried twice."
Nee revealed that they are hoping to have the visa issues resolved in time for AEW's All Out pay-per-view at the end of August.
"That's something big for us right now," Nee said. "If more people know, maybe there's a better chance to have a visa next time for the big show in Chicago. We are invited, and OWE and AEW are both trying every way we can to get there and we need people to understand this. This is a big thing for China as well. No one else in the world has this platform to show themselves."
"It was cancelled because of the embassy issue," Nee continued. "We need help. We need people to know about this. We want to go in August. We will prepare the documents. This partnership between OWE and AEW is a great chance for us to show our Chinese culture and kung fu to the world."
Nee jokingly speculated that the US - China trade war may have held things up at the embassy, but that has not been reported.
"Maybe it's the trade war, or our wrestlers are too young – I think they are afraid our kids will run off the plane and don't come back," Nee joked. "We just feel so sorry, we are actually really sad and angry that we can't show our talent to the world. It's a unique and special opportunity. We want to let people know, to understand this is a good thing for China to export the culture. Please let us come."
OWE is one of two official partners for AEW. Nee is set to meet with AEW President Tony Khan in Chicago for further discussions on the relationship.
"I can really see AEW moving the wrestling industry to the next level," Nee said. "This is not only for hardcore fans, this is something really exciting happening. I think those big stars like the Young Bucks – Matt and Nick Jackson – and Cody, they are so great. There's so much to learn from them."
Nee met AEW Vice President of Business Strategy, Chris Harrington, earlier this month in Shanghai, China, and there were also discussions in Las Vegas during Double Or Nothing weekend. AEW will be sending stars to China to help with OWE's events.
"From now until the end of the year we will have nine or 10 shows in Japan, the biggest one in Korakuen Hall," Nee said. "AEW said they will send some people there to support us and to help us get more market exposure in Japan. They haven't decided who to send. But they have a plan."
"In the future they want a couple of Chinese guys that can be trained in the US," Nee added. "Also they would like to send a great coach to help us improve, and the young wrestlers from AEW can come here to train and do kung fu. AEW will share all their platforms with us, even the connection to the UK [AEW has a television deal with ITV]. We will do more work together. Together we can help each other grow – we can help AEW in the future to land in China, and AEW can help us to become better worldwide. OWE and AEW can change the world together."