Over the weekend, New Japan ran a show in Florida as part of the CEO 18 Fighting Game Championships. Kenny Omega booked part of the show, which featured a wrestler named Chasyn Rance, who is a convicted sex offender. Omega has since issued a statement on the incident, saying that while he didn’t know that Rance was a convicted sex offender, he (Omega) was entirely at fault for allowing Rance to wrestle on the show and promises to be more careful in the future. Here is his full statement, courtesy of NoDQ.com:
“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 once 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 allowed 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 “2 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 or 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 finances 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 2.”
— Kenny Omega (@KennyOmegamanX) June 30, 2018
Opinion: As touchy of a subject as this is, it’s understandable that you can’t find out the background of every person that you’re putting on a show. There’s a good chance that someone gave Omega a recommendation and Omega took the person at his word. While this is on Omega more than anyone else, it’s a mistake that could have happened to anyone and thankfully it seems that everyone is fine as a result. Maybe people will start to be a bit more cautious, but at least Omega did apologize for what happened.
Are you ok with Omega’s statement? Did he need to make one? Let us know in the comments below.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his Amazon author page with 27 wrestling books. His latest book is the NXT: The Full Sail Years Volume III: From Dallas To New Orleans.
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