AAW had a big time show on Saturday night in Chicago. Fans were in attendance mostly to see Tetsuya Naito of NJPW fame wrestle on American soil. However, what ended up making headlines was the fact that Michael Elgin participated in the show.
In advance, the card was advertised as a “mystery” outside of Sami Callihan vs. Naito. The AAW website had the following listed for the show as of Saturday:
Sami Callihan vs. Tetsuya Naito
More To Be Announced
Card Subject To Change
Elgin’s appearance was controversial as he is currently embroiled in a controversy over an alleged sexual assault by one of his wrestling students. Elgin is alleged to have covered up the incident and is suing the woman who has made the accusations.
AAW explained his appearance as something they had to do since he helped set-up the Naito appearance. Even so, fans and wrestling personalities alike went to Twitter to voice their frustrations that Elgin would be used on the show given the issues that are currently plaguing him.
Fuck Michael Elgin. Fuck AAW for doing this.
— F. Thot Fitzgerald (@ChicagosCRose) February 18, 2018
This Michael Elgin move is one of the all-time great PR blunders, not just in wrestling, but in any industry. @PWTorch
— Bruce Mitchell (@mitchellpwtorch) February 18, 2018
Yes, Michael Elgin is working AAW right now. The crowd crapped all over him. AAW is now apologizing to people saying they had to use him because he set up Naito’s visit. Danny Daniels told me he won’t be using him after tonight. #FuckMichaelElgin #AAWShowdown
— John Gregory (@johngregoryx) February 18, 2018
So far since Michael Elgin filed a lawsuit saying allegations destroyed his career, he's re-signed with the world's number two promotion, worked one of the world's biggest stars in a US indie, and worked at another top tier US indie.
— Trevor Dame (@TrevorDame) February 18, 2018
And for the record, AAW didn't "have" to book Michael Elgin. If Naito refused to ride with anyone else, just hand Elgin a few bucks for gas money and tell him to go eat a hot dog at Portillo's because he has no place on a wrestling show.
There are ways around this.
— Tom. (@NotThatTomGreen) February 18, 2018
"We had to use Michael Elgin, we're sorry for springing him on you completely by surprise and not letting you make your choice as a consumer"
Yep, gonna go over well for sure
— Jake Nazar (@ATVS_JakeNazar) February 18, 2018
Michael Elgin still getting booked is fucking disgusting and shows how little we care about abuse victims
— Jay (@jayjackets) February 18, 2018
Man, what AAW did tonight is pretty unforgivable. To not advertise Elgin and not give the audience the opportunity to make their own decision as to whether or not to support this show is downright reprehensible. Why is indie wrestling choosing to die on the Michael Elgin hill? https://t.co/Bzqo5eyAxV
— Pat Driscoll (@patdsez) February 18, 2018