When Starrcast announced it had managed to book Undertaker (and, later, Kurt Angle) it was considered one hell of a get for Conrad Thompson.
He tells Sports Illustrated that both WWE stars have backed out of the event, and it’s for the exact reason you would imagine:
“The announcement went wide and viral. I was told it had gotten WWE’s attention and that Vince McMahon texted The Undertaker about the appearance. ’Taker’s representation, which is a company called Get Engaged, called to tell me, ‘WWE says he can’t do it.’”
“I had an agreement in place with the talent. Without exception, I dealt directly with the talent or their management, they set their terms, and I complied. First class travel accommodations were made and marketing was done. Now, thanks to the influence of WWE, the performers are missing out on substantial income and the fans are being punished.”
Thompson noted damages were recovered and a replacement offered but it couldn’t be anyone from the main roster, and a new deal has yet to be made on such a replacement. Both Undertaker and Angle have reportedly signed new deals with WWE that will prevent them from doing outside appearances like this that would seem to be in direct conflict with WWE, which is to say, too close to their new competition in AEW.