I'm sure you've heard my name by now, it's Chris Duke, the scapegoat for the events that took place this week. I thought I'd give you a little insight as to what happened, from my perspective anyway. I'll start by saying that I am not trying to absolve myself from responsibility here, I'm just putting out more information.
I'm writing this as an open letter, because, well, as the apparent "boss" of this tour, my posting rights have been removed by another party, so I have no choice but to do it this way.
In the initial stages of setting this thing up, I did take on a lot of the responsibility, booking flights, hotels, paying the talent ect etc etc. and up until Monday evening I was very hands on, so much so, that there was still a few things left to be done come Tuesday morning, nothing impossible, just some extra niggly things like paying venue balances, booking hotels for the hosts/staff etc.
On the Sunday before the shows, we were all in Milton Keynes for the convention there, when I had the sudden idea to fly to Glasgow that night, and surprise my wife and daughters (Our wedding anniversary was Sunday, Daughters birthday was Monday), so I asked the guys if it would be ok. Leaving 3 guys down there to pick up Scott Hall from the airport seemed like a decent enough deal to me.
So all went well, my wife was surprised, my daughter ecstatic to see me. However on Monday night, around 5:30pm, I stated to feel unwell, warm, chest pains and a pain up my arm, so I dialled 999, and let the ambulance take me to hospital. My wife let the guys know what happened, and I was drugged up to the nines in an ambulance.
It was at this point I received the following text from one of the other guys running the tour:
"Just leave it with us and relax, man. The tour is over for you, as your health is more important."
The tour is over for me. PayPal account was emptied. Although never fully true, this is the last I heard from anyone involved in the tour all week, no one called, text, emailed, anything, they really meant it to say that the tour was over for me.
Then things started changing, I read that events were now being run: 1 hour pictures, 2 hours Q&A and 1 hour signing. Which, on paper, sounds great, but clearly didn't work. I had no say in this.
Also, and I will happily admit this, no matter how much trouble it may get me in, the initial deal was indeed "2 items to be signed by all the talent", I have no idea who changed it, but again, I had no say in this.
The prices that I had set out we're the following:
£20 for photoshoot
£20 for T-Shirt
£20 for 8 x 10 which you could then have signed.
That was it. None of this £50 here, or £30 for this, something else I had no say in.
The reason we didn't announce prices ahead of time is because we advised not to by the professionals.
I'm hearing rumours about promo's being cut on me and saying that I owe x amount of money. I don't know if these are true, as I haven't seen them, however, every receipt, invoice is present and correct, and will present them when needed.
It seemed increasingly easy to place the blame on the guy in the hospital bed, who couldn't respond, until now.
Whether you believe I was in hospital or not is a non issue, I know I was there, my family were by my side, and that's all I really need.
I will also stress, I am not, to use the popular term "throwing anybody under the bus", certainly not publicly, it's not the right thing to do.
Let me stress, I am not running from my responsibilities, anything that was my doing, I will put my hands up and admit, but the most common complaints for the past few days are things that are out of my hands. I did end up with a few parking fines too, which was not the smartest thing i'd done.
I want to publicly apologise to the TWO media outlets that I had promised interviews too, The Wrestling Mania and Wrestletalk TV. Although I don't know if WTTV got their interviews, I know that The Wrestling Mania didn't, and that is my doing, if I was there, I would have made every effort to sort that for you.
And whether they like me or not, Andy and Jamie held it together, completely, in my absence. So props to them, a lot of people couldn't and wouldn't have handled that.
A lot of lessons have been learned this week, least of all, trust.
As this is my own personal PayPal account,I will, once healthy, respond to every single refund request, it's the least I can do.
As I say, it's easy to jump on a bandwagon when you don't know the facts, I trust this will help.
Thanks for reading