As we reported on Saturday, the promoters of the upcoming Rise of the Taker event featuring The Undertaker's return to the United Kingdom announced that the WWE legend will not be participating in a public Q&A as previously advertised.
Instead, WWE Hall Of Famer Mick Foley will be appearing in a "Tales From Hell" Q&A session. The promoters are advertising the segment on their official website with the following wording in their announcement about the aforementioned Q&A cancellation.
IMPORTANT EVENTS UPDATE
It is with a heavy heart that we need to write this to notify you of some changes to the event. When we booked Undertaker back in October, we were able to book him for a Q&A. Unfortunately, it’s come to light in recent times that he is unable to participate in this portion of the show. We have tried everything we can to make these shows go ahead as the priority for us is that you still get to meet The Undertaker!
THE GOOD NEWS, THE UNDERTAKER WILL STILL BE TRAVELLING TO THE UK AND PARTICIPATING IN OUR MEET & GREET PORTION OF THE EVENT.
After the signing event, we’re pleased to announce that we’re bringing over none other than one of Undertaker’s greatest opponents…..MICK FOLEY! The Hardcore Legend will be our Q&A guest following the signing where he’ll talk about Taker’s classic matches and his experiences working with him.
According to longtime Wrestling Observer Newsletter editor Dave Meltzer (@DaveMeltzerWON), WWE was a big reason things were changed.
Meltzer noted on the latest episode of Wrestling Observer Radio that The Undertaker's booking fee for a Q&A-type appearance is significantly greater than a regular appearance. Considering that his reported fee for a straight personal appearance / autograph signing is $20,000 per hour, the numbers weren't going to work.
Worse yet, even if they did, WWE would have likely found another way to shut it down.
Apparently around the time when The Undertaker became active on his official Twitter page, he hired a booking agent to help him secure independent appearances. Because he recently returned to WWE television, WWE has been more protective of him making media appearances, particularly those that involve him talking.
As a result, "The Dead Man" reportedly received a better contract with WWE due to the unintentional leverage that he had generated with his high demand and asking price for the appearances. Meltzer noted that while "The Phenom" will be fulfilling his outstanding advertised bookings, per his revised deal with WWE, he won't be accepting any new ones.