MORRILTON, Ark. — Big names for a prime time wrestling event in Morrilton attracted big interest last November.
Commercials ran, and tickets were sold.
But, an abrupt cancellation and a lack of refunds left some customers grappling with the thought that they had been scammed.
A company with the name “247 Wrestling Network” ran ads on TV, on the radio and online touting an event scheduled for Nov. 23 at the Devil Dog Arena on the campus of Morrilton High School.
Several well-known wrestlers were advertised as part of the event, including Kurt Angle.
Christina Garner and her boyfriend were quick to buy tickets.
“I used to fly to different shows,” Garner says. “We’ve been to a couple of the live events.”
Christina tells us some of the performers associated with the event made it seem like a legitimate show.
“Because it was Kurt Angle, and you know, a big-name person, that’s a big draw.”
Another Christina, Christina Herdman, also bought tickets after seeing the advertisements.
Herdman got tickets for her dad, uncle and husband. They all showed up at the venue on Nov. 23 only to learn the show had been canceled.
Both Christina Garner and Christina Herdman tell us they soon started the process of requesting a refund. They both say they paid about $85 per ticket.
“We would call the promoter, we would call the 800-number,” Garner says. “Never an answer. Never a call back.”
Christina Herdman was experiencing the same frustrations.
“Within about four days, they had disconnected one of the phone numbers,” Herdman says. “That’s when I started getting suspicious.”
KARK 4 made calls to listed numbers, too, and we got the same results.
The 247 Wrestling Network website features a vague website with little-to-no contact information.
T-shirts are displayed on sale for 60 bucks.
The website’s social media section still advertises the Nov. 23 event in Morrilton that never happened — in fact its the only scheduled event shown anywhere on the site.
Officials at Morrilton High School told us the organizers never made a deposit to secure the venue despite running ads for it.
KARK 4’s Tyler Thomason reached out to some of the advertised performers on Twitter.
Kurt Angle responded on Nov. 15 that he was booked for the event but the organizer canceled.
On November 14, wrestler Tyrus told KARK 4’s Tyler Thomason that he never received a deposit and had no plans to be there.
And, as of three months later, paying customers have yet to receive refunds from the company.
“You know, these are honest, hardworking people around here that want to spend money to do something to bring more events into the area and it’s not fair,” Garner says.
Christina Herdman says she lucked out because her bank reimbursed her after she showed proof of what she calls a scam.
“Because had I not known to call my bank, I would have lost $300,” Herdman says.
We checked with the Arkansas Attorney General’s office who told us it has not received any complaints regarding this issue but encourages anyone who believes they’ve fallen victim to a scam -to contact the AG’s office and file a formal complaint.