B.C.’s longest running independent wrestling promotion has forced one of its owners out after a number of sexual harassment and bullying allegations surfaced this week.
Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling (ECCW), which is based in Surrey and runs shows throughout the Lower Mainland, announced on Wednesday that co-owner Jeff Duncan – aka “The Natural” – has been “removed” from the organization.
Many of the allegations came as a result of the #SpeakingOut movement on Twitter, which has seen accusations against a number of professional wrestlers exposed online. The movement is similar to #MeToo, which began in 2017.
Following the allegations, ECCW issued a short note on their Twitter account stating that they support the women coming forward, and that they were made aware of allegations about members of ECCW. The note explained that those members have been “removed,” and that the organization will have no further comment. The News spoke to a current owner, who declined to comment further.
— ECCW Pro-Wrestling (@ECCW) June 24, 2020
ECCW representatives did not name which members have been expelled or what the specific allegations were. The tweet was criticized by many online for its lack of transparency. Other promotions facing similar issues were more forthcoming with fans about what had occurred and plans for the future to solve any lingering problems.
— drex@home⚡ (@drex) June 25, 2020
This is a whack statement that doesnt take any responsibility. To the boys that quit the company today I say congrats and remember…anyone can rent a ring and a building and run a show. Do it Yourself..Vancouver needs real wrestling pic.twitter.com/vPYvH2wgTD
— Kenneth A Lush (@Kennethalush) June 24, 2020
I feel like I’m being treated like a 3 year old in this matter. “Let the adults figure it out, and go back to playing with your toys.” Enough. I’m the kid (within the PNW fan base), that pays the adults’ bills. https://t.co/VXhA5oidL2
— AntiBeru (@RossRenaud) June 24, 2020
This is way too vague – what are the allegations and who has been removed? https://t.co/ts8rqIo74i
— John Pollock (@iamjohnpollock) June 24, 2020
"While other promotions may be naming people fired or suspended and #SpeakingOut, we here at ECCW don't want to disclose that info. We look forward to positive changes in the industry, but we don't want to really do our part. Please don't ask us anything more about our decision." https://t.co/XuJqVlnjno
— The SLAMdolorian (@TheSLAMdolorian) June 24, 2020
Duncan was eventually identified as one of those removed, but he denied the allegations on the website Post Wrestling. He did confirm he is no longer involved with ECCW. He wrote that he understood that the decision was made in the best interests of the company. He also deleted his Twitter account prior to the news. Duncan has never faced criminal charges for any of the allegations and does not have a criminal record.
A website for a Lower Mainland Catholic school lists Duncan as an educational assistant. It’s uncertain if he is still employed at that school.
After today's news update from John Pollock was posted, our site was sent the following statement from former ECCW co-owner Jeff Duncan regarding the allegations against him.
— POST Wrestling (@POSTwrestling) June 27, 2020
Following ECCW’s statement online, most of its wrestlers and many of its other employees announced they will no longer be associated with the promotion. The majority of the current titleholders relinquished their belts, and former wrestlers and others involved in ECCW events expressed their concerns at what has been alleged. Several users stated that the accusations had been known to management for many years, but nothing was done.
Due to the allegations against a former Owner of ECCW I will be seperating myself from ECCW and have relinquished the title. My heart goes out to the victims that have had to endure this unacceptable treatment.
— GOLDEN BOY (@proTWilliams) June 24, 2020
One of the best lessons I have learned is that you must learn not only from those that came before you but those that came after.
I respect all the young wrestlers taking a stand against abuse and misuse of power.
That said I officially quit @ECCW I am very sorry for my silence
— Randy Myers (@Ravenousrandy) June 24, 2020
I will no longer be associating myself with ECCW. The revelations brought into light today concerning former ECCW ownership is sickening. I commend all of those who have had the strength to stand up for what’s right. We all deserve a safe space to pursue our dreams.
— Jacky Lee (@TheJackyLee) June 24, 2020
If there was TRUE support for those that have come forward with serious truths, there'd be open conversation and clear transparency.
There hasn't been.
With that being said, I will no longer work for @ECCW.
To the brave ones who have spoken out, I believe and am proud of you.
— Andrew Bird (@dreadfulbird) June 25, 2020
No one can/should stand by those actions and subsequent inaction. Disappointed and extremely frustrated with the multiple people that have put fans, friends and most importantly victims, in that position. I am effectively stepping away from ECCW and relinquishing the Title.
— Judas Icarus (@thejudasicarus) June 25, 2020
I left ECCW several years ago strictly because of the way Jeff Duncan treated me and others. Disturbed to hear the stories about this predator. He has never had a place in the wrestling industry. My heart goes out to the victims who are bravely speaking up. #SpeakingOut https://t.co/GUx1kesGo2
— Brady Roberts (@BradyMalibu) June 25, 2020
So many feelings: Anger and disgust, sympathy and love for the victims whose stories I've read.
I can no longer perform for ECCW. As a father of two beautiful little girls, I can't teach one set of values and live by another.
— Scotty Sweatervest (@s_sweatervest) June 25, 2020
We are ending our working relationship with ECCW & relinquishing our Tag Team Titles.
ECCW was our home but with the knowledge presented to us regarding allegations to former owners & broken trust with management we will no longer represent them.
— VörösTwins (@VorosTwins) June 25, 2020
ECCW was founded in 1996 and was originally known as Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling. The promotion is known for its Ballroom Brawl events, which occur twice a year at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver. Several top global wrestling stars have competed for the promotion including Daniel Bryan, Becky Lynch, Bayley, the Bollywood Boys, Kyle O’Reilly, El Phantasmo and Chelsea Green.
The promotion last ran a show on Feb. 29 in New Westminster.