Ken Anderson, perhaps best known for his time in WWE as Mr. Kennedy, hit the news on Sunday morning when a Redditor, claiming to be a student enrolled in “The Academy: School of Professional Wrestling,” Anderson’s school of professional wrestling, called Anderson out.
The post on Reddit, which can be found here, cites that the school has been closed for “quite some time,” and has not resumed like other gyms in the area. The post claims that students have now been enrolled in the school for almost two years and have yet to receive any semblance of training. The website for the Academy has also been deactivated.
Additionally, it was stated that Anderson only contacts his students sporadically and briefly, and asserts that they’re in talks with a new realtor. Despite all of this, there is no “real progress.”
Another Redditor in the comments spoke about his experiences with the program. The experiences were far more brief, as the user claims that he signed up for a 30-minute free consultation and had it confirmed, only to show up to an empty warehouse at the time of the scheduled appointment.
For more clarity on the situation, Bodyslam inquired with students of the Academy.
While some still hope that the school will eventually open, one student has given up on that. The student, who wishes to remain anonymous, noted that the school has been postponed a few times in the eighteen or so months since they paid for the program. With reasons varying from things such as the outbreak of the COVID-19 Delta variant and the lack of a building to train in. However, this specific student decided about six months ago that the situation seemed “super sketchy based on the lack of communication.”
They noted their communication with Anderson himself is very minimal, citing brief conversations via text message. It’s understood that Anderson had different levels of contact varying based on the student, but a majority of the students were texted on only one occasion and sent a Facebook message for the remaining postponements.
With the limitations set by COVID-19, the last two years have been clunky regarding the process of signing up. What once was a credible school that trained talents such as Dante and Darius Martin of AEW, and had trainers such as Molly Holly, Shawn Daivari and Arik Cannon has been in limbo for some time. The process for applying has apparently turned into a simple text-to-apply in the pandemic, seeing as nobody could meet in-person at the very beginning when the world shut down.
When asked, the anonymous source told me that the sign up process ended up being: “very simple. Verbal via text. It was early [into the COVID-19 pandemic] and nobody was meeting in person at the time.”
As claimed in the original Reddit post, refunds have not been given. After two years of not training his students, Anderson hasn’t even addressed potentially refunding his students, despite the lack of transparency in whether or not the students will end up being trained.
Bodyslam’s primary source, a student at the academy, clarified that around the time it was most recently postponed, they found out that there wasn’t even a building and requested a refund. Nobody in the school has even responded to their request.
In a statement issued to Bodyslam.net, a student of Ken Anderson’s The Academy: School of Professional Wrestling said:
“In no way am I making any claims on Ken’s personal character as I’ve had minimal contact with the man, but I believe his business practices and professionalism speaks for themselves. I’m personally not out to ruin anyone’s career but simply trying to hold others accountable for their actions as well as preventing others from making the same mistakes I did.
The money I’m out may not seem like a lot to some but it was my entire savings as well as my dreams, and at the end of the day, that’s all I really want back. My dream is crushed but hopefully I can get my money back.”
As more details potentially surface, Bodyslam’s team will continue to keep you as up-to-date as possible.
We have reached out to Ken Anderson for comment on the claims, but have yet to receive any type of response.
(Please credit Bodyslam.net and Jameus Mooney when using the quotes and news above.)