Hey, ever notice that 3rd guy in the ring, the guy who works his ass off to make the match work and not fall apart? The guy who gets bumped, pushed, shoved, kicked, and whiplashed? The one who makes it all come to life, like a Hollywood director?
Yeah, that’s us: the referees. We’re sick of not getting appreciated and damnit, we’re not gonna take it anymore.
Referees, you assume, are guys who grew up wanting to be wrestlers, but were too small to make it. Or they tried and failed, you assume, and now have to carry HHH’s bags just to keep our jobs. Furthermore, you assume, we have it easy. Just wear a boring uniform and count to three and presto, collect your paycheck and sleep with hookers at the hotel.
Well let me tell you, it ain’t easy. And here’s why.
For one, our boss thinks it’s okay if they bring in some big-shot celebrity like Mike Tyson, Mr. T, Mr. Ed, Jabba the Hutt, or whoever the f*ck they get these days to be “special guest referees.” How would you like if at your job, they brought in some lame-o like Jay Leno to do YOUR job? You’d be insulted, right? Well same here. Our job takes years of schooling and training, and they denigrate our profession by bringing in these schmucks on days notice and expect them to referee.
And then they act surprised as these so-called celebrities fumble around the ring, count slower than a 90-year-old Alzheimer’s patient, and trip over their own knees. Believe me, we refs get a kick at that backstage. Would Vince McMahon let Jesse Ventura do HIS job with no training or preparation? I didn’t think so.
Next up are these stupid “ref bumps.” We’re not trained to be wrestlers, yet we’re expected to get smacked in the face. Not only that, but 99% of the time, the ref “bump” misses by a yard, and we end up having to fake like we’ve just been bonked on the head with a cement block. Do you know how f*cking stupid that looks??
Some b*tch like Chyna, boozed out of her mind, goes to give me a low blow, and her arm doesn’t come anywhere near my crotch. I know it, you know it, she knows it, and the cameraman knows it. Yet, because it’s in the script, I have to act like I’ve just been shot to death and lay on the ground playing dead for 5 hours. Meanwhile, I’m supposed to stay motionless and limp as the heels cheat and, *wink wink*, not see it. Yeah, and there’s a Santa Claus. Give me a freakin’ break.
And then there’s this notion that we take no bumps. Let me tell you something, see that thing you wack off with every night? That’s your right arm. Take it, raise it up, and slam it on the floor three times in a row. Now do that over and over again, within the course of a 15-minute match. Has your hand turned into hamburger meat yet? Thank you, now you know how it feels to count “1, 2, 3” every Goddamn night.
And that, of course, is assuming the wrestlers know what in the Hell they’re doing. You take some guy like Scott Hall, who’s loaded on a dozen different illegal substances at any one time, and try getting him to kick out at the 2-count. HA! Half the time that sleaze bag is too unconscious to kick out on time, so I have to kneel down there like an idiot and hold my hand in the air at “two,” waiting for him to wake his drunk ass up and kick out. Easy job, eh?
Oh, and who can forget when the wrestlers get bored and leave the ring and brawl outside. Yep, that’s me who’s gotta stand there like an idiot and count out loud with both hands, “ONE!…. TWO!…. THREE!…… FOUR!…….”
Mind you, there’s a 10-second limit. How many times have you seen guys brawl outside for less than 10 seconds?? Yeah, me neither. So I have to make 10 seconds stretch out to like 5 minutes. You do that, mmmkay? Try as you might, if you count as slow as possible (think Sgt. Slaughter), the longest you can stretch it out is 30 seconds, tops. It takes real talent, REAL TALENT, to stretch that baby out 5 minutes. Sheesh, no wonder you all think we’re idiots.
And how about that lovely sleeper hold? You know, where the guy is supposed to go unconscious and have his hand rise and fall three times. I pick up his hand, and it falls. ONE! So far, so good. I do it again, and it falls. TWO! So far, so good. You know what comes next, don’t you. Every damn mark in the audience knows what comes next. I raise the guy’s hand, it starts to fall, but then he stops it. His hand shakes. His arm shakes. His whole body shakes. Yes, by God, miraculously he fights his way out of the hold and, viola, he breaks free. Yawn. And that’s when it works according to plan! Half the time, the damn drug addict is too doped up to even remember to hold his hand up on the 3rd try. So guess who has to act like an idiot and “pretend” he didn’t lose the match? Yo. Right here. Me again.
Oh, and haven’t you ever wondered why I ALWAYS see when the bad guys tag in and tag out, yet I’m somehow always “distracted” when the good guy tags in his partner? Me too. Because it’s lame. But hey, they’re just trying to build heat in the match. It worked for the Rock N Roll Express, right??
How about backstage? If you’re thinking that we don’t get chicks, you’re right. As these hot chicks fawn over and chase down beefcakes like Randy Orton, John Cena, and, well, Brutus Beefcake, guess who gets looked over? Little ol’ me. Not even FAT chicks want us. Even after they screw the headliners, they won’t give us sloppy seconds. NOTHING. Nada. Zilch. Our blue balls begin to match our blue shirts.
Even on TV, we can’t get a break. It’s always, “The referee didn’t see it!” Or, “The referee is out cold!” HELLO!! I have a name!! Does Michael Cole ever say, “The wrestler has won!” No, he makes sure to say, “JBL is victorious!” See, JBL gets his name mentioned, but not I. We’re just nameless, faceless, pieces of crap. Invisible. Hell, even crap is less invisible than we are.
All that for 50 grand a year, if we’re lucky. And I don’t even have room to get into all the ribbing and pranks we have to put up with backstage. Wrestlers hate us because they have to take all the bumps and we don’t. Somehow it doesn’t dawn on them that they also get to bang all the hot chicks and hog all the glory while we’re lucky to get glances from their grandmothers. Nice life, ain’t it.
And one last thing. Must you boo me whenever a TV taping begins and the ring announcer introduces the referee? What the Hell did I ever do to you? One ounce of respect, that’s all I ask.
So don’t look down on me. Don’t tell me my job is easy, ‘cos it ain’t. Let me see you do it; I give you 3 days, max. Think about that the next time you see a ref bump, and maybe, just maybe, we’ll start to get some respect.
Disclaimer: Brian Hebner didn’t really write this. The Armpit did. But we know it’s what Brian would say.