The Referee Union? Not on my Watch
The referees in the DRWF have been a different type of animal. We started off with a group of referees during season 1 that felt they weren’t being paid enough by then general manager, Terry Funk. They would stage a walk out at the end of season 1, right before KM took over as general manager. They said that the DRWF was an unsafe work environment and deserved much more pay. These referees were still under a 5 year contract prior to this post, so they were still receiving a check from Jebailey in hopes that they would eventually come back.
During season 2 and 3, we had the infamous masked wrestlers as referees who even though they did a great job, there were some shenanigans with a certain “Kamen” referee. There might have been shenanigans, but their work ethic was top notch! They did actually accept less pay, but they worked their asses off and everyone loved them. Unfortunately after season 3, Jebailey had to cut them due to them being under former General Manager KM’s watch and at the time Jebailey wanted to cut every tie the company had with KM due to the lawsuit that took place during season 4. These referees have since been brought back to referee DRWF Overload, specifically the Golden Ref is now the head referee at Syuri’s Underground.
Fast forward to the beginning of season 4 where Stokely Hathaway took the General Manager position. Before he came in and before the trial with Jebailey/KM, Jebailey told Stokely that we needed some referees going into season 4. Stokely promised that he had some great referees that he could bring in and that they were the absolute best in the business. These referees were ALL from Japan, thus the company had to pay travel fees for each of these referees. This did cut a lot into the budget, but the Stokely era of the DRWF has brought in A LOT of revenue where they could afford to pay for these referees. But, there was a kink in the armor.
Referee Earl Hebner from season 1 got into the ear of Takayuki Yagi, Mr Nakagawa and Nikkan Lee and told them that they deserve higher pay and everything they were having to deal with was not worth the pay. From the Undead Realm, exploding rings, wrestlers dying and more….it they deserved more pay, and thus the referee union started right after Life or Death.
During week 1 of the Forbidden 16, the referee union was somewhat out of control. But then came this past week. An elimination triple threat became a 1 and done, matches that were supposed to be Lucha rules weren’t lucha rules….but then the unthinkable happened. During matches on DRWF Drive, the referees refused to count to 3 for certain wrestlers. They would freeze up and wait until the wrestler was getting ready to kick out and get a “near fall”. The referee union was not only working for themselves, but were helping certain wrestler’s “sponsors” get an extra check as well.
Because of this, we have heard from Stokely Hathaway and he has made some drastic decisions.
First, the season 1 referees that were under contract for 5 years have now had their contracts terminated and will no longer receive a check AT ALL from the DRWF.
Second the season 4 and 5 referees have been suspended WITHOUT pay for the rest of the season. Until they can get it together, we will not be seeing them the rest of the season.
And finally, Stokely is in talks with a new group of referees to be interim referees. We have no word on the incoming referees, but more will be revealed this week!
Here is the exact words from Stokely in regards to the referee’s union.
“These referees really do think they can pull the wool over my eyes? Earl Hebner was always a piece of trash and never deserved to work with this company. And these referees I thought I could trust, but then Earl, Bryce, Rick, Aubrey and those idiots want to try to start a union? Really? WE ARE BASED OUT OF THE SOUTH! There is no such thing as union in the south. So you want to start a referee’s union? Not on my watch….GET TO STEPPIN!”