The importance of wrestling’s “third man”

Typically viewers only notice the referees in sporting events when they do something wrong in their eyes, and while that’s still true in pro wrestling it goes a bit deeper than that. Unlike other sports the referee doesn’t simply enforce the rules and declare a winner. In the world of sports entertainment it’s the responsibility of the referee to relay messages between wrestlers and or backstage personnel, keep track of time in the match and of course check on the health and welfare of wrestlers as the match goes on. One of the biggest differences between the wrestling referee and other sports is that in wrestling the referee can sometimes be physically involved. There are often spots in matches where the referee will be in incapacitated in some fashion to allow the dastardly heel to cheat OR deny the babyface hero a victory. These “ref bumps” have been featured in some of the most iconic matches in history and always get a reaction from the crowd. In other situations the referee can be distracted by some outside force and miss a crucial moment in a match that EVERYONE in the building saw, but them, once again causing a visceral reaction from the audience. For these reasons and more referees in pro wrestling are a breed apart from officials in other sports. In the rest of the sports world referees (in theory) don’t know the outcome of the contest they are officiating, while the pro wrestling referee knows many of the details leading to the finish of the contest and has their own role to play in getting to said finish. Join us this Sunday at 6pm CDT on “Issues with wrestling” as we have a round table of the some of the best pro wrestling referees today to discuss the importance of wrestling’s third man. 

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