WWE HOFer Threw Earl Hebner So Hard He Thought He Was Dead

Legendary referee Earl Hebner has taken many bumps in over four decades of work. Though referees typically serve as a non-wrestling role, certain storylines sometimes warrant them to play a part in the physicality. Other times, a referee may take a bump inadvertently, via a miscommunication with a performer, a misstep in footing, or simply by accident.


By May 1996, Hebner had gotten a solid grasp on how to properly take a bump and protect his body. However, one occasion brought about a scary moment for the seasoned referee. On night one of WWF's In Your House 8 pay-per-view, The British Bulldog battled "The Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels for the WWF Championship, with Hebner as the referee.

At one point in the matchup, Michaels launched British Bulldog into the ropes and then dropped down to the mat. As British Bulldog's momentum shifted off the ropes, he jumped over Michaels and directly pummeled referee Hebner, sending him flying through the second rope. In a recent appearance on "Refin' It Up with Brian Hebner," Earl revealed that he "thought [he] was dead."


"I wasn't prepared for that one because it was never said [beforehand] that he was going to do that," Hebner said. "I was running toward him and he just kept me going and he grabbed me and just shot me through [the ropes]," Hebner added that the blue coloring from the respective rope rubbed off onto his pants from the unplanned incident, and he had to throw the pair away. "They were blue at the time because there was so much sh** on them," he said.

Though Hebner usually takes a "relaxed" approach to bumps, the unrehearsed spot "was so hard and stiff, that it was unreal." Hebner was then unable to finish officiating the match and was subsequently replaced by referee Mike Chioda.