Earl Hebner Addresses Criticism Of AEW Officiating

Earl Hebner has been around the wrestling business for over 40 years as a referee. He made his name in WWE and then spent 11 years in TNA/Impact before joining AEW in 2019.

With AEW the referees as a whole have come under fire and received criticism for being inconsistent. Hebner talked about the AEW refs when he spoke to Wrestling Inc. on our WINCLY podcast.

"They need to have me in their dressing rooms teaching them," Hebner said of the AEW refs. "Right now I'm just doing PPVs because of travel and everything so I'm fortunate to just do the PPVs.

"What they have is pretty good. We learn everyday so it's not like we know everything."

Hebner was then asked what he thinks should change about the refs' way of officiating.

"Sometimes I think with the tag matches there's too much interference and they bury the ref a lot," Hebner said before adding that 10 counts are a little slow.

Hebner spent much of the 1980s officiating in the Crockett Promotions where he worked alongside Dusty Rhodes who was a booker. Now Cody has followed in his father's footsteps as a promoter for AEW and Hebner talked about knowing Cody when he was just a kid.

"It's great. When I was coming through Dusty was the one who gave me a job. I rode in the truck with Cody when he was a baby," stated Hebner. "It's just been awesome to see how Cody has progressed and grown up. He's in the footsteps of his dad and every step he makes is Dusty. He's a great kid and God bless him. He deserves everything he's getting and going after."

Chris Jericho is currently AEW's world champ but Hebner didn't sound 100 percent committed to him when asked if Jericho is the right guy to be the world champ.

"For right now. Things change down the road, so we'll see," stated Hebner who then thanked the fans for their support of AEW.

"I really appreciate all of you fans being here for Starrcast and AEW. This company really respects each and every one of you for buying a ticket and coming to see us. God bless you for coming and helping us and being interested in the AEW product."

Hebner was on hand for Full Gear from the Royal Farms Arena and he shared some of his favorite Baltimore memories.

"Back in the Crockett days, that was a looooong time ago, but I've been down here with WWE and WWF a lot of times. I even drove down here because I live in Richmond [VA] so it's not a big deal. It's like driving to Charlotte back in the day," said Hebner.

Jim Crockett was also in Baltimore for Starrcast IV and Hebner said he was surprised to see him as he's retreated from the public eye in recent years, but he was also glad that Crockett was there.

Hebner can be seen every Wednesday night on TNT, 8/7c, as part of AEW Dynamite. Hebner's full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part today's episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be watched in the video above and heard via the embedded audio player at the bottom of this post. You can check out past episodes of the WINCLY here. Subscribe to Wrestling Inc. Audio on iTunes or Google Play. Listen to the show via Spotify here or through TuneIn here.