One of the early criticisms of AEW is the refereeing and them not properly enforcing the rules. Former WWE ref Jimmy Korderas publicly called out the AEW refereeing style in the past and he discussed if they have improved any when he joined The Wrestling Inc Daily.
"I think they have really, honestly taken a very, minute baby step forward. But then again – and I know people have been bashing me all day – but the tag match on Dynamite with the Lucha Bros, Kenny and Adam Page. Some great stuff in that match and lots of action, but there was no semblance of any basic tag rules in the match," lamented Korderas.
"AEW is saying you have not a 5-count after making a tag to switch in and out, but you have a 10-count. So, they expanded that, but it's still not enough. The referee didn't even bother to count and it looks like a Texas Tornado match from jump street… From the beginning of the match, there's really no semblance of rules and that's the issue I have."
Some talent, like the Lucha Bros, openly disrespect the rules of a pro wrestling match which could make a ref's job difficult. Korderas was asked how he deals with this type of talent.
"As a referee you basically adhere to what the company tells you to do. If the company is telling you to say, 'Hey, forget about it and just go along with it.' Then unfortunately, that's what you've gotta do. As much as I like to point fingers at the refs, it's not entirely on them," admitted Korderas.
"There's stuff that happens in WWE as well where I go, 'C'mon guys, you can do better than that.'"
He then talked about the history of tag team wrestling and how the best teams told stories while also doing so within the rulebook.
"Why can't it be done now? What has changed," asked Korderas. "I get the business has evolved but does evolve include just throwing the rules out the window to get your stuff in?"
Some refs have gained enough fame so that they're actually known by their names such as Ref Aubrey in AEW. Korderas talked about her becoming a cult favorite of fans and if this could possibly be a bad thing.
"It's happened over the years with different refs. The fact that she's getting some attention is okay as long as it doesn't distract from the match and the story being told in the ring," said Korderas. "That's the main focal point. A ref is supposed to be somewhat invisible until they need to be visible. They are there to help the talent tell their story, whatever that story happens to be. If she's getting a little attention, that's cool, as long as it's not a distraction from the story of the match."
Support Jimmy by following him on Twitter @JimmyKorderas.
Korderas' full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it's released Monday - Friday afternoon: by clicking here. The full interview can be heard via the embedded audio player below: