WWE referee Charles Robinson recently spoke with former WWE on-air talent Sean Mooney for his "Prime Time" podcast and revealed a new edict issued to referees by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, according to the Wrestling Observer.
Robinson revealed that Vince had told the WWE referees that if wrestlers aren't paying attention to the 10 count while outside of the ring, then they are to be counted out.
This new ruling indicates that Vince isn't worried about the planned finish of a match being changed due to a count, which has been hinted at in the past when referees were told to call the matches as a shoot.
Robinson noted that one of the things referees often have to do is hold up their counts after 8 because they realize the wrestlers won't make it back in the ring by 10. They are then forced to stall the count so the wrestler can make it back in, which is sometimes obvious to the viewer at home and in the arena.
This was not confirmed, but it looks like the ruling may have been in place since last summer, or at least inspired by this incident, as Shorty G's WWE 205 Live debut vs. Jack Gallagher ended in a count out with G picking up the win, which seemed to confuse everyone involved. It was later reported that the count out was not the planned finish, and that the referee called it as a shoot as Gallagher was unable to make it back in by the 10 count.
Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter
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