Former WWE referee Jimmy Korderas spent 22 years in WWE and worked with Howard Finkel during his entire tenure. The Fink passed away on April 16 and Korderas shared his reaction on hearing that news when he joined The Wrestling Inc Daily podcast earlier today.
"[I was] heartbroken. When I first started there in the mid-80s, one of the first people to welcome me – if not the first outside of Jack Tunney – was Howard Finkel," recalled Korderas. "You just felt the warmth within him and he was a genuine good guy. Not only was he passionate about the wrestling business, from being in the business, but he was one of the biggest fans ever. If you ever had a historical question about pro wrestling, Howard was the guy you asked.
"I was just fortunate enough that I was able to become friends with him and for him to guide me in my early years and even later on when he was working in the office. I used to love to get those calls, 'Jimmy, Howard Finkel here. How are you?' Just hearing that made my day."
Finkel made fewer and fewer appearances in recent years but was still a wealth of information for younger WWE employees. Korderas shared advice and guidance that Finkel gave him during their years working together.
"He was very instrumental in teaching me the ins and outs and do's and don'ts on how to conduct myself backstage. Very early on I was introduced into the backstage world – before refereeing – and he taught me how to be respectful of all talent regardless of how they treat you because let's be honest, some guys were nice and some were not. He basically taught me on how to conduct myself in a backstage atmosphere," stated Korderas.
"From day one he said if I had any questions, then I should come to him and I never forgot that."
WWE recently released and furloughed dozens of employees due to the coronavirus pandemic and Korderas shared his thoughts on this tough time everyone is going through.
"It is a tough time but we can only hope for better and try to stay positive. I know it's hard and difficult, but we gotta think that way because if you start thinking the worse, then you're gonna lead yourself down that road. So, let's try and keep this as positive as we can even in these tough times," said Korderas.
"I appreciate people who are messaging and to those out there, my friends who are either furloughed or released, my heart goes out to you guys. But I know that all of you will bounce back because you're all talented people. It's a temporary setback. You guys will be back somewhere. But you will be back."
You can follow Jimmy Korderas on Twitter @JimmyKorderas. Jimmy's full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of today's 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.