The WWE Hall of Fame is filled with Superstars, tag teams, stables and even celebrities. But there is no referee in the Hall of Fame as Teddy Long who was a ref, manager and authority figure is the closest thing to that.
Long was asked about being the only WWE Hall of Famer with any significant time as a referee when he joined The Wrestling Inc Daily podcast.
“I’ve never really thought about it like that. I’ve never really thought about referees going into the Hall of Fame,” admitted Long. “So when I went into the Hall of Fame, it never really dawned on me about my career and being a referee and now look, I’m in the Hall of Fame. But by you bringing that up, it’s brand new to me and it’s certainly another great honor and feather in my hat. That’s something to think about and it wouldn’t be bad to start putting referees in the Hall of Fame.”
He then put over many referees he thinks are deserving of that honor including Jimmy Korderas and Mike Chioda.
“There’s so many great guys there that were there when I first started and they’re still successful. That’s not a bad idea to start putting refs in the Hall of Fame,” said Long.
He was then asked why he thinks WWE hasn’t put any referees in the Hall of Fame.
“There are 2-3 ways to look at it. Everything is based on ratings and money,” Long said before recalling back in the day when Jim Crockett told him he was just a guy in a striped shirt and a dime a dozen.
“Maybe they just don’t think referees meet that recognition or they don’t think there’s any money there. When I was there, there were guys trying to get action figures made of them. They told me, ‘Well we can put anybody in there as a referee. They don’t play the referee; they play the Superstars.’ Maybe they think there’s no money in it but I think that would be good. It’s different and it’s brand new and that’s what we need now. We need different stuff and we need new stuff.”
Referees are more than just officials as they are often big parts of matches. Long was asked about the many roles that referees play.
“Everyone has to be on the same page and to have a good wrestling match, you’ve gotta have a good referee. Referees are part of the match and a lot of times, the ref’s part is more important than the two guys in there wrestling,” said Long. “To me, the referee is the guy and to recognize him, I don’t think that would be a bad idea.”
In addition to being a referee, Long was also a manager for a long time. WWE appears to be bringing back managers with the likes of Zelina Vega and Robert Stone in NXT and Long discussed the return of the role.
“I think it’s a good thing. They got away from it because at one time they felt it was old school,” revealed Long. “They wanted to do something different and they felt that managers didn’t have a place anymore. My thing is this ? when you’ve got a guy out there that’s a great athlete, but may not have mic skills, that’s when you need a manager.”
Long then said that he’s a little guy with a big mouth and his wrestlers would follow his orders. He also thinks that WWE would be wise to pair Roman Reigns with a manager.
“Bringing back the managers is a good idea but it’s according to who the managers are. If a guy has no mic skills then he has no understanding of what the manager does. Managers can’t just be out there managing as you’re out there to do a job. There’s a place you may have to be at a certain time or there’s time when you may have to jump up and do something. You have to know all this stuff so I think managers are important. So, to bring them back, I think that would be a great idea,” stated Long.
You can support Teddy by following him on Twitter @teddyplayalong. Teddy’s full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of a 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.