Just like wrestlers, referees too strive to be involved in the top matches of the card at WrestleMania every year. In his recent chat with Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman on The Wrestling Inc. Daily, veteran WWE referee Jimmy Korderas spoke of the excitement he felt when he learned that he would call the main event match between The Undertaker and Edge at WrestleMania 24.
Originally scheduled to work a different match, Korderas was approached a few weeks before the match by Edge, who walked into Mania as the World Heavyweight Champion.
“Edge comes up to me and says, ‘you got a minute?’ Taker and I are requesting for you to ref our match at Mania 24,” recalled Korderas. “I figured they had the stroke to get it done. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. And as the weeks go on, you go, ‘oh boy, I better not screw this up.’ The pressure is on now.”
When reminded that former WWE Champion CM Punk expressed regret at never main eventing a WrestleMania, Korderas admitted that closing out WWE’s biggest show of the year is a dream for referees too.
“I do feel for CM Punk,” Korderas. “Being a part of that final match of Mania, even for a referee, is a dream come true.”
Although Korderas accomplished his dream of being involved in the final match at a WrestleMania, he technically didn’t close the show after taking the big boot from The Undertaker. Referee Charles Robinson ran down to count the 1-2-3 to crown Taker as the new champion.
“You know, Charles did the run down, which is cool. I didn’t have a problem with that. Because I still took the big boot from the Deadman. Now, that was cool! It was an incredible feeling.”
Korderas added that being involved in the TLC match at WrestleMania 17 TLC is one of his proudest accomplishments.
The veteran referee also spoke on the differences between how WWE boss Vince McMahon interacts with referees as opposed to wrestlers.
“He’s not as hands on with refs as he is with wrestlers,” said Korderas. “At the same time, when he sees something that he really likes, he will acknowledge it. If he thinks there’s something we can correct, he’ll point out that as well.”
Korderas continued, “Generally, he leaves the referees to the agents because there’s this persona that surrounds Vince that maybe all the refs are too intimdidated by him.”
When asked if he ever got on McMahon’s radar and was told to correct something, Korderas said although there had been small incidents in the past, he had “never been chewed out” by the WWE chairman.
Korderas also spoke on if referees are employees or independent contractors.
“Referees are independent contractors just like the talents or wrestlers. However, some of the refs are also working on the ring crew and that’s a different thing altogether.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit The Wrestling Inc. Daily with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
You can follow Jimmy on Twitter @JimmyKorderas. Korderas’ full interview 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.