The World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and the professional wrestling industry rely heavily on referees. So, How Much Do WWE Referees Make? In this article, we will go over every detail there is to know regarding referees and their pay. But, before we move on to that, let us know in a nutshell about the Referees. Well, in the sport of professional wrestling, an authority person known as a referee is present in or near the ring at all times throughout matches. The role of the referee is analogous to that of a referee in a combat sport such as boxing or mixed martial arts; that is, the referee acts as an arbitrator of the rules and is responsible for making decisions.
In actuality, the referee is, just like the wrestlers, a participant in the execution of a match in accordance with its script, which includes its pre-determined outcome. Additionally, the referee is responsible for directing the flow of the match and for transmitting information or directions from backstage authorities to the wrestlers. Referees, like wrestlers, are tasked with upholding kayfabe and are required to make decisions in compliance with those regulations.
WWE presently employs more than 20 referees throughout RAW, SmackDown, NXT, and NXT UK. Each match must have at least one official in charge of it. In addition to serving as on-screen officials, they also organize the contest between the performers and the gorilla position. They almost always play significant parts in finishes and are also a part of the plot or the setting of the game. A referee is essentially in the position to shoot during the entire game and is incapable of doing anything incorrectly. Continue reading this article to learn the answer to the question “How Much Do WWE Referees Make?”
How Much Do WWE Referees Make?
Given the significant obligations that come with the job, how much money does a WWE referee make? The pay for a referee varies from person to person based on their experience and expertise, just like in any other profession. The majority of experienced WWE referees receive annual salaries of up to $250,000 on a fixed basis. A contract with a fixed yearly salary between $50000 and $80,000 is given to the new referees.
The referees are also compensated on a per-match basis for their services. Referees that have a lot of expertise and a proven track record can make anywhere from $1500 to $4000 each match, with main event matchups paying anything from $4000-$6000 per battle. Referees who are just starting out might expect to make between $500 and $800 per match.
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What Is The Purpose Of The WWE Referee?
The kayfabe goal of a professional wrestling referee is to make decisions during a contest, but the referee’s legitimate job is to facilitate communication to wrestlers about the progression of matches, communicate with wrestlers about the amount of time left (plus the beginning and conclusion of commercial breaks on live broadcasts), and, if necessary, assist wrestlers in gauging the reaction of the crowd in addition to reminding them of the match script.
They play a crucial part in making sure the wrestlers are healthy enough to continue and in stopping the match, and alerting the opposition if there is a danger of injury. Referee Jim Korderas asserts that a referee’s role is to support the talent in telling their story while being unseen.
To facilitate communication between backstage staff members and referees during games, wireless earpieces are currently used by officials. Referees are selected by their employers based on a number of factors, including their height and weight. Typically, a referee will be no more than six feet (183 cm) tall, weigh no more than 180 lb (81.5 kg), and may typically have a physique that is not typical of an athlete. WWE referees Mike Chioda and Charles Robinson are two examples of referees who fit this description.
In recent years, in order to reduce the risk of transmitting blood-borne infections such as hepatitis, referees in WWE matches have taken to always carrying a pair of latex medical gloves in their pockets. This practice continues today. A wrestler is given gloves whenever they are bleeding.
WWE Referees Attire
Referees in different wrestling promotions wear a variety of distinct uniforms. WWE officials have worn a variety of outfits over the years. Referees in the World Wide Wrestling Federation used black and white striped uniforms similar to those worn by referees in other sports, including ice hockey, basketball, and American football, from the 1970s until 1983. A World Wrestling Federation (WWF) referee wore a blue collared shirt with black pants, boots, and a bow tie, similar to a boxing official, from the middle of the 1980s until 1995.
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Black shirts were provided to the referees of ECW when it was revived in 2006. They have grey and black polo shirts as of 2007. Referees, however, were no longer brand-exclusive as of November 2008 and were required to wear black and white striped jerseys. As part of the Old School Raw special edition on November 15, 2010, the referees wore the “boxing referee” costume. Referees in WCW initially wore collared shirts with bow ties before switching to striped shirts about 1999.
All Elite Wrestling referees wear black and white striped jerseys with the AEW logo on them, with the exception of pay-per-view events, when the referee’s shirt has a patch with the event logo on the right breast. Referees in ECW initially wore striped shirts; later, they changed to an all-black costume resembling that of officials in mixed martial arts; finally, they added a half-black, half-red shirt. For the first two WWE One Night Stand events, the all-black attire would be worn again before making way for the brand extension ECW referee jerseys.
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Top 5 Things You Didn’t Know About WWE Referees
There have been referees—those select persons who are (supposed to) keep order among the talent—ever since professional wrestling became a mainstay of entertainment in the early 20th century. The WWE, the largest sports entertainment corporation in the world, is no exception, having employed numerous referees over the years. However, despite being a fundamental component of the industry, there is still a sense of intrigue surrounding people who wear stripes. Here are five things about being a certified WWE referee that you probably didn’t know.
1. The Referee Wellness Policy
A straightforward “three strikes, you’re out” regulation governs the WWE’s strict wellness policy. A Superstar who violates the rule faces a 30-day suspension, a 60-day suspension after a second violation, and a release after a third.
Few people are aware that referees are also subject to rigorous physicals and drug tests as part of the wellness policy to ensure they haven’t consumed any illegal substances. In an era in which WWE continues to portray itself as family-friendly entertainment, this rule indicates that no one, at all, is above the rules. At first, this may seem unusual, but in this era, it’s important to remember that this rule exists.
2. Need To Have Medical Education
As a WWE Superstar, one of the unfortunate realities of life is that one can sustain an injury at any time. Young talents like Tyson Kidd, Paige, and Jason Jordan have all been forced to step away from the ring as a result of injuries. Therefore, all officials must have first-aid training and be prepared to use it at any time throughout the game in order to keep the players safe.
In the case that a serious cut occurs during a game, the referees will frequently don a pair of sterile gloves, which they will have on their person at all times, in order to protect themselves from contracting an infection. The referees even have the power to request that the lights be muted in the case of a terrible disaster so that spectators at home and within the stadium cannot see what has happened while the ref attempts to handle the situation.
3. The Pay for WWE Referees Varies
It is appropriate that WWE Superstars receive a high salary in a profession where performers risk their health (and sometimes even lives) every night. But according to the Wrestling Observer, the majority of top officials get about $2,500 per week, which is a decent wage given that they occasionally have to take bumps. Although they are not expected to referee for a full week, this amount reduces to $1,500 for rookie referees.
The most senior members of staff frequently get the best paying gigs during the largest concerts of the year. A referee can frequently make $5,000 for just an afternoon’s labour officiating the main pay-per-view event, and if the main event happens to be at WrestleMania, the pay only increases from there.
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4. They Don’t Have a Mic
A small earpiece that allows them to ‘speak’ backstage is visible on every WWE referee if you look closely. The word “communicate” here is a strong one because, despite having an earpiece, they lack a microphone, so while they can be taught what to do, they are unable to provide feedback.
Every second counts on-screen, and it would be unpleasant to see a referee talking into a microphone that was attached to his shirt. We can only assume that this makes it possible for the show to be more efficiently produced. Although there was a common misconception that referees were equipped with secret microphones, referee Mark Yeaton dispelled this during the defamation case brought by WWE doctor Dr. Chris Amann against CM Punk after Punk (as well as Colt Cabana) mentioned Amann on Cabana’s podcast.
5. Ex-Superstars Can Serve As Referees
Being a WWE Superstar is a difficult job. Years spent travelling, countless hours spent working out, and that’s before you ever endure terrible knockouts in front of millions of fans around the world. As a result, for some Superstars, the life of a WWE referee can seem like a very wonderful career because, although they do occasionally suffer blows in the ring, it’s much less often.
Former Superstars have even occasionally returned, although this time as referees. One prominent example is Nunzio, who left the WWE in 2008 but returned in 2010 as a referee owing to a lack of officials as a result of bad weather. Nunzio continued in this position until he departed the company once more in September 2011.
7 Best Referees Of All Time
Referees have a variety of responsibilities, including presiding over the matches and receiving orders and conveying them to the Superstars in the ring. They also have the advantage of witnessing the match firsthand, which gives them the ability to provide the most accurate critique possible. Here, we take a closer look at some of the most well-known referees in WWE history.
1. Mike Chioda
Mike Chioda, who holds the record for having the longest tenure of any referee in WWE history, worked for the company from 1989 to 2020, a total of 31 years. He was let off in April due to COVID-19-related budget cuts. Everyone in the WWE Universe was shocked by his resignation because no one had anticipated that a senior official would be let go. During his stint in the WWE, he refereed numerous WrestleMania events and served as the senior RAW referee for almost 15 years. After being released from his contract with WWE, he has been doing part-time work for AEW ever since.
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2. Charles Robinson
For almost 20 years, Charles Robinson has been associated and worked with WWE. Robinson, who joined the organization in 2001 when WCW ceased operations, has established himself as one of the most well-known and dependable referees in WWE. As a result of Mike Chioda’s departure from the organization in April of 2020, he was promoted to the position of senior referee for SmackDown. For his efforts during the pandemic-hit year, he most recently received the 2020 ‘Referee of the Year’ SLAMMY Award.
3. Earl Hebner
Earl Hebner has been a part of a number of significant events in WWE and wrestling history in general, including some of the most famous and iconic moments. Hebner has handled it all, from his participation in the Montreal Screwjob at Survivor Series 1997 to officiating other classics from the Attitude Era. He left WWE in 2005 after being dismissed for secretly selling the company’s goods, and from 2006 until 2017, he worked for IMPACT Wrestling. He is currently employed by AEW.
4. Jessika Carr
In WWE, Jessika Heiser, who goes by the ring name Jessika Carr, began working there in 2017. Carr, who was the first female referee to advance through the Performance Center, presided over a number of matches in NXT up until 2019 when she was sent to SmackDown. After Carr graduated from NXT, Triple H personally appeared to congratulate her, giving her a unique farewell. She has since become a mainstay of both SmackDown’s pay-per-view and television programming.
5. John Cone
John Cone, a former wannabe wrestler who is now a referee, joined WWE in 2006 and has since officiated several TV and pay-per-view fights for the organization. In addition, Cone and his wife in Kansas City run their restaurant, Donut King. When Nicholas and Braun Strowman defeated The Bar at WrestleMania 34, they were the RAW Tag Team Champions. The very next day, he gave up the championship.
6. Danny Davis
The career path of pro wrestling referee Danny Davis was one of the most unusual ever. He began his career with WWE in 1981 as a standard referee. By 1984, Davis was doing double duty, working as a full-time referee, and Mr X, a disguised wrestler. Davis began his most enduring wrestling career in 1986 as the WWE’s first crooked referee.
7. Tommy Young
Tommy Young began his professional wrestling career in 1971 as a wrestler. Young began working as a full-time referee for the NWA and Jim Crockett Promotions in 1975. When the 1980s came along, Young was hired by Jim Crockett Promotions as their senior referee. With that title, Young was able to officiate important matches, like contests for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.