Senior official Earl Hebner left TNA/Impact not so long ago and recently opened up about why exactly he and some other referees departed the company.
Earl Hebner is one of the most recognizable pro wrestling referees in the history of the business. He began his career all the way back in 1977 and joined WWE in 1988. His first appearance for the company actually came during the famous twin angle in a match between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant for the WWE Championship. Earl’s real-life twin brother Dave was the referee for the match, but Ted Dibiase paid off Earl to take his place and count the pin even though Hogan’s shoulders weren’t really down.
Hebner remained with WWE for 17 years, his time there coming to an end in 2005. From there, the veteran official went to TNA and carried on his career. In fact, in 2015 Earl was inducted into Impact Wrestling’s Hall of Fame becoming the first referee to be inducted into a major Hall of Fame. For some reason, WWE has yet to follow suit when it comes to officials.
Hebner’s time with Impact Wrestling came to an end earlier this year. Earl, his son Brian, and a few other referees all left the company at around the same time. The former WWE ref recently sat down with Sports Illustrated Extra Mustard and pulled back the curtain on why he and his son left the company. Apparently, he was subject to “pay cut after pay cut” despite the new owners leading them to believe they had it all worked out. Hebner even went as far as to say he felt like he was paying them.
Hebner was also asked that now he has left Impact Wrestling would he consider returning to WWE.
“I would love to go back to WWE and finish my life in this business right there,” Hebner admitted, “Vince McMahon was always good to me, and he gave me the opportunity to be who I am and what I am.” That might be a little tricky right now as Hebner is a part of a class action lawsuit against McMahon and WWE.
While it had been unclear as to why exactly Earl Hebner and the other referees walked out on Impact Wrestling until now, most probably gave an educated guess as to what caused it. The promotion is constantly having financial issues and Hebner isn’t the first person to say that he either wasn’t being paid or was receiving very little from them financially. It’s a minor miracle that Impact still exists, but if they keep treating their talent the way that they do, soon they probably won’t be around.
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