5. Jim Korderas
Jim Korderas is a referee who is best known for working in the WWE for 22 years before being released in 2009. At WrestleMania IV, The Honky Tonk Man was in a singles match against Brutus Beefcake for the WWF Intercontinental Championship. Midway through match, Brutus Beefcake had a sleeper hold manoeuvre locked on The Honky Tonk Man who was on the verge of passing out, meaning he was in danger of losing the match by submission and therefore would lose his WWF Intercontinental Championship. However, Jimmy Hart (who was The Honky Tonk Man’s manager at the time) did not want that to happen so he got up on the ring apron to create a distraction. After the referee had a few words to Hart he then turned his back to Hart and that’s when Hart proceeded to hit referee Jim Korderas in the back of the head with his trademark microphone. Korderas was legitimately knocked unconscious. Most referees get stick for being “knocked out” after a little push but little did they know, Korderas was legitimately knocked out. Numerous referees could be seen attending Korderas while Brutus Beefcake was cutting Jimmy Hart’s hair. As a result, Korderas had to be physically assisted out of the ring.
4. Jack Doan
Former WWE referee Jack Doan joined the WWE back in 1991 and worked with the WWE until his release in 2013. In a tag team match involving The Heavenly Bodies, referee Jack Doan suffered stretched ligaments in his knee after Gigolo Jimmy Del Ray accidently clipped him during the match. He was subsequently out of action for a month. But that wasn’t the only injury he suffered. During the 1998 Royal Rumble Match, a near 300-pound man by the name of Phineas Godwinn was eliminated over the top rope by Mark Henry, however, as he was thrown over the top rope he inadvertently kicked referee Jack Doan in the back of the head. This left Doan with a legitimate concussion.
3. Tim White
Former WWE employee Tim White worked with the WWE as a referee and as a producer on the Smackdown brand. He also worked as Andre the Giant’s assistant in addition to his referee duties in the 1980s and 1990s. During a Hell in a Cell match between Triple H and Chris Jericho at Judgement Day 2002, referee Tim White suffered a shoulder injury after Triple H threw Chris Jericho into him. In this clip shown, you can see referee Tim White catapulting into the steel cage as a result of the impact and landing awkwardly onto the hard mat below. Tim White did indeed make his return to refereeing duties at WrestleMania XX in the match between Chris Jericho and Christian. However, White ended up re-injuring his shoulder during the final three count of the match. This actually forced him to end his referee career.
2. Charles Robinson
One of the more famous and more recognisable referees in the WWE is Charles Robinson a.k.a. Little Naitch. On an episode of WCW Monday Nitro, the late great Macho Man Randy Savage and his partner Madusa was in a tag team match against Ric Flair and Charles Robinson. Towards the end of the match, Randy Savage delivered his diving elbow drop to Charles Robinson which actually resulted in Robinson cracking several vertebrae and collapsing his lung. That wasn’t Robinson’s only injury though. In 2014 during a WWE tour in Saudi Arabia, Robinson suffered cuts and slashes to his hand from an accident while setting up the ring which almost cost him his thumb! The guy has been through a lot as you can tell. Even as far as having a singles match against The Great Khali. You can guess how that ended… Khali absolutely squashed Robinson which was quite hard to watch in a way!
1. Tommy Young
Tommy Young is a professional referee who refereed for WCW and is known particularly for his lively expressions in the ring. Tommy Young actually started out as a wrestler for Ed Farhat (better known as The Original Sheik) before later starting his referee career in Pedro Martinez’s National Wrestling Federation. But it was while he was in WCW where he suffered a career-ending injury. In 1989, while refereeing in a match between Mike Rotunda and Tommy Rich, referee Tommy Young broke his neck after his head bounced off the rope after Tommy Rich threw Young out of his way. He recalled the dreadful incident in an interview saying:
“What happened was that when Rich shoved me he also raised his foot, which was about as big as this table, and he tripped me. I lost my balance, and when I lunged to grab the ropes to protect myself I missed, and went through the ropes. The middle rope hit me right between the eyes and my neck just snapped. Everything jammed together. I heard this God-awful sound when I fell. Then I heard this humming noise. I knew I was in real trouble no pain but I couldn’t feel anything from my neck down. And I thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m in big trouble.”
This injury led him to end his full-time career as a referee.