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January 20, 2016

Korderas: Being A Royal Rumble Referee

Jimmy Korderas, former WWE referee of over 20 years, wrote a new blog on CSRWrestling.com talking about what it’s like preparing for the Royal Rumble. Here’s a sample:

The Royal Rumble is just days away and everyone has an opinion on how the WWE title situation could or should play out. Fantasy booking is the modern day wrestling fan’s favorite past time but that is not the subject of this week’s blog. Predictions and speculation about the outcome of the Rumble are everywhere but what is generally never discussed is the preparation by all involved that put on a match with this many working parts. So instead of going the traditional route and giving my crystal ball picks for the Rumble, I have decided to give readers a little peek behind the curtain.

There is so much preparation that goes into a match such as the Royal Rumble. Getting everyone from the superstars, referees, producers, camera men, guys in the truck etc. on the same page takes a group effort. I have had the pleasure and honor of officiating many Rumble matches in my 20+ year career as a WWE referee including the first ever Royal Rumble match, so I thought I would focus on what the Royal Rumble day is like for a WWE referee.

Arrival time at the venue for referees depends on which time zone the event is taking place. Regardless of location, referees are at the arena approximately 7-8hrs ahead of the start time. Once the production meeting ends, the guys in stripes find out their assigned matches for the evening. Referees selected to participate in the Rumble now have to attend a meeting with all the talent and producers to go over the match. Everything is discussed from order of elimination, who eliminates who and of course who is slated to win the Royal Rumble. The referees are given a list with all this information on it to go over throughout the day. This list must not be passed around to prevent any potential “leaks” such as surprise entrants and of course the winner.

I remember during the 2008 Royal Rumble that there was to be a huge surprise entrant at #30. So that afternoon, 29 superstars, 4 referees and the producers assigned for that match met in a conference room to go over the match. Once the discussion got down to the final 4, the 26 superstars that were scheduled to be eliminated up to that point were excused from the meeting.

Click here for more of the blog including when things go wrong like the finish to Rumble 2005.

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