The "Rivals React" Radio show with Lucas Rojas & Evan Medina recently interviewed former WWE referee Jimmy Korderas. They submitted these highlights:
Specific training in being a WWE referee:
"Now you have the Performance Center and you have some good young referees down there, that they're actually training and molding into what WWE wants them to be, or how they want them to be, to perform. Back when I started, it was different, it was like baptism by fire because, you know, it's crazy because I was waiting to be trained,but I didn't go out and say 'hey guys is someone going to train me because I'm supposed to go out and referee soon?' I kind of sat back and paid attention because at the time, Earl Hebner wasn't on board yet but, David was and there was Timmy White, and of course the late great, Joey Marella. So I kind of watched and asked a few questions here and there, but I never really was formerly trained."
Was there too much pressure on referees in WWE:
"Yeah, to be honest, I think it's overlooked and underappreciated. Especially good referees, because as I like to say, a bad referee won't necessarily ruin a good match but he can bring it down, but a good ref can make a good match feel even better. And that's where I always felt the pressure from a personal standpoint. I can't speak for others and whether they felt that pressure, but for me, I wanted to be that guy that they can depend on. I always wanted to be that guy where if I was assigned a match and I went up to them, 'hey guys I got your match today, let these guys decide', 'okay cool, we don't have to worry about the ref'. Everybody's situation is different when it comes to how they're treated backstage, and everyone has a different perception of how they're treated. It's funny because I always felt that I was treated fairly."
His thoughts on the term "sports entertainment":
"I don't have an issue with it being called sports entertainment, and here's why. I get why people prefer the term professional wrestling because that's exactly what it is. And they kinda feel bad, they don't like the term sports entertainment because they feel it takes away from what it is, and it doesn't really, sports entertainment is pro wrestling with a different name to market bigger companies, for larger companies to attract sponsorship and advertising dollars. If you want to attract a big company, like Coke, Pepsi, Ford, if you want those guys advertising with you, I hate to say this but there's this weird stigma attached to the term pro wrestling, they view it as a low brow of entertainment. I get attacked on social media for being a WWE apologist, I do critique the product, there's still stuff I don't like on there, it's just that I tend to focus on the stuff that I like, instead of being negative all the time."
Jimmy Korderas also talked about the biggest differences between WWE back then to now, the 3 hour RAW format, the current brand split situation, his AfterMath TV program with Santino Marella, and much more. You can listen to the full show on Rivals React Radio by clicking here.