OK, so I’m not sure if this counts—
technically—but I just shared a delightful, informative conversation with ex-WWF/E Senior Referee Earl Hebner at Cal Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, Maryland.
Way up, but just off I-95 in the heshers of Harford County, the Ripken is home to Aberdeen’s IronBirds—a Short-Season A affiliate of the Os in the New York-Penn League.
This particular dark and stormy night, the half-empty yard was playing house show for TNA’s latest summer campaign, #BaseBrawl.
Get it? BaseBRAWL?
Questioned why the only stripes to ever appear, by name, in a Titan Sports video game was now reduced to calling 1-2-3 in the rain for J-A-doubleR-E-doubleT’s iMPACT!, and Mr. Hebner was surprisingly forthright.
(And no, this was not kayfabe; this was I.R.L!)
Long, but lucid story short, McMahon & Co. had rebuked the ref back in ‘05, supposedly for hawking unsanctioned WWE merch without Vince’s express written consent—a real no-no, if ever there were one.
"Not true," an indignant, yet newly terse Earl Hebner quickly confided in me.
Quoth Earl: "[WWE] fired him, too."
Talk about a screwjob, eh?
via Yo Noise!