Earl Hebner is one of the greatest referees in the wrestling business as he has given over 40 years of his life to it. Throughout his career, he has been a referee in several huge wrestling promotions such as WWE, NWA, TNA or IMPACT Wrestling and most recently, AEW. He has even officiated the biggest events and moments in wrestling history including the most controversial moment of all, the Montreal Screwjob.
Earl Hebner recently joined the Prime Time with Sean Mooney podcast and gave his thoughts on All Elite Wrestling. He also talked about his current relationship with WWE Hall Of Famer Bret “The Hitman” Hart as well as the infamous Montreal Screwjob. Hebner first gave his thoughts on other wrestling promotions trying to compete with Vince McMahon & The WWE, but eventually meeting their demise.
This is what Earl Hebner said: “NWA was great. You had Wahoo McDaniel, Ric Flair, Dick Murdoch, I mean, so many great superstars. They were booming, and where they went wrong was when they tried to compete with Vince McMahon.” “They had the South sold out; they would sell out Charlotte, Greensboro, they had it made. But when they tried to compete with Vince McMahon and went up North it killed them. It cost them a lot of money.”
Hebner continued with: “The same thing with TNA. We had Universal Studios locked in. The ring stayed there until whenever we had to use it. You didn’t have to go travel around the world, and that is what killed TNA. That is what I told Dixie Carter one night. I told her that she lost her mind. You want to be hot for 2-3 months but after that Vince McMahon will burn your butt up and look what happened.”
Hebner then gave his thoughts on working one of the main event matches at AEW Double Or Nothing between Cody Rhodes & Dustin Rhodes after working the indies as well as TNA/IMPACT Wrestling for the past several years.
This is what Earl Hebner said: “I hadn’t been in the ring for a while, but I’m thinking, the main event and all this stuff, being 70 and all. This match at Double or Nothing, I was hyped up for this match. It’s like, you’re feeling like your old self again you know what I mean? Working with two brothers and thinking about their dad who gave me the opportunity of my life it was just unbelievable.”
Hebner continued with: “It was a great match and they had it all laid out. They wanted to take care of each other, which they did. It was like family to me in there. I knew Cody Rhodes when he was a baby and I knew Dustin Rhodes when he was probably a teenager. It’s like, man, I’m in here with two grown men and I remember them as kids. Dusty Rhodes loved me to death. He nicknamed me Baby Earl. I feel like part of the family with those two guys. I love The Young Bucks as well. When TNA got rid of them I told Eric Bischoff that you guys are making a big mistake; he said, what do I mean? I said that these two men are the new Matt and Jeff Hardy.”
Hebner then talked about the infamous Montreal Screwjob as well as his current relationship with WWE Hall Of Famer Bret “The Hitman” Hart.
This is what Earl Hebner said: “[The Montreal Screwjob] was bad and whatever, but Bret and I made up and are good friends now.” “I talked to him when he was in Las Vegas for AEW and the only thing he asked me was how my brother was doing and I said that he is not doing that good but he is okay. He said that he was going to call him, and I said to give him a few days so I can remind him who you are because Bret had a show in Richmond, VA and my brother and I were on the show as well as Bret. Out of nowhere Bret called us to the ring and he put me and Dave over like no tomorrow and Bret said to the crowd that whatever happened in that match it wasn’t Earl’s fault. He did what he had to do. We’re friends. This was about a year ago or longer, but we’re great now.”
Speaking of AEW, Hebner concluded by giving his thoughts on the upstart wrestling promotion which has already had their fair share of success. While Hebner was praising All Elite Wrestling, he was also taking shots at WWE.
This is what Earl Hebner said: “I tell you what; they are a great company and there’s competition now between WWE and them which makes good for both companies. I think the way AEW is going, it’s something new; it’s not like you are working for a company like WWE where you are in prison.” “Guys are more relaxed, and when guys are more relaxed you can get more out of them then when you feel like you are in jail. Even though Vince McMahon is signing everybody that he runs into and trying to keep good talent from going there, but if you stop and think about it all the talents he has signed lately are in a cellar. They are out of sight and out of mind and when is he going to use you? You are going to be nothing when you get out of that because nobody is going to remember you. He is not going to let you work for anybody else because he is paying you, but you just wasted your time and your talent by sitting in a cellar waiting to punch your number in.”