Former referee Dave Hebner passes away at 73

Dave Hebner, one of the most well-remembered referees in WWF/E history, has died at the age of 73.

Dave Hebner, one of the most well-remembered referees in WWF/E history, has died at the age of 73.

The Refin’ It Up podcast, hosted by his nephew Brian put out an announcement regarding his passing.

Hebner began working with the World Wrestling Federation in the ‘80s and was involved in several matches as the company went national and launched the first WrestleMania event in March 1985.

Hebner was the third man in the ring for the famous match between Randy Savage and Ricky Steamboat at WrestleMania 3 on March 29, 1987, at the Pontiac Silverdome.

The most memorable moment of his career in front of the camera occurred in February 1988 during an edition of “The Main Event” on NBC.

In a rematch from the previous year’s WrestleMania main event, Hulk Hogan defended the WWF Championship against Andre the Giant with the audience under the impression that Dave Hebner was the referee.

It was actually his brother, Earl, who had previously worked as an official with Jim Crockett Promotion and debuted that night as the “evil” twin brother of Dave and was a grand plot by Ted DiBiase to secure the championship for Andre, who could hand the title over to the Million Dollar Man.

The event garnered an approximate viewing audience of 33 million people and was the catalyst for the tournament at WrestleMania 4 for the vacant title, which would be won by Savage.

Hebner transitioned from being a referee to a road agent with the company until his release by the company in the summer of 2005.

Hebner moved on to TNA Wrestling and would battle Parkinson’s Disease in his later years.

Hebner married his wife Rebecca in 1968 and they had two daughters, Christina and Becky.

In Greg Oliver’s obit on Hebner, he reports that Dave died on Friday around noon at his home in Mechanicsville, Virginia.

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Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.