Timothy Rhys White (March 25, 1954 – June 19, 2022) was an American professional wrestling referee. On June 19, 2022, White died at the age of 68.
He worked with World Wrestling Entertainment as a producer on the SmackDown! brand. During the 1980s and 1990s, White worked as André the Giant’s assistant in addition to his referee duties.
White started as a part-time referee in 1985 while working as André the Giant’s agent. In 1993 shortly after Andre’s death, White became a full-time referee appearing more frequently on pay-per-views and WWF television tapings.
On June 28, 1998, White was the referee for the legendary Hell in a Cell match between Mankind and The Undertaker at King of the Ring. After Mankind fell through the top of the cell and landed hard in the ring, White, fearful that Mick Foley was seriously injured and needed immediate medical attention, came close to declaring the match over at that point, but Foley begged him not to. The match continued and is now remembered as one of the most legendary matches in wrestling history.
In 2002, White suffered a shoulder injury during a Hell in a Cell match between Triple H and Chris Jericho at Judgment Day. At WrestleMania XX in 2004, White returned to referee the match between Chris Jericho and Christian; he re-injured his shoulder during the final three count of the match, forcing him to end his referee career.
The Lunchtime Suicide Series
On December 18, 2005, White made a controversial on-screen appearance at the Armageddon pay-per-view. In a segment, a “despondent” White was interviewed by SmackDown! reporter Josh Mathews inside the bar he owned, the Friendly Tap in Cumberland, Rhode Island. He was depicted drinking large amounts of alcohol, claiming that the aforementioned Hell in a Cell match “ruined his life.” He then proceeded to take a shotgun out from under the bar and, off screen, fired the gun, apparently intending to kill himself. This sketch was considered distasteful, in part due to the death of Eddie Guerrero a month earlier.
On January 6, 2006, it was revealed that White had shot his foot accidentally during the “ordeal.” But when asked by Mathews about his new year’s resolutions, he proceeded to scarf down a box full of rat poison, and subsequently fell over in his chair.
This segment was leaked onto the internet several days earlier and included was the uncut footage of the post-segment which included the producers as well as White goofing around using some mildly foul language. On January 15, 2006, White was interviewed by Mathews again, but this time he tried to hang himself; the rope broke. For weeks afterward, WWE’s official website uploaded a new video showing Mathews trying to interview White who is about to commit suicide each week in a different way. This became a regular segment on WWE’s website and was given the name of Lunchtime Suicide, uploaded every Thursday at lunch time. Over a dozen sketches were aired, and the segments were widely derided as insensitive and of poor taste.
On April 6, 2006, WWE.com uploaded a video where White did not attempt to commit suicide. In fact, he invited Mathews to a party at the Friendly Tap to take place the following week. The next week, Mathews attended the party, and ended up getting shot by White.
White was released from WWE on January 9, 2009, ending his 24-year tenure with the company.
White provided security for WWE superstars during appearances and autograph signings.
On April 10, 2018 White appeared in numerous interviews in the HBO documentary André the Giant. He also appeared on WWE’s Most Wanted Treasures in June 2021.
On June 19, 2022, White died at the age of 68. SOURCE.
David Hebner (May 17, 1949 – June 17, 2022) was an American professional wrestling authority figure, promoter, road agent, and referee.
Hebner debuted as a professional wrestling referee in the late 1970s in the Richmond, Virginia area. In 1986, he began working for the World Wrestling Federation, where he refereed many historic matches such as Randy Savage versus Ricky Steamboat at WrestleMania III and Randy Savage versus Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania V.
Perhaps his most memorable appearance came on the February 5, 1988 episode of WWF The Main Event, when he was assigned to referee a match for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship between Hulk Hogan and André the Giant. André defeated Hogan after Hebner’s twin brother, Earl, had switched places as Ted DiBiase had locked Dave in a closet. Earl Hebner quickly counted to three as André pinned Hogan, despite Hogan clearly having his shoulder up. The match and the WWF Championship were awarded to André as a result. Both Hebners received a $2,500 bonus for the match.
Prior to WrestleMania IV, the WWF attempted to extend the “evil twin” referee storyline through a kayfabe “investigative report” published in the promotions’ flagship publication, WWF Magazine. The article used a fictional backstory to build sympathy for Dave by claiming he was continually victimized by Earl’s misdeeds committed in Dave’s name since their childhoods.
In a 2001 interview with WWF Raw Magazine, Dave Hebner said the angle was soon dropped after he had suffered broken ribs when Earl kicked him (as part of the aftermath of the Hogan-Andre match during The Main Event). As a result, the storyline was shifted to have Earl come clean, and he was the referee when Randy Savage won the Tournament final at WrestleMania IV against Ted DiBiase for the WWF Championship.
After retiring as a referee following knee replacement surgery, Hebner became a road agent. He worked as a road agent until July 2005, when he was released from contract.
After being released, Hebner debuted in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling on the December 17, 2005 episode of TNA Impact!, appearing on the stage during a match between Team 3D and The Diamonds in the Rough. Hebner left TNA in 2012.
Hebner later became the manager of The Lumberjacks of MMWA Wrestling from 2012 to 2022.
Hebner was married to his wife Rebecca for 43 years. His identical twin brother, Earl, and nephew Brian (Earl’s son) are also wrestling referees. Hebner suffered from Parkinson’s disease.
In July 2016, Hebner was named part of a class action lawsuit filed against WWE which alleged that performers incurred “long term neurological injuries” and that the company “routinely failed to care” for them and “fraudulently misrepresented and concealed” the nature and extent of those injuries. The suit was litigated by attorney Konstantine Kyros, who has been involved in a number of other lawsuits against WWE. In September 2018, US District Judge Vanessa Lynne Bryant dismissed the lawsuit.
Dave Hebner died on June 17, 2022 at the age of 73. He had been suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. SOURCE.