Referees are unsung heroes of professional wrestling. Don't believe me? Then try working a match with a bad ref. In my opinion, Tommy Young is the measuring stick for all refs. Many have donned the stripes but few have had an impact on me like Mr. Young. Today a ref seems to do nothing more than count the 1,2,3 and then get beat up in a frugal attempt to garner some heat for a lackluster heel. That is why I'm Desperately Seeking Tommy Young.
Tommy Young was a perfect complement to any match. His reactions were, for lack of a better term, dead on. When most refs are called upon to make a "mistake" they end up burying themselves. Taking all the heat away from the heel. Any mistake Young made in the fans eyes wasn't his fault, it was that dastardly bad guys doing. Yes, he did all of this and did it without taking any attention away from the ones actually competing in the match.
When Flair and Steamboat were creating consistent classics, Tommy's reactions to their chops, drops and pops were just as important as the athleticism themselves. Most importantly his reactions in no way took away from the match, if anything it added to it. That is a lost art in pro wrestling. Subtly being able to make a great match even better. Today refs are used and abused with no authority. Remember when Flair would push Young and Young would push back? Some say that makes Flair look weak. Well after Tommy would push Flair, Flair would begin to chase him. Tommy would take refuge behind the babyface. Leaving Tommy secure with his authority and putting the focus back where it should be on the babyface.
Now Tommy isn't the only great ref. Marc Curtis was another great man in stripes. Heard Marc was actually a hell of worker before he went to being an official. I would love to see some of his matches. Earl Hebner, Charles Robinson and Tim White are others that have done an excellent job. I'm not a fan of heel refs but Nick Patrick is the blueprint for that role. Not too long ago I saw Scott Armstrong DQ a tag team on live television because they didn't get out of the ring by the five count. Which I'm pretty sure wasn't the finish but I loved it. The bottom line is without authority there's anarchy. Even in pro wrestling I promise and when "The Golden Boy" Greg Anthony makes a promise it’s as good as gold.
----Greg Anthony is a regular on the local area circuit. He won RRO Booker of the Year 2008 and is listed in the top 4 of the RRO Top 10 2008. Greg is currently working as booker of NEW and can be seen tagging with legend Bobby Eaton and Brian Thompson as “Midnight Gold”.