Played a Key Role in Wrestling’s Most-Watched Storyline
Sad news to report as referee Dave Hebner is dead at 73. Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview recently reported:
The news was first broken by friends of his online. Hebner had been in poor health for some time with Parkinson’s Disease. A post was made in May 2022 that alarmed many fans showing a noticeably ill and wheelchair-bound Hebner surrounded by friends.H/T Wrestleview
Longtime wrestling fans will remember the classic angle where Andre the Giant won the WWF Championship in controversial fashion thanks to “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase hiring a perfect double of WWF official Dave Hebner to replace him in the match.
Of course, as fans know, Dave’s doppelganger was his twin brother Earl Hebner. That didn’t stop the WWF’s announcers from pondering who the double was. Even Hulk Hogan speculated that DiBiase had paid for the double to get plastic surgery in order to look like the real McCoy.
The match aired on NBC’s 1988 prime-time special, The Main Event, which would set an all-time record for wrestling ratings, bringing in a 15.2 Nielsen rating and drawing 33 million viewers.
Referee Dave Hebner Dead at 73: A Long Career in Wrestling
Dave and Earl Hebner continued working in the WWE until 2005. The WWE accused them of selling WWE merchandise without permission, a claim Dave Hebner has denied.
Dave Hebner later worked in TNA Wrestling as a referee and on the indie circuit as a manager.
WrestleLamia sends its condolences to Mr. Hebner’s friends and family.
What do you remember about Dave Hebner? Let us know in the comments below.