Skip to main content

Former WWE Referee Jimmy Korderas sits down with Chris Deez of the It's My House Podcast and tells all. He speaks on the shocking death of Owen Hart, Saving Kurt Angle from a broken arm and more. 

Below is the Youtube link of the full interview:

Here are some important quotes from the interview:

Owen Harts tragic death, being in the ring at the time, how close he was to Owen landing on him:

"I had gone to the ring, because I was the referee for Owen versus The Godfather. So I had gone to the ring to help the guys clear out some of the debris like scraps of tables and stuff like that. There was an interview, playing on the Jumbotron of Kevin Kelly interviewing the blue blazer. I was holding the top rope with my left hand and kicking stuff out of the ring and I was moving towards that corner, and it's hard because it happened so fast but I was moving towards the corner and I felt something brush against the right side of my head, my shoulder. At that same instant the top rope that I was holding had pulled out and snapped back in, hit my fingers and my first instinct in my mind I'm thinking the top rope just broke, or did that somebody throw something in. I turned around I looked down and Owen was there laying face up. And it's so weird because I wasn't putting two and two together, I knew he was to descend for the match, but I'm not putting two and two together and understanding what the situation here and I'm confused for a few. I don't know how long it was, but then I knelt down and called out a few times, and there was no response and I could see, even with the mask on his eyes were open, and it was ashen, for lack of a better term.

By this time King had got up as well. And I just started screaming like we need help out here get somebody out here now, something is wrong, again not putting two and two together. I'm not saying oh my goodness this guy fell. I just, you know what I mean I'm confused. The ring started filling up with paramedics and people from the back and they put the air thing on and somebody was doing chest compressions and they got him on the stretcher they started wheeling him back.

I just follow them back and watch them load him load on into the ambulance and I was like shaking I was a panicky mess. I used to smoke back then and so somebody gave me a cigarette and I sat down on the steps outside nervously smoking and John D'Amico who worked in production says come on let's go and I said where are we going, he says, I got your stuff we got to go get you checked out. I said I'm fine. "No no no, we got to go get your checked out it's protocol" he started going through all this stuff so they finally convinced me to go get checked out, they took me to the same hospital that they took Owen to and that's where I found out that he had passed. I ended up calling my fiance at the time and just saying, hey, this is not good. Then that's when stuff started clicking when you started hearing people saying, yeah, he fell.

It's all a blur to me and I just remember the next day walking into the arena in St. Louis and running into Jerry Lawler and and he said, are you okay? I said, I guess, as okay as I'm going to be. He says, I hate to tell you this but you don't know how close you became to being a bigger part of this story and I said What are you talking about? He said he saw, maybe the last 20 feet of his fall, or so. And the first thought that went through his mind was oh my god he's gonna land on the ref, Jimmy. So what brushed against the side of my head in my shoulder was Owen"

Jim Ross possibly losing his passion for wrestling, AEW potentially being the reason:

I know Jim. You know he's a legend, let's put it that way, he's an icon at the play by play desk, he does his best with what what he is presented and I know every once in a while he'll make a little bit of an offhanded comment but you know you have to kind of listen sometimes you go oh he took a little jab there but that's okay. I wouldn't say he's not as invested I think, sometimes he's taken aback by what he sees. You know, and it's when they're doing so much it's hard to articulate. You know when they're taking their time and telling their story, then Jr could take his time and help them tell their story because he's a master at doing that. And again, sometimes they're going a little too fast and you know, trying to explain what they're doing, when - how can you explain what they just did when they've already moved on to the next thing?

Saving Kurt Angle from a broken arm against Daniel Puder:

Daniel Rottenmeier I think was the guy who ended up being the last one left. and for his efforts, he got to have an impromptu amateur wrestling match with Kurt Angle. And that was what was supposed to happen. So I'm in the ring with Charles Robinson, Al Snow, who is the tough enough coach and leader and so they did their little thing and Kurt Angle made short work of Dan and that was done and over with and we thought the segment was done well Kurt walks over and looks over at the rest of the guys down there anybody else want to challenge the Olympic gold medalist and Daniel Puder put his hand up.

So Kurt says okay come in here, young man, and I looked at Charles and he looked at me. Then I looked back I looked back Al, he look at me and he gave me that look like Kurt's gonna do what Kurt's gonna do like what am I supposed to do? So, they started and they went into it, and Gerald Brisco says, like, Jimmy, what have you done? I'm like, don't look at me I didn't call this! So, I'm not an MMA expert, but I kind of got the feeling that once he got him in that that Kimura Lock I went, oh this is not good, because if Kurt can't get out of this, he'd rather lose his arm. I'm looking at Al Snow and now he's got this look on his face like, Oh no. So, in my mind I'm thinking how do we get out of this without embarrassing your Olympic gold medalist. So when they fell down and Kurt landed on top. It was just instinctive reaction, I said, the heck with it I'm counting, and I was gonna count three regardless. And you know, of course, looking back thinking it was an amateur contest I could have just did one.

But I'm in a professional wrestling ring and that's how my brain went. So I counted three despite the fact that Puder rolled his shoulder after two. I counted three the match was over Kurt got face to face with him cut a promo on him in the ring which I can't repeat here. I'll give Puder credit because while he was getting chewed out he was going yes sir, yes sir. Then he said get out of my ring and he got out and I didn't know what to expect, walking to the back so I walked to the back and I didn't want to be around. So as I walked through the gorilla position I saw Gerry Brisco there and he didn't say anything, he just looked at me and he just gave me a like a quiet little thumbs up"

If a referee should have personality or character after Aubrey Edwards comments:

For me it's more along the lines of, if you are written into a story like I have been in the past that's fine, and you can show a little bit of personality a little bit of character but to do that on a weekly basis and be a distraction. I don't think that's proper, it's different if you it's part of the story. You're written like like Earl was written into sorry, when Charles became little naitch and that sort of stuff, I'm okay with that. It's part of the storytelling process, but to say hey I'm this character, you know what, I hate to say it but nobody's paying money to come see the person in the black and white stripes. Anybody who wants to come see me in black and white stripes got comp tickets because they're part of my family.

While you're here at Wrestling News World, why not become one of our Premium Members for exclusive backstage news? You can even start off with a 30 day free trial!

Related Articles