Long-time WWE referee, Charles Robinson revealed his thoughts on refereeing the final ever episode of Monday Nitro on Corey Graves’s After The Bell podcast.
On how he felt that fateful day, Robinson revealed:
“That was a sad day in Panama Beach, I show up thinking everything’s great. I know WCW’s great. I knew that they were struggling because our houses were way down, but there was talk of Eric Bischoff buying the company, and so that’s what I thought we were going to do. We’re going to be WCW. We’re going to carry on under Bischoff’s reign, and we show up.”
The last Nitro took place on March 26, 2001 and Robinson expressed his surprise at seeing WWE staff members backstage in Panama Beach:
“And there’s Shane McMahon, and [Bruce] Prichard, and [Gerald] Brisco and all these other guys. It was sad because no one knew if they had a job the next day. They said, ‘Hey, everybody’s good,’ but they don’t need a whole roster of referees and wrestlers to come over to the WWE. It’s just not needed, and we did that show. We cried. I did the last match, which was Flair vs. Sting, which was so historical. So lucky to be able to do that.”
Sting defeated Ric Flair in that final Nitro match, with Charles Robinson front and centre as the referee. However, despite WWE purchasing the company and contracts for many of its staff and talent, Robinson did not join WWE immediately.
The 56-year-old explained:
“I went home, and that was in April, I believe. I went home, and I got a manual labour job. I was digging ditches and digging holes for posts to build decks with because I didn’t know where my next pay cheque was coming from. I had bills to pay. I had a new wife. So I had to make sure that things were taken care of, and WWE called me up the last week of June. And they said, ‘We want you to be in Tacoma, WA on July the 2nd to start up with us,’ and the only reason I remember that date is because that’s my birthday. So it was a great, great birthday present.”
You can listen to the full podcast here.
h/t to Wrestling Inc. for transcription