Former WWE referee Drake Wuertz has announced his retirement from wrestling.
Wuertz initially joined WWE in 2013 after winding down his own time in the ring. Wuertz had performed with CZW and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla during a 10 year career. During that time he shared the ring with the likes of Adam Cole, Tommaso Ciampa, Kyle O’Reilly and Brian Cage. After his spell in CZW, Wuertz (who wrestled as Drake Younger) was inducted into their Hall Of Fame in 2016.
Wuertz was suspended by WWE in early 2021 and whilst the reason was not published, Wuertz had courted controversy online for political affiliations and his views on mask wearing during the global pandemic. He was eventually released by the company in May 2021.
Controversial Former WWE Referee Announces Retirement
A brief return to the ring followed, alongside an unsuccessful run for the Florida House Of Representatives, but now the man who refereed Ronda Rousey & Kurt Angle vs Triple H & Stephanie McMahon at WrestleMania 34 is set to take his life on a different path.
Announcing his retirement on his Instagram page, he stated:
For those in the pro wrestling space you may have heard that my 21 year in ring wrestling career has come to an end.
We in this profession all know that the ride we all want can end at any moment due to the physical punishment required for the job. It certainly does not make it sting any less when that day actually comes.
I’ve been blessed with an INCREDIBLE on camera career in our business.
-From my first $5 payday in 2002 at the Evansville Coliseum (plus a hamburger).
-to headlining Korakeun Hall in Japan while legitimizing American Deathmatch Fighting…
-to standing in the ring in front of 80,000 people at WrestleMania about to ref the main event match for the boss that changed my life while being trusted by Mr. McMahon to make sure his Daughter stays safe in the match.
-to proving the doubters wrong by showing I’m one of the best while giving back to the next generation.
The ride has been amazing!
However it is well past time to start putting my family first. Wrestling has come above everything for half my life. I’m blessed with a beautiful wife, 3 kids, and twin boys on the way.
Breaking my back was a blessing in disguise and the slow down I personally needed.
I’ve caused a lot of damage at home and there are some steps I need to take to better myself for my family.
Thank you to fans across the globe for the love.