Earl Hebner is a name synonymous with wrestling after spending over thirty years as a referee, now he says a new member of the Hebner family is joining what for them is a family business.
Hebner refereed for Jim Crockett Promotions throughout the early to mid-eighties. He was the official at the 1985 Starrcade brawl between Tully Blanchard and Magnum TA. His notoriety grew when he arrived in the World Wrestling Federation where his twin brother Dave had been an official for some time.
Earl’s arrival prompted one of the most famous storyline screwjob finishes in wrestling when ‘evil’ Earl took Dave’s place in the WWF Title match between Hulk Hogan and André The Giant at The Main Event in February 1988. Despite Hogan’s shoulders being off the canvas, Earl Hebner counted to three when André pinned him. This led to the French giant selling the WWF Title to the brains behind the whole operation, The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase.
Less than a decade later Earl Hebner was again at the centre of controversy over the finish of a match but this one was tinged with a lot more real-life ill-feeling. Hebner was the man who called for the bell with Bret Hart locked in his own Sharpshooter at the hands of Shawn Michaels at the 1997 Survivor Series. After playing his part in the Montreal Screwjob, Hebner fled the scene.
Hebner’s son Brian has also been part of the wrestling business for many years. The junior Hebner spent many years as a referee in WWE where he also showcased his beatbox skills. More recently he has appeared for IMPACT Wrestling officiating matches for that promotion.
With a brother and son in the business, it won’t have been a stretch to imagine that Hebner’s own daughter Katie would soon want to become part of the pro wrestling world. Speaking during a Q&A session with Pro Wrestling Junkies, Hebner revealed his daughter is training for the ring and named the ground-breaking female star he hopes she can emulate.
“I wanted my son in the business, I don’t want my daughter in the business [laughs]. She’s at AEW training with Cody and Cody is giving her so much help, it’s unreal. Hopefully, she can be the next Gail Kim.”
As well as starring for All Elite Wrestling, Cody Rhodes owns and operated The Nightmare Factory wrestling school in Atlanta with now on-screen rival QT Marshall. Several of their students have appeared on AEW television with several trainees recently accompanying Rhodes to the ring for his weigh-in with Anthony Ogogo.