WWE News

Famed WWE Referee Dave Hebner Passes Away Aged 73

Dave Hebner

Former WWE referee and longtime official Dave Hebner has passed away at the age of 73.

The news of Dave Hebner’s passing on July 17th was announced on social media by his nephew, Brian Hebner. The famed referee and road agent had been living with Parkinson’s Disease for several years. He died at his home in Mechanicsville, Virginia.

Dave Hebner began his career in pro wrestling as a referee in the 1970s in his home state of Virginia. He began working for the then-WWF in the 1980s and was part of marquee matches including Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat at WrestleMania 3 and Randy Savage vs. Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania V.

One of the most memorable storylines of his career came in 1988. On February 5th that year, he was scheduled to officiate the WWF Championship bout between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant. However, before the match, he was locked in a closet and his twin brother, Earl Hebner, who was on the payroll of Ted DiBiase, took his place in the match and helped Andre on his way to capturing the title.

Dave Hebner continued as a referee until a knee replacement surgery forced him to hang up his black and white shirt. Hebner then moved into a role as a road agent for WWF and stayed in that position until he was released from the company in 2005.

Hebner went on to work in TNA for several years and later joined the independent MMWA wrestling promotion where he acted as manager for the Lumberjacks from 2012 until 2022.

Inside The Ropes sends our deepest condolences to the friends and family of Dave Hebner during this difficult time.