WWE have released a statement paying tribute to David Hebner after the former referee passed away on June 17th.
The sad news of Hebner’s passing was broken by his nephew Brian on social media. The famed referee and road agent had been living with Parkinson’s Disease for several years. He died at his home in Mechanicsville, Virginia.
WWE have now paid tribute to the long-serving official with a statement posted on their website.
“WWE is saddened to learn that long-time referee David Hebner has passed away.
Throughout a storied career, Hebner found himself at the center of some of WWE’s most iconic moments. Hebner officiated the classic showdown between Randy Savage and Ricky Steamboat at WrestleMania III, and the clash between Savage and Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania V.
Hebner and his brother Earl helped author one of the most memorable moments in WWE history when Andre The Giant and Hogan met on WWE Main Event for the WWE Title in 1988. With Dave locked in a closet, Earl and “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase laid a trap for The Hulkster. As Dave joined Earl in the ring, he had the befuddled Hogan seeing double in disbelief.
Following the conclusion of his impressive officiating career, Hebner would work for WWE in a backstage capacity until 2005.
WWE extends its condolences to Hebner’s family, friends and fans.”
David’s brother Earl also shared his own tribute, writing that he was saying goodbye to his other half, promising to never count him out.
Yesterday I had to say my last goodbye to my other half, my partner in crime, my road buddy for years, my brother for 73 years. I love you David, I'll never count you out. pic.twitter.com/VBj1DrJlI1
— Earl Hebner (@earlhebner17) June 18, 2022
David 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.