Referee Marty Elias on advice Shawn Michaels gave him, misconceptions of being a referee

wrestlingringPancakes and Powerslams Podcast with referee Marty Elias
Host: Chris Featherstone
Interview available at

Misperceptions of a referee: “I think most people perceive a referee as some guy that puts on a stripe shirt and counts 1,2,3. It’s a lot more detailed than that. That’s the stigma, unfortunately, that referees have. [They think], ‘He’s just a referee.’ We’re not [just] referees. We’re more than that.”

On the importance of a crowd during a match: “The crowd is very important. The crowd can dictate where the match is gonna go, because a lot of the old school guys, they call it in the ring. More times than not, they would have a finish, and everything else was about feel. For me personally, I’m able to gauge a crowd. One of the most important things that Shawn Michaels told me as a referee was to know the audience, because if you have somebody sitting in the front row, and their sitting back in their chair and leaning, that means you don’t have them. But if they’re leaning forward, and their really looking in it, that means you’ve got em.”

On the distinction between working with a face and working with a heel: “For example, let’s say a heel has a babyface in the corner. And, more times than not, referees start their count. You’re killing that heel’s heat because you’re not giving him time, and you’re not giving the fans enough time to absorb what he’s doing. So when you’re giving that fast count, you’re not giving the heels enough time to communicate with the audience.”

His favorite match he refereed: “Shawn Michaels-Undertaker, WrestleMania XXV. Match of the Year, 2009.”



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