WWE is known for making some strange production choices. They’ve been mocked by fans for their list of banned words. They’ve faced controversy over ethically suspect international events. Former talents have even accused the company of rigging crowd reactions.
Another interesting quirk about WWE production has now surfaced. To make their athletes look even bigger, WWE is trying to recruit shorter referees. This is also the reason why the company hires shorter interviewers, such as Kayla Braxton. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter dropped the tidbit in this week’s issue.
“In another way to make talent look taller, there is a directive to hire shorter referees.”
The creative production decisions include the dramatic overhaul of NXT. During the pandemic, WWE created ThunderDome in lieu of live crowds. Fans were able to virtually “attend” WWE television events through their webcam. While it was an interesting idea, the company clearly prefers live events.
The news comes with interesting timing. Last night’s Dark Side of the Ring featured the story of the WWF steroid trials from 1993. At the time, the movement to smaller, more athletic wrestlers and a steroid testing policy were part of the company’s response to public demand for the end of the anabolic era. Now, with a full wellness policy in place, the company is looking for creative ways to make wrestlers seem larger again.
It seems like one of those ideas that only Vince McMahon himself could come up with. The attention to detail is certainly admirable, but also reeks of micromanagement. It could also only be a matter of time before this new mandate turns into a discrimination lawsuit.
What’s your take on this story? Sound off in the comments!