photo credit Mike Mastrandrea
Legendary WWE referee and longtime WWE road agent Dave Hebner has passed away at the age of 73.
The official Twitter account for the “Refin’ It Up” podcast hosted by Dave’s nephew, referee Brian Hebner, made the announcement on Twitter this evening.
“RIP Dave Hebner,” the account tweeted. “Gone but never forgotten. Always loved”
Slam Wrestling reports that Dave passed away around noon earlier today, at his home in Mechanicsville, Virginia.
Dave had battled Parkinson’s Disease, which was known in recent years. His condition was revealed in late May after Hermie Sadler visited Hebner at home, as seen in the tweet below.
Dave and brother Earl Hebner began working in the 1970s for the NWA and its affiliates. Dave ended up signing with WWE while Earl moved on to Jim Crockett Promotions. Dave and Earl were later involved in one of WWE’s biggest angles of the 1980s as Earl officiated the WWE Main Event match between WWE Hall of Famers Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant in February 1988, which was the first live pro wrestling special on broadcast TV in decades. When Earl counted the pin and declared Andre the new champion, despite Hogan having his shoulder up, it led to WWE Hall of Famer Ted DiBiase buying the title off Andre that night. The storyline was that Dave was supposed to be calling the match that night, but he was prevented from doing so and secretly replaced by Earl, who was in The Million Dollar Man’s pocket. This brought on a big reaction as the general public wasn’t aware of The Hebners being twins.
Dave ended up dealing with knee issues, and had to retire following knee replacement surgery. He moved into a behind-the-scenes role with WWE, and worked as a producer/road agent through July 2005 when he was released. The Hebners went on to work for TNA/Impact Wrestling, and Dave had talked about being depressed for a long time over how he lost his job with WWE. When Earl was caught allegedly selling bootleg WWE merchandise, both of the brothers lost their jobs.
Dave was married to his wife Rebecca for several decades. They met as teenagers and tied the knot on September 20, 1968. Dave and Rebecca had two daughters, Christina and Becky.