Widely known to wrestlers and wrestling fans alike as "Ref Randy," Randy Ebright is a fixture within the independent wrestling scene of the Midwestern United States. Trained by Ox Baker Jr., Ref Randy has been in the ring with a wide array of greats since getting into the business, including current IMPACT Wrestling star Moose, WCW and WWE favorite Buff Bagwell, and TNA staple Shark Boy.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Ref Randy by phone on February 17, 2020 about how he got into the wrestling business, the in's and out's of refereeing on the indie scene, working with wrestling greats, Indiana's wrestling scene, taking bumps and more. The full interview is embedded below for your listening pleasure, while part of the chat has been transcribed exclusively for Sportskeeda.
Ultimately this interview is a "must listen" not only for someone interested in working as a referee within professional wrestling, but also for anyone who wants to hear how it's never too late to start pursuing a dream. As you'll hear directly from Ref Randy, one chance meeting led him into this new career path.
For those people looking to see Ref Randy in action, he has plenty of upcoming appearances confirmed for the next few months including the following dates:
- March 7, 2020 - Revolution Championship Wrestling Presents Never Back Down - South Bend, Indiana
- March 20, 2020 - PWK Presents Niles Burn Run - Niles, Michigan
- March 21, 2020 - EHF Entertainment - South Bend, Indiana
- April 4, 2020 - Rocket Pro Wrestling - Joliet, Indiana
- April 11, 2020 - FWF Wrestling - Warsaw, Indiana
- April 18, 2020 - Revolution Championship Wrestling Wrestling - South Bend, Indiana
- May 4, 2020 - Rocket Pro Wrestling - Joliet, Indiana
On how he broke into the wrestling business as a referee:
Ref Randy: [I was] a lifelong fan. I started watching wrestling back in the 60s and I live in Island Park [Long Island, New York] and it used to be on a Spanish station, a UHF station, on Saturday mornings. So I've been watching it all my life.
When I was in the Navy in the 70s, my roommate used to do the brochures that they used at the Cow Palace out in California, so he and I started going to some shows and met some WWE guys then. I moved to the Carolinas, the mecca of wrestling, and then up into the midwest. My youngest daughter was dating a fella and she goes, "You may know his dad". It turned out that his dad was a wrestler, Ox Baker.
We [Ox Baker Jr. and I] went out for lunch for lunch one day and we were talking. I was probably very much a fan (laughs). He goes, "Did you ever think of getting into it?" I'm like, "I'm too old to be a wrestler, I'm really not an athlete". He goes, "Well how about refereeing?" I said, "Are you serious?" He was actually training some guys and he goes, "Well why don't you come out and start training with them?"
So I really fell into it just because of a relationship my daughter had with a young man, and getting to meet his dad and getting an invitation into the business -- so it was really cool.