Referee Odie Brown talks about meeting Vince McMahon; being in a WWE Braun Strowman-Kevin Owens segment and the life of a wrestling referee (Exclusive)
The wrestling business is known for being one which sees fascinating individuals collecting together to put on a show to entertain fans. One of the roles in wrestling that often goes overlooked is that of the referee.
Referee Robert Odie Brown is one of the Independent performers who has made a name for himself as a referee. In the past 5 years and more, Odie Brown has taken the wrestling world by storm. He has been an extra in a WWE segment where Kevin Owens' car was famously destroyed by Braun Strowman, met and talked to the WWE Chairman himself, Vince McMahon.
I had the chance to catch up with him recently and asked him a few questions about his time as a referee and his WWE cameos.
However, let's begin at the absolute beginning.
Talking about how he began in wrestling, it was not quite the orthodox manner known to most professionals.
"I kind of came into wrestling almost by accident. I was at a show that a friend of mine was working on and there was no referee there and I kind of made a little joke to the promoter that “Oh, what happened, did you lose your referee?” He was a little frustrated so he balled up the referee’s shirt and threw it at me, and he was like “If you are so smart, go do it.” So I gave it a shot and I liked it."
He went on to admit that he had never seen himself as a referee when he was younger.
"No, not even once. When I was a little kid, I was interested in wrestling but I decided that it wasn’t really for me and I didn’t want to risk my body the way a lot of the guys do. So you know, I kind of just said goodbye to it. I figured, what the heck, I could at least give this a try and everybody enjoyed it and over time, they kept telling me that I was pretty good at it. Another California referee named Sparkey Ballard who told me about a school that I should check out so that I could get properly trained, so I did that. "
Odie Brown, much like most wrestling fans, grew up a fan and there were some wrestlers whom he idolized. He also mentioned how CM Punk helped him to get back into the business.
"I think my tastes have changed a lot since I was a kid. I think a lot of us really liked Jeff Hardy or Dudley Boyz. I was really, really obsessed with the Tag Team TLC and all six of the guys. Since I actually got involved, since I started watching as an adult, because like so many people I took a pretty long break, I got into wrestling because of CM Punk. He really kind of changed everything in wrestling at that time and made a lot of people take another look and go ‘Hey, this stuff is getting really good again. Maybe it’s worth watching.’ The documentary WWE made on him was a really big influence on me while going to school and learning to do everything properly."
Read on to know more!