There Is No Way The Referee Didn’t Know the Finish To Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar

Justin LaBar

Undertaker vs Brock LesnarI write a wrestling column every Monday and Friday for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. It can be found online at TribLIVE.com.

There were reports claiming referee Chad Patton didn't know the finish to The Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. I don't believe this and it was the focus on my column today. The following is an excerpt:

WWE is trying to sell the story of referee Chad Patton not knowing what the finish was going to be to The Undertaker versus Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 30.

I smell a work in the form of a juicy headline. I think it's all an effort to enhance the legend of this historic moment.

The Undertaker lost and his undefeated WrestleMania streak was over. The shock on the face of fans was visual paradise for Vince McMahon and executive producer Kevin Dunn. Wrestling is all about emotions, and WWE television loves to capture reactions from the fans in the audience. There was no shortage of that with this surprising loss.

This story of the referee not being smartened up sounds like a piece of fiction WWE purposely leaked.

The Wrestling Observer Newsletter is the source of saying Patton was originally told The Undertaker would win this match. The Newsletter then added to its report and said many inside WWE believe Patton was tipped off somewhere in the match that The Undertaker was going to lose.

I refuse to believe anything on the first report. The second report is possible, but still ridiculous on WWE's part if it's true. I can't fathom the company playing such communication games with such a major spot on the biggest show ever.

Let me clarify what I'm saying: I think The Wrestling Observer Newsletter is saying what it is honestly finding out. I don't think it is throwing darts on the wall and making up stuff knowingly. However, I do think what it is honestly finding out isn't honest from its sources.

I think WWE realized it could add layers to this shock value if news broke that not even one of the three men in the ring knew what was going to happen.

One thing that is for sure that the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported is WWE has given referees a fair amount of power over the years. The power to enforce the “rules” of professional wrestling. Meaning that if a guy actually doesn't break the five-count rule when a submission should be broken, then disqualify him.

This actually has happened in the past when the referees were told to stand up for themselves and the rules. They've been told not to let the guys run wild on them unless it's a noted angle for the match or storyline. Referees have done this. From the stories I've heard first-hand, it's never been on a big stage, but back when WWE had its version of ECW airing on Syfy, it was a situation that came up.

The wrestlers weren't happy with the referees if they followed through with this power, but it was what management wanted.

Taking all of this into account, what benefit is there for WWE to not tell the referee the shocking finish in one of the biggest matches in company history?

So the referee can get some legitimate entertainment? So you can avoid the finish getting leaked? So you can test and see if the referee has the courage to stand up for the rules as they're all told to do? None of this makes sense.

WWE does tell referees and referees will tell young referees they are training that a certain amount of responsibility goes to the wrestlers. If wrestler A is supposed to win the match, but in the match he gets pinned by wrestler B, it's wrestler A's job to make sure he kicks out.

It's not the referee's job to do a balk and stop counting as his hand is getting close to the mat for three. It's the wrestler's job to be sure he times it as well as he can or wants, but to stick with the script.

The worst case scenario that could have happened, how The Wrestling Observer COULD have been correct and the future. CLICK HERE TO READ.

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