Professional wrestling fans around the world are mourning the death of longtime referee, Dave Hebner.
Fellow referee Brian Hebner, Hebner’s nephew, tweeted that his uncle had passed away on Friday at the age of 73.
RIP Dave Hebner
Gone but never forgotten
Always loved pic.twitter.com/jW4GxoGAdG
— Refin’ It Up w/ Brian Hebner (@RefinItUp) June 17, 2022
Joseph Currier of F4wonline.com noted that “Hebner had been battling serious health issues in recent years, including dementia and Parkinson’s disease.”
Former NASCAR driver Hermie Sadler had recently visited with Hebner and asked everyone to send “some positive vibes” to the Hebner family.
I’ve said many times that friendships and relationships are very important to me. Took the time today to go visit Dave Hebner. The Hebner family is so special to my family. Join me in sending some positive vibes his way !! @BrianRDJames @WWEArmstrong @RealJeffJarrett @WWE pic.twitter.com/G8SHrs9jqa
— Hermie Sadler (@HermieSadler) May 28, 2022
Hebner began working for the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE) in the 1980s. In 1988, he and his Twin brother Earl were a part of one of the most famous angles in wrestling history when Earl was revealed as Dave’s Evil Twin after costing Hulk Hogan the World Wrestling Federation title on an episode of WWF The Main Event, which aired on February 5 of that year.
RIP Dave Hebner
"How can there be two Dave Hebners?" pic.twitter.com/GIdZPYXVvf
— On This Day in WWE (@OTD_in_WWE) June 17, 2022
RIP Dave Hebner. Being at the center of one of the biggest angles of all time, in front of 33 million on NBC, is a hell of an accomplishment for a referee. pic.twitter.com/6EZDEmacaP
— A.J. Leatherman (@AJLeatherman) June 17, 2022
That event was also the most-watched in wrestling history, as it drew (per cagematch.net) a record-shattering 15.2 rating.
Many wrestlers and others in the wrestling world sent their condolences to Hebner and his loved ones after news of his passing broke.
I'm sad to learn of Dave Hebner's passing. He & his brother Earl are two of the nicest people I've ever crossed paths with in Pro Wrestling. #RIPDaveHebner
— Sean Waltman (@TheRealXPac) June 17, 2022
RIP Dave Hebner, you were always kind to me. All my best to the Hebner family. ❤️
— Hurricane Helms (@ShaneHelmsCom) June 17, 2022
— Charles Robinson (@WWERobinson) June 17, 2022
R.I.P Dave Hebner
Inside The Ropes would like to wish our deepest condolences to the family of the WWF Legend.
— Inside The Ropes (@Inside_TheRopes) June 17, 2022
Damn, so sad to hear about Dave Hebner. Probably the best referee of all time and most watched referee of all time. He was involved in the aftermath of the Hulk – Andre "Main Event" match that did more viewers than any other in U.S. history
— Raj Giri (@TheRajGiri) June 17, 2022
One of the most iconic wrestling angles from the 80’s.
RIP Dave Hebner. pic.twitter.com/v3Mv2BmtmW
— Doug Rush (@TheDougRush) June 17, 2022
Rest In Peace Dave Hebner 🙏
Although I told you every time I saw you I still can’t thank you enough for all that you have done for my family & I. I wouldn’t be where I am today without you. Thank you, for everything.
I love you Dave ❤️ pic.twitter.com/LiNyFbrjG0
— Chip (@WWEChipDanning) June 17, 2022
Sad to hear Dave Hebner, the twin brother of referee Earl Hebner and longtime referee and road agent, has sadly passed away
— For the Love of Wrestling (@ftlowrestling) June 17, 2022
Sad news about Dave Hebner been friends since 1970 when he and baby Earl were setting up the ring. Had much respect for the Hebner’s. They were part of the company biggest angle both are deserving to @WWE HOF. RipHeb
— Gerald BRISCO 🤼♂️ (@Fgbrisco) June 17, 2022
Hebner worked with WWE until 2005, when he was released. He later worked with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (now IMPACT Wrestling) and more recently with MMWA Wrestling.