To adapt the famous catch-phrase of Maple Leaf Wrestling announcer Billy Red Lyons, “Fans, dontcha dare miss the wrestling debut of Jimmy Korderas on Sunday!”
It’s appropriate, since Korderas, the former WWE referee, broke in through the Toronto wrestling office all those years ago.
But, in an interview on Thursday morning, he warned that it may not be the start of a whole new line of work.
“I don’t want to give it away, but at my advanced age, this is probably most likely a one-time deal,” Korderas said.
Korderas’ debut as a wrestler takes place at a Smash Wrestling show at The E-Zone in Toronto’s west end on Sunday afternoon; the SummerSlam pay-per-view follows the card. He teams with “Rocksteady” Alex Vega to face “All-Starter” Brent Banks, who lost it at the last card and manhandled the referee, setting up this match.
Smash Wrestling posted a video of Korderas training with Vega (see below), but Korderas admits he has done more than count 1-2-3 in the ring before.
“There’s been a lot of times I’ve been in a ring messing around before a show,” said the veteran referee.
But, he noted, there’s a difference between a ref bump and a wrestler bump.
“The way I thought of it, a referee shouldn’t bump like a wrestler. It should look different,” he said. “It should look like somebody who’s not trained to take bumps — it should look awkward and hopefully safe at the same time; you don’t want to get hurt.”
Fair warning about expectations on Sunday: “It’s you’re expecting Steamboat-Savage, you’re not getting it. I’m going to try to entertain, but in a different way.”
The new skill will be added to Korderas’ growing repertoire. Since leaving WWE, he has been a co-host of the Aftermath segments on The Score / Sportsnet 360, talking about WWE programming; he has studied broadcasting; he has published an autobiography, The Three Count; and, in the wrestling world, he is a heel manager in one promotion while still called upon to referee here and there.
“It’s fun and it’s challenging, because it’s something that’s completely different. I really enjoy going around and checking out the independent scene, but now, being a little bit involved, it’s a little bit of a release for me. It’s fun. … It scratches that itch, so to speak, because, like they say in this business, once it’s in your blood it never leaves, which is absolutely true.”
JIM KORDERAS STORIES
- March 29, 2013: One, two, three! WWE ref Korderas’ book hits shelves
- March 26, 2010: Korderas offers advice on reffing, Mania
- July 2, 2001: Toronto’s Jim Korderas on life in a striped shirt