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The Learning Curve

Posted by Admin on October 7, 2008

The Learning Curve
Luke Roberts coaches Eric Davis on the referee’s way of life

By Kari Williams
Since Lethal Wrestling Alliance (LWA) referee Eric Davis stepped between the ropes in July 2005, he credits one man with giving him the experience necessary to officiate matches – LWA President Luke Roberts.

“Luke plays agent for me a lot of times as well as being a mentor. His backing along with an inside friend or two help me get my foot in the door… but we all know that it was the booker’s respect for Luke and his talent… that got me my tryout. He is like my big brother out there at shows, granted a considerably older brother, but brother nonetheless,” Davis said.

Davis never received any official training for his position, but he did gain on the job experience.

“[I] worked on many a show with no real knowledge of what was going on until Luke Roberts took me under his wing. I owe a lot to Luke, he is the reason I have been able to get where I am today,” Davis said.

Roberts first met the young ref while training Kurt Styles just over two years ago. Together, the two men spent “a great deal of time discussing the skills necessary to be a referee.”

“I feel honored to be his mentor. Eric is always looking for ways to be a better referee. There have been many times that he has asked me for advice both inside and outside of the ring. He always wants to give 100 percent,” Roberts said.

Once, while watching a WWE Pay-per-view, Roberts, Davis, Styles and Scott Murphy ended up discussing “what good referees should be able to do on a nightly basis.”

“Having been a former wrestler, I know the importance of things like spatial awareness in the ring, knowing when to step in and keep out of situations [and] speed of counts. There have been several of times where we would referee an event, only to watch it later that evening and see what he could improve,” Roberts said.

These two men knew each other prior to Davis entering the business, which Davis did so for the same reason as many others – he was a fan.

“I always wanted to be in the business after watching as a kid, and I knew a few friends that were training so that was my in into the business. And I became a ref due to the fact that I already had physical issues and knew that my back wouldn’t take all the damage too well at all,” Davis said.

In one match with Rampage Chamionship Wrestilng (RCW) Davis felt that he was put in physical-danger.

“It was Blade and Searcher v. Matt Taylor and Marcus Mansfield. Well, after the match Blade and Searcher weren’t happy with the outcome and attacked me. Searcher chokeslamed me; [then] Blade hit a neckbreaker to the knee and for some reason Mansfield bodyslammed me. I think anytime that a wrestler puts his hands on a ref it’s dangerous,” Davis said.

Nonetheless, he loves what he does, and knows that in matches the best referess are the ones you do not see unless you are supposed to.

One Response to “The Learning Curve”

  1. Dedwyre said

    The best referees are indeed the ones you don’t notice unless you’re supposed to. There’s sort of a catch-22 to that, though, because when referees aren’t noticed, it keeps them from getting the appreciation they deserve. There’s always three parts to a match, and in a number of cases, the referee is the part that keeps it going smoothly.

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