Infamous former NBA referee Tim Donaghy, who was involved in a gambling scandal during his time as an official, will be making his return to officiating. According to Sports Illustrated, Donaghy is set to appear as a referee for Major League Wrestling for an upcoming storyline.
"Pro wrestling is entertainment, and I always joked the NBA was a form of entertainment and I compared it a little bit to pro wrestling behind the scenes," Donaghy said. "When I was growing up, I always enjoyed pro wrestling, guys like Hulk Hogan and Ivan Putski. I thought it would be fun to get involved and see where it goes."
According to the report, Donaghy is expected to be involved in a storyline in which he serves as the personal referee for Richard Holliday for multiple upcoming matches. Holliday is one of the promotion's biggest stars and MLW is set to return in early November after recently beginning taping matches again due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It's unclear how long Donaghy's appearances with MLW will last, but it could be extended if the response to his storyline is a positive one.
"If there is a good response, who knows where it can go from here," Donaghy added. "I'm willing to do whatever I can to make the show entertaining and fun for everyone watching, and I'm excited to be a part of it."
Donaghy was an NBA official for 13 seasons from 1994 until 2007 before resigning as an official in July 2007. He was involved in a gambling ring in which he was betting on games that he officiated and had a hand in deciding the outcomes. Donaghy ended up serving 15 months in prison as a result of the scandal and the NBA has distanced themselves from him ever since.
Given his past, Donaghy isn't exactly an upstanding official, but that's not really required in the world of professional wrestling. After all, many high-profile wrestlers have had their own personal referees over the years.
Charles Robinson, also known as "Little Naitch," served as the personal referee for Ric Flair during his World Championship Wrestling days. In addition, Robinson was the personal referee for the "Four Horsemen" stable that included Arn Anderson, Ole Anderson, Tully Blanchard, and Flair.
While Donaghy isn't exactly officiating anything of huge importance, it's still going to be quite interesting to see him put back on a striped uniform for the first time in 13 years.