WWE announced on Sunday that longtime referee Tim White had passed away at the age of 68. “Tim White worked hard for WWE as a referee and official for more than 20 years,” WWE said. White started his distinguished career in 1985, when he was a referee and worked with Andre the Giant.
What Happened to WWE Star Tim White?
Retired WWE referee Tim White played a depressed character in an emotional angle after suffering a career-ending shoulder injury. His depression was so severe that he made 5,672 suicide attempts. Shotgun, rat poison, noose, toaster, bathtub, and more were among the many methods he attempted.
Career in Professional Wrestling
During his time as André the Giant’s agent, White began officiating matches on the side in 1985. After Andre’s death in 1993, White began working as a referee full-time for WWF events and pay-per-views.
At King of the Ring on June 28, 1998, White was the referee for the famous Hell in a Cell match between Mankind and The Undertaker.
When Mankind crashed through the roof of the cell and landed heavily in the ring, referee White almost called off the match out of concern that Mick Foley had suffered a serious injury and needed immediate medical attention. The two continued to wrestle in what would become one of wrestling’s most iconic moments.
White hurt his shoulder at Judgment Day in 2002 during a Hell in a Cell match between Triple H and Chris Jericho. At WrestleMania XX in 2004, White came back to referee the match between Chris Jericho and Christian. During the last three counts of the match, he hurt his shoulder again, which ended his career as a referee.
2 of the great referees are sadly no longer with us.
RIP Dave Henber & Tim White pic.twitter.com/AerLp2dewi
— Tweet_Wrestling (@Tweet_Wrestling) June 19, 2022
The Lunchtime Suicides Series
The Armageddon pay-per-view that aired on December 18, 2005, featured a controversial appearance by White. SmackDown! correspondent Josh Mathews visited White at his bar, the Friendly Tap in Cumberland, Rhode Island, to talk to a “depressed” White for a segment.
He was shown consuming large quantities of alcohol and lamenting the fact that the aforementioned Hell in a Cell match had “ruined his life.” He then removed a shotgun from under the bar and fired it, off-screen, apparently with suicidal intentions. Due in part to Eddie Guerrero’s untimely death, this sketch was widely reviled.
It was revealed that White had accidentally shot his foot during the “ordeal” on January 6, 2006. In response to Mathews’ question about his plans for the new year, he gulped down a box of rat poison and collapsed in his chair.
The post-segment footage, which included White and the producers joking around and using some mildly foul language, was leaked onto the internet a few days earlier. White attempted suicide by hanging himself during an interview with Mathews on January 15, 2006. The rope snapped.
In the weeks that followed, WWE’s official website regularly updated with a new video depicting Mathews interviewing White as he prepared to commit suicide in a variety of ways.
This feature, dubbed “Lunchtime Suicide,” began airing regularly on WWE’s website on Thursdays during lunch. Broadcasting over a dozen sketches, all of which were widely panned as insensitive and tasteless, was a huge mistake.
WWE.com posted a video of White on April 6, 2006, in which he did not attempt suicide. In fact, he told Mathews about a party he was throwing the following week at the Friendly Tap. Mathews went to the party the following week, where he was shot by White.
On January 9, 2009, after 24 years with WWE, White was released.
At events such as autograph signings and public appearances, White acted as security for WWE superstars.
White gave multiple interviews for the HBO documentary André the Giant, which premiered on April 10, 2018. Additionally, in June of 2021, he was featured on WWE’s Most Wanted Treasures.
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