Sean McLaughlin

Credit to David Wilson for the photographs.

Name: Sean McLaughlin

Age*: 26

From: Glasgow, Scotland

Started training: 2013

Trained by:
Kid Fite
PBW Academy

Companies worked for:
Absolute Wrestling
All Star Scotland
British Championship Wrestling
Discovery Wrestling
Fierce Females
Glasgow Pro Wrestling Asylum
Insane Championship Wrestling
New Generation Wrestling
Premier British Wrestling
Respect Pro Wrestling
Revolution Pro Wrestling UK
Rock N Wrestle
Scottish School Of Wrestling
Scottish Wrestling Alliance
Target Wrestling
TNT Extreme Wrestling
WhatCulture Pro Wrestling
World Wide Wrestling League

What’s that I hear you say? Why when there are literally thousands of professional wrestlers to be profiled did Calling Spots go out of their way to speak to a sodding referee? Well valued reader let me ask you this, have you ever seen a wrestling match without a referee? I’m guessing probably not. Have you ever see a good match without a referee? Almost certainly not.

In all sports a referee’s role is vital but none more so than wrestling. Not just there to count to three, their job can involve a multitude of tasks from communicating information from ‘the back’ to the performers in the ring (or vice versa) to providing immediate first aid if something unexpected happens.

If a referee makes a mistake it can instantly take a fan out of the moment and ruin a match yet if a ref does his or her job well then most fans won’t even remember they were there. Being a referee in wrestling must be one of the McLaughlin being introduced to the business end of a steel chair by BT Gunn[/caption] most thankless occupations anyone could choose and I haven’t even mentioned that they might sometimes get physically involved in proceedings and have to avoid getting legitimately hurt.

With all that in mind I thought it was time to show some love to referees and when, at a recent WCPW show, I was given the opportunity to speak to one of the very best the UK has to offer I jumped at the chance.

With all that in mind I thought it was time to show some love to referees and when, at a recent WCPW show, I was given the opportunity to speak to one of the very best the UK has to offer I jumped at the chance.

Presumably like most referees, McLaughlin was a huge fan of wrestling as a child and from an early age he wanted to be a wrestling manager. When asked why he wanted to be a manager rather than a wrestler McLaughlin’s answer was straight forward “Managers likes ‘Classy’ Freddie Blassie, Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan, Paul Ellering and ‘The Mouth of the South’ Jimmy Hart captivated me from a young age. They were the reason I watched a lot of Silvervision VHS tapes. Their outlandish personas and clothes along with their ability to change the flow of a match by simply going nuts at ringside appealed to me. There was no point, in my opinion, trying to be a wrestler when I had a passion and aspirations of having an alternative role. But I still felt the proper way to achieve this was by training and learning the ways of business properly.”

So at the age of 21 he decided to stop making excuses and look into when best to train if he wanted to become a wrestling manager. Thankfully he was able to attend the PBW Academy which has produced performers like current WWE Superstar Noam Dar, ICW standouts Kay Lee Ray, Kenny Williams and Davey Blaze plus other talented up and comers the Lou King Sharp and Aaron Echo.

Originally McLaughlin trained as a wrestler so that he could safely take the bumps that go along with being a manager but soon found that he had a passion for refereeing and decided that his wrestling future was to have a stripey outlook. As there is no such thing as a “professional wrestling refereeing course” McLaughlin had to continue his grappler training while doing his own research into “the rules” and how to put them into practice. One day Eddie Roberts (a former referee) asked McLaughlin to officiate a training match and two weeks later he was refereeing Red Lightning v JD Bravo at Maybole for PBW and he hasn’t looked back since. From there referee McLaughlin (or Sean to his pals) has worked for some of the UK’s biggest promotions and earlier this year he was approached by WCPW to be part of their team of referees.

Surprising well built for a referee but also softly spoken I found Sean to be an interesting and knowledgeable guy to chat to. He shared some stories of working with his home promotion PBW, of watching Lou King Sharp be chased around by Kid Fite with a bogie and predicted who may be the next big thing to come off the seemingly endless PBW production line (his pick was Aaron Echo who I hope to produce a profile on soon).

Sean and I also spoke of the camaraderie between himself and the wrestlers, many of whom he has had to literally trust with his life, when travelling and of his love of the WWE, especially the Attitude Era. Given his fondness for wrestling from that era Sean did well to hide his excitement when we discussed the announcement that Kurt Angle will be wrestling in WCPW and wouldn’t disclose whether he knew if he was scheduled to referee Angle’s matches. Whether or not Sean is involved in either of Angle’s matches (his opponents are Cody Rhodes and Joe Hendry respectively) he is understandably proud to working with a company that has brought in one of the greatest wrestlers to ever lace up a pair of boots.

On behalf of myself and the entire Calling Spots staff I would like to wish my pal Sean good luck and all the best for the future.

Social Media:
Twitter – SeanMcRef

Dream match to referee:
The Rock & Kurt Angle. Usually I would ask someone to explain their answer but I think Sean’s choice speaks for itself.

With the announcement that Kurt Angle will be wrestling in WCPW against Cody Rhodes and Joe Hendry, Sean may get to share a ring with one of the greatest to ever lace up a pair of boots.

Random fact(s):
As a regular ICW referee Sean has been in the ring for several of Joe Hendry’s epic entrances and he told me that keeping a serious expression when they are going on is one of the hardest thing he has had to do in wrestling. Apparently keeping a straight face was particularly difficult when ‘The Local Hero’ performed a parody of The Venga Boys ‘Boom Boom Boom’ about Jack Jester. I have watched and rewatched the video on YouTube and actually think he does a remarkable job.

*as of December 2017

Written by Neil Rogers