Disgraced NBA referee Tim Donaghy is making his return to officiating, but it won’t be basketball games.
Instead, the 53-year-old former official has agreed to appear as a referee for the Major League Wrestling promotion.
“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, per Sports Illustrated. “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.”
Donaghy last officiated in the NBA in 2007 before he was exposed as a central figure in a gambling scandal in which he helped fix games. He was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison in July 2008 after pleading guilty to two federal charges related to gambling.
According to SI, MLW’s plan is to introduce Donaghy in a storyline in which he is the personal referee for the wrestling league’s emerging star, Richard Holliday, in an upcoming slate of matches.
Donaghy, whose scandal is revisited in the “Whistleblower” podcast on RADIO.COM, hopes that his pro wrestling debut could open up new opportunities for him.
“If there is a good response, who knows where it can go from here?” Donaghy said. “I’m willing to do whatever I an to make the show entertaining and fun for everyone watching, and I’m excited to be a part of it.”
The new episodes of MLW are set to air in November on the Fubo Sports Network, beInsports and on-demand through DAZN.