Convicted ex-NBA referee Tim Donaghy is back in office, but this time he’s on the phone in the ring instead of the hardwood.
Donaghy made his debut in major league wrestling merger On Wednesday he played the role of the “crooked official” in a Caribbean strap match between Savio Vega and Richard Holiday.
Vega was about to secure victory when he tried to tap the last of the four ring turnbuckles, but Donaghy blocked Vega, allowing Holiday to touch the last turnbuckle and win instead.
It was the first time that 54-year-old Donaghy was on the mat.
“It got a little more physical than I expected, but it was definitely exciting. Everyone has been very helpful and professional, and I hope so‘I’m part of it again, ”said Donaghy.
“Pro wrestling is entertainment, and I’ve always joked that the NBA is a form of entertainment,” Donaghy said in an interview with Sports illustrated last fall. “When I grew up, I always loved to play wrestling, people like Hulk Hogan and Ivan Putski. I thought it would be fun to get involved and see where it goes. “
Donaghy was reigning in the NBA from 1994 to 2007 when he resigned for his involvement in a gambling ring that relied on games that Donaghy was working on.
The former arbitrator has been investigated by the FBI and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to engage in wire fraud and provide betting information on international trade, according to ESPN.
He worked with authorities and served a 15-month prison term.
In 2009, Donaghy released Personal foul: A first-person report of the scandal that rocked the NBA.
In the book, Donaghy said he “gave inside information to Wiseguys who made millions of dollars with my picks and who lined the pockets of the Mafia heavyweights.”
There’s no word yet on whether Donaghy will be a fixture in major league wrestling games now.