You know, referees generally don’t get enough credit or appreciation. Sure, they get easily distracted by the heel manager/valet….well they used to twenty years ago, and take bumps that renders them unconscious for 20 minutes so the wrestlers can brawl all over the building and have many run-ins. Yes, being a referee is generally a thankless job.
One such referee that’s been familiar to wrestling fans over the years is Tim White. Tim’s been a fixture of the WWF ever since the late 80s. And if you’ve ever seen Andre the Giant’s A&E Biography, he’s one of the interviewees that talks about his friendship with the late great Andre.
Tim’s reffing career was put to an end in 2002 when Tim sustained a bad injury during a Chris Jericho/Triple H “Hell in a Cell” match.
Years later in the WWE, the powers that be decided to pay special tribute to Tim for putting his body on the line in their company by having him commit suicide in different ways every week.
WWE backstage interviewer Josh Matthews interviews Tim at Tim’s tavern “The Friendly Tap”, located just outside of Providence, Rhode Island, during the Armageddon 2005 PPV. Josh keeps trying to ask Tim how he’s been since his injury.
Tim’s only answer is to keep taking swigs of beer.
Can’t really blame the guy, honestly – if Josh Matthews showed up and started asking me questions, I’d start drinking too.
Instead of taking a hint, Josh keeps pestering Tim to open up about how the injury has affected his life. Did I mention this segment takes place on a PPV? I did?
Well let me reiterate. THIS SEGMENT IS TAKING PLACE ON A PPV!
YOU ARE PAYING FOR THE PRIVELEGE OF SEEING THIS.
Tim finally relents by talking about how his injury made him take out his frustration on his loved ones. While he does so, you can hear very audible boos and “BORING!” chants, as well as when he tells Josh he now suffers from “Irritable Bowel Syndrome”.
Not sure you’ve ever noticed, but WWE <3 feces.
There’s a pause for a laugh that never comes.
Josh then wishes Tim a “White Christmas.”
Another laugh no shows.
Tim’s answer to Josh’s bad pun is to take out a shotgun, which gets the biggest pop of this whole segment, presumably because the fans are hoping he will shot Josh Matthews.
Well, don’t get your hopes up, kids.
No, because unfortunately, Tim apparently uses the shotgun to shoot himself off-camera.
Sure am glad I PAID for this SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT! LIVE ON PPV!
I would think that the WWE is mocking wrestlers who have suffered depression and loss because of career-ending injuries BUT I don’t think the WWE is that satirically sophisticated.
I mean, there was a poopy joke thrown into the mix.
Instead of getting Tim, ya know, HELP for his problem, the WWE decides to film Tim every week experimenting in new, creative ways to kill yourself that would make Bud Cort in Harold & Maude envious.
For instance, the next week Josh returns to inform us that Tim did NOT kill himself but simply shot himself in the foot. So Tim decides to pour Rat Poison down his gullet like it’s a box of Cheerios and falls back in his chair.
Ummm….Live from New York it’s Saturday Night?
Tim miraculously recovers from ingesting rat poison to try to hang himself the next week.
I should note that this series of skits happened just a couple months after the passing of Eddy Guerrero.
Oh well, it’s not like they blew up Tim White’s car or called his wife a pig and made her oink for money or anything.
I’m skipping over a few segments ’cause really, they’re basically “Josh annoys Tim with questions, stupidly watches Tim set himself up for suicide and makes sure the camera is focused perfectly to capture the moment of death”. But a few notable ones are Tim going emo by slitting his wrists by squirting a ketchup bottle all over himself.
Tim, when you cut your wrists, go “down the road” not “across the street”!
What an amateur.
Another one is suffocating himself with a plastic bag.
Should’ve gotten Terry Funk to do it while cutting a promo on Jack Petrick and TBS.
And every segment has a “Tim White tries to kill himself” montage livened up with the Alfred Hitchcock theme. Because when I think of failed suicides for my enjoyment, I think the director of Rear Window.
(Note from RD: I do too!)
Josh nominates himself for “Stupidest Person Alive” by complimenting Tim on his “new necklace.”
A new necklace with a BRICK tied to it.
Glad they have a camera in that fish tank!
For Week 87 in the “Tim White tries to kill himself” extravaganza, Josh takes Tim to a street in New Jersey that was named after him, and we’re convinced of this by the dollar store plaque.
Please, just give Josh a little push right in front of oncoming traffic. Do it, Tim!
Why kill yourself when you could kill Josh Matthews?
But Tim decides to put himself in the middle of oncoming traffic as we’re shown a still photo of a REAL traffic accident.
Too bad they were using the “other guy’s” brake pads instead of Callahan Brake Pads.
Next we’re in a laboratory….no really, we’re in a laboratory because the white coats and WARNING stickers in the background have certainly convinced me that we’re in a real laboratory.
There’s probably a “Porn Star On Board” one back there too.
Anyways despite this very obvious laboratory making new advancements in the field of mental health by having beakers and tubes with citric-y colored fluids, Tim decides to drink clearly labeled Mad Cow Disease.
Tim once again miraculously survives to call up Josh on the Suicide Hotline (despite the phone not ringing, I’m not making that up). Josh Matthews suggests that he and Tim do some “roleplaying”. Woo boy, I don’t like where this is headed.
Tim then strangles himself with the phone cord as Josh calls 911 and is put on hold, AAAHAHAHAHA!!! Cause they’re probably dealing with some WASP that’s complaining her burger wasn’t cooked the way she wanted.
Ah, Tim. Should’ve called Glen Peterson.
Another one is Tim sticking his head through “his biggest fan.”
Somebody cue Krankor.
Oh, and then he doused Josh with some marinara sauce.
(Note from RD: Seriously, how many years did these bits go on? I don’t think Bruno Sammartino’s first title reign last this long.)
Another one has Tim hiring a Hitman (not Bret Hart) to shoot him in the head while Josh plugs the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony that can be seen on WWE.com…or can it?!
After 8 years (note from RD: I was right!) of Tim’s attempted suicides, Tim gives Josh a card inviting him to “The Friendly Tap” for a celebration. See, Tim couldn’t verbally communicate this to Josh because Tim never says a word in any of these segments.
And suddenly, Josh decides that he and Tim are the best of friends now.
But Tim has another plan in mind!
Josh and Tim party up at The Friendly Tap by doing shots…
…posing for the Wrestlemania III poster (alright, that one I liked)…
…playing Frogger on an arcade cabinet (*sigh* I miss those things)…(Note from RD: then buy one! They’re not THAT expensive. Oh, and that’s definitely NOT a dedicated Frogger cabinet. And yes, I am that much of a nerd to notice)…
…drinking some more…
…giving themselves funny midget voices by sucking on helium…
…and finally (FINALLY!) Josh doing his Madonna impression with the party hats.
The two newfound pals are all partied out as another suicide montage is edited over puffs of marijuana smoke as “Tell Me a Lie” plays, because WWE loves that song a lot.
The party ends when Tim gets out his shotgun and finally shoots Josh Matthews (off-camera, of course). So this whole celebration was an elaborate ruse to lure Josh Matthew into a false sense of security so Tim could shoot him?
Eh, all’s well that ends well, I reckon.
Note from RD: As many of you know, when I first launched WrestleCrap.com over 10 years ago, I was joined by a dear friend of mine by th name of Merle Vincent Griggs. There’s a tribute to Merle on the site, in fact, and I urge you to read it. The reason I mention Merle here is due to the fact that he committed suicide, which is the subject of today’s induction. Some may consider it in poor taste that we are therefore inducting it, since suicide is obviously a very serious issue and some would feel it should note be joked about. I understand this viewpoint, but I also know Merle would have seen this and realized the stupidity of this angle and laughed about it. And at the end of the day, that’s what both Merle and I wanted since the beginning – to create something where people could laugh at the buffonery in pro wrestling, no matter what the subject matter was.
Merle, I know you’re looking down on us, and I hope we made you laugh too.
If not, we blame Tim White and Josh Matthews.
I’m sure you will too.