The Mysterious Life: Jack Doan

By | 15 December 2008

The Mysterious Life of the Squared Circle Officials

Hello and welcome back. Now, for all of you new to this article, where have you been? No matter, whether you did or didn’t read my first one, I’m writing this article simply because I’m very fascinated with referees. Last week, I told mostly everything that referees do. This time, though, I’ll tell you about how the E.M.T.s and other staff know when a wrestler is really injured or not. Here’s how they do it:

1) Remember last week, how I told you that the referees whisper to the wrestlers? Turns out, they also do it to see if the wrestler is hurt.

2) If the wrestler is really hurt or cannot continue, the referee will raise both of his hands above his head in an “X” shape.

3) After that, the backstage officials will communicate revised plans to end the match quickly.

Note: After the “X” sign is given, if the referee puts his hands straight up in the air, that means that the wrestler can still continue.

Although giving you information about referee jobs is fun, I’d rather be telling you about my next ref:


Jack Doan


From: Danville, Ill.

Height: 5’ 6.5”

Weight: 165 lbs

WWE Debut: 1992


Mention Jack Doan’s name to any real WWE fan and they’ll all say the same thing, “He’s the luckiest man in WWE.”

Wanna know why? That’s because for the past 14 years, Jack has officiated the vast majority of Raw’s divas matches. Ask him for an estimate, and he’ll say that he thinks the number is probably as high as 90%.

Did you know: During the 24/7 ruling of the WWE Hardcore Title, Doan attempted to beat Crash Holly in an impromptu match to win the belt. He went so far as to remove his referee’s shirt, and persuade fellow referee Jimmy Korderas to count the fall. However, his attempt was unsuccessful.

To many, the divas are just eye candy, but Jack is quick to point out otherwise.

“They really are phenomenal athletes that keep me on my toes,” he argues. He also doesn’t mind theorizing that perhaps he gets the women’s matches in order to ensure that all good-looking people are associated with the match. Keep dreaming my friend.

Did you know: Doan is one of five kids his dad raised on his own. His father worked in a factory for 39 years.

In addition to all those diva matches, Jack has been officiating during some of WWE’s most memorable moments. He was referee when Chris Benoit battled Kurt Angle at WrestleMania X-seven in Houston, and remembers just what passion and energy the competitors put into that match. Doan also recalls attempting to properly officiate the unorthodox Boiler Room Brawl between Mankind and Undertaker, which would go down in history as the night Paul Bearer turned on his longtime ally.

Doan also has paid the price for wearing the stripes among WWE’s massive entertainers. He can still feel the time Vader powerbombed him with such force that he coughed up blood for the next 24 hours. He was out of action selling his “injuries” until he returned at WrestleMania XII, in coincidentally, a Vader match. Then again, there’s also the infamous night when an enraged HHH took out everyone in the ring with a steel chair-EVERYONE.

Did you know: After the above incident, Doan required eight stitches to the head and suffered a concussion.

Doan first joined WWE back in October 1991 as a truck driver serving live events. From there, he took robes from wrestlers at ringside, played music at shows, worked on the ring crew and continued to drive from town to town. On one joyous day, WWE officials asked if Jack was interested in learning how to referee in case of emergency. Doan took advantage of that opportunity and started filling in almost instantly, getting help from the likes of Tim White and Mike Chioda along the way. For what must’ve seemed like years (really only two weeks), the need for an official thrusted him into the lights for the first time on Raw television. The rest, as they say, is history.

Did you know: Jack appeared in the February of 2007 edition of WWE Magazine along with Mike Chioda and Chad Patton. The interview is called ‘Come On, Ref!’, and Doan talks about being in a bathroom that was lit on fire, his Pay-Per-View chairs, and eating with an obsessed fan.

Jack certainly paid his dues along the way-especially when first starting out. He remembers many 300-mile drives and cites his father as the man who helped him most through the tough times. His father’s will and support has helped him immeasurably, Doan says.

Jack is happily married to his wife Shannon, whom he met during the same year he started working for WWE. The Doans have two daughters.

Did you know: Sadly, my last one, but definitely the best. Doan officiated the Playboy Evening Gown Match at WrestleMania XX and was rolled over by some divas.



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