Since the early days of professional wrestling, referees have always been an integral yet unassuming part of the product. There have been various times over the years, however, where officials have been corrupted by money, power or other motivations, prompting them to become part of the action.
One such instance occurred recently when Brad Maddox hit Ryback with a low blow at Hell in a Cell and fast counted his shoulders to the mat, allowing CM Punk to retain the WWE Championship. Maddox revealed his hopes of being noticed so that he could become a superstar, but he was hardly the first referee to go rogue.
It has happened many times over the course of WWE history and in other promotions as well, and no matter how many precautions appear to be taken, it's likely to happen again in the future. Most fans don't even notice that referees exist the vast majority of the time; however, sometimes they make it difficult for them to be ignored.
Here are the seven most controversial referees in WWE history, and while all of them did work for the WWE at one time or another, their actions in other promotions will also be taken into account for the purposes of this list.