With no referees, there would be no pro-wrestling. Their role is too often underestimated, despite the fact that they are essential to get things working in the ring.
A referee can be compared to an orchestra conductor, and the wrestlers can be assimilated to his musicians. However, a referee must avoid the spotlight to let the grapplers shine.
Usually, a referee will be under six-feet tall and their weight will be no more than 180 pounds. The small size it to make the big guys look even bigger and to make sure the cruiserweights don't look too small.
The referee is the one who coordinates the match and who give the rhythm to the action. He is connected to the backstage with ear plugs and he receives specific instructions when required, especially for commercial breaks.
The in-ring official is also in charge of the safety of the wrestlers and he communicates with the hidden officials with hand and arm signs.
If someone is actually injured in the ring, he will determine how serious it is and he will decide if the match can continue as planned or if there must be a precipitated ending.
As I mentioned earlier, referees must play an erased role, but some of them became exceptions over the years and became famous or infamous. And you guessed right: those notorious exceptions are the stars of the following slideshow.