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Disgraced former NBA ref Tim Donaghy to referee for MLW

Thirteen years after taking part in a betting scandal, disgraced former NBA referee Tim Donaghy is set to make his professional wrestling refereeing debut.

It was announced via Sports Illustrated today that Donaghy has agreed to appear as a referee for MLW. Sports Illustrated wrote that Donaghy appearing for the promotion was the idea of MLW COO Jared St. Laurent and the plan is for Donaghy to be introduced "in a storyline that sees him serve as the personal referee for Richard Holliday’s upcoming slate of matches."

"Pro wrestling is entertainment, and I always joked the NBA was a form of entertainment and I compared it a little bit to pro wrestling behind the scenes,” Donaghy told Sports Illustrated. “When I was growing up, I always enjoyed pro wrestling, guys like Hulk Hogan and Ivan Putski. I thought it would be fun to get involved and see where it goes.”

Sports Illustrated noted that Donaghy's MLW appearance comes with the potential for more depending on the response.

“If there is a good response, who knows where it can go from here,” Donaghy said. “I’m willing to do whatever I can to make the show entertaining and fun for everyone watching, and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

In 2008, Donaghy was sentenced to 15 months in prison for the NBA betting scandal.

MLW has been on hiatus from live events since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dave Meltzer reported in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter last week that the promotion was doing a secret empty arena taping in Central Florida from October 18 to October 20.

MLW's restart will begin airing in November. Episodes will premiere on the fubo Sports Network at 7 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday nights and will then be made available on beIN Sports and DAZN.