Jim Korderas was the referee for the now infamous match between The APA and Public Enemy back in 1999, which turned in to a legitimate fight.
The match took place on Sunday Night Heat shortly after Public Enemy arrived in the company. After stints in both WCW and ECW, it was reported that there were issues with the pair from the outset after they turned WWE down back in 1995.
Their WWE run was shortlived, however is now infamous for the one match which took place in Pittsburgh. Speaking on Stories With Briscoe and Bradshaw, Korderas and the duo discussed what went down that night.
Whilst the match had been agreed beforehand, shortly before walking through the curtain Public Enemy told Bradshaw and Farooq they weren’t going to take the planned finish.
[JBL] Their music is playing, literally playing. We went over the match, went over everything, and everything was agreed. And it’s not our finish. So it’s not like me and Ron created the finish, it was given to us by the office. Same as it was given to them by the office. They turn to me and say ‘Hey, we’re not going to do that spot on the table.’ Well, that’s the finish.
They said ‘Yeah we don’t wanna do that spot.’ I said ‘okay.’ They didn’t offer an alternative.
So Ron turns to me and he goes ‘What was that?’ I said ‘They don’t wanna go through the table.’ And he said ‘Well, we’ll take the table to them.
Bradshaw went on to say that Briscoe, who was in gorilla at the time of the conversation, checked that they were still going over, which the APA member confirmed – whether it took 15 seconds, or 15 minutes.
Korderas was already waiting in the ring whilst all this happened, unaware of the turn the contest was about to take. He noted that when he saw Bradshaw and Farooq heading to the ring, it was like a “John and Ron coming out of a pub look” before it quickly got physical.
As soon as they hit the ring, boom! That was snug! It was a beating, and these guys were getting their asses beat. And I’m thinking to myself, ‘What is going on here?’
You guys [to JBL] laid a number of them, let’s put it that way.
The match was The APA “beating the snot” out of Public Enemy, as Korderas recalls, before Briscoe who was on the headset told him to call for the bell. This didn’t change anything, as “the mugging continued”.
Both Korderas and Bradshaw revealed that they expected the fight to continue when the two teams got backstage, but instead Public Enemy shook their hands and thanked them for the match. They would go on to have one more contest for WWE before being released in April 1999.
With thanks to Inside The Ropes for the transcription.