Jim Ross Recalls Former Referee Billy Silverman Quitting WWE Due To Bullying

It’s never a good thing when somebody quits their job due to bullying, but it has happened in WWE as Jim Ross recently talked about on his podcast.

Jim Ross was the head of WWE Talent Relations from the late 1990s until 2005. When WWE bought WCW in 2001, they acquired a lot of WCW talent including referees.

Ross told a story about when former WWE and WCW referee Billy Silverman made the mistake of upgrading a plane ticket from coach to first class. This apparently upset some people within WWE even though Silverman was likely unaware of the rule since he was coming over from WCW in 2001.

During a recent episode of his Grilling JR podcast [available early and ad-free at], Jim Ross talked about when Silverman was a victim of bullying because he chose to sit in first class, which led to “heat” from the wrestlers on the roster and then he left the company because of it.

“We had some guys on our roster that were kind of bullies and they were very competitive. I don’t know what motivated them. I think what motivated them is that they knew that Silverman was not going to fight back and he was being bullied, and that was wrong. Billy did a nice job as a referee, he always did, but that was unnecessary. I was sorry, he was a good referee, as a matter of fact, and you lose a piece out of your toolbox, so to speak.”

“I always felt badly about that scenario, but what are you going to do? If he would have come to us when he landed and would have expressed himself, that was no option. He was gone, he quit. So, I don’t know, and some people will take exception to that. ‘You should have brought him back.’ But, quite frankly, at that time it probably was better for him to take a little bit of a sabbatical considering this whole scenario.”

Below, you can see a photo of Silverman as a referee in a WCW match between Chris Jericho and Curt Hennig.

h/t Sportskeeda Wrestling for the transcription