- The original Dusty Finish comes to mind. After being ousted due to an injury by the Four Horsemen, Dusty Rhodes got his chance at comeuppance against the then-NWA World Heavyweight Champion, Ric Flair, at Starrcade 1985, The Gathering's main event. Late in the match, referee Tommy Young was knocked clear out of the ring with two referee bumps. The Horsemen used this opportunity to jump Dusty, sending both Ole and Arn Anderson to attack Rhodes' injury. Rhodes persevered, and a second referee counted a small-package pin on Dusty, apparently (and to the appearance of all watching the show) making Rhodes NWA Champion for the third time. This was reversed (and the trope subverted) when Young noted on the next week's television that he had seen the interference, thereby disqualifying Flair, Flair retaining the title through the Champion's Advantage.
- The main event of SummerSlam 91 featured a notable aversion. It was Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior vs. the Triangle of Terror (Sgt. Slaughter/Col. Mustafa (The Iron Sheik)/Gen. Adnan [Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissie]), with Sid Justice (Sid Vicious/Sycho Sid) as special referee. Meaning, wrestlers would collide with Sid and he wouldn't actually move.
- In a most absurd case, decorated amateur athlete, mixed martial artist for the UFC and NWA World Heavyweight Champion Dan Severn was portrayed this way during Owen Hart's feud with Ken Shamrock. Whether Severn turning heel and becoming Owen's personal trainer makes up for it or not is a matter of opinion.
- Triple H vs. The Undertaker at WrestleMania 17 was very over the top about this. The referee got knocked down early on in the match. The two spent at least ten minutes brawling all over the arena. This included doing things that should have gotten them disqualified (not to mention counted out). By the time they returned to the ring, the ref still took a while to recover.
- Eddie Guerrero loved taking advantage of this trope. When the ref was out he'd often try and get his opponent disqualified by pretending he'd been hit with a foreign object when the ref came to. Occasionally he'd knock the ref out himself and try to get his opponent blamed for it. His match with Chris Benoit at Vengeance 2003 is a particularly classic instance of this. His final match, against Mr. Kennedy, had this same trope. After Kennedy was disqualified for "using a chair" on Eddie, Kennedy did — hard — saying "DISQUALIFY THAT!!" It was a bit Harsher in Hindsight, but no one knew what was about to happen unfortunately.
- SHIMMER referees have been known to be knocked off their feet simply by being shouted at.
- Kurt Angle vs the then-WWE Champion John Cena at Survivor Series 2005 was a particularly hilarious instance of this trope. Angle had his own personal referee, Daivari, who was determined to make Angle win. Cena, slowly becoming Genre Savvy after several pin falls that should have been three counts, realized he could hit the ref and Angle wouldn't allow Daivari to disqualify him because it would cost Angle the belt. Eventually Daivari got inadvertently knocked out of the ring, and another ref came in. This ref was later knocked out by Angle so that he could bring Daivari back into the ring (still unconscious despite a relatively minor fall), but instead another ref came in, who ended up being knocked out as well, and then yet another referee who also only got knocked out, by which time Raw was out of referees and they sent in one from SmackDown!. When Daivari finally came back in, he received a clothesline from Cena. By the time the match was over the ring was littered with the bodies of four unconscious referees.
- Conversed to exploit a lack of attention span by Tigresa del Norte in 2006 when she mocked the fragility of an LLF referee by pacing around with a cane, which she eventually used to bludgeon Reina Azteca and then distract him with so she could utilize brass knuckles.
- Ended up played for laughs with Tennessee area referee Jingus when a fan randomly started doing push ups during a PGWA title match between Nikki Roxx and Mickie Knuckles and Jingus decided to try but could barely do one.
- Possibly the most over-the-top example of this may be a tag match at ROH's Manhattan Mayhem II show on August 25, 2008... where the referee was knocked out long enough for the Vulture Squad stable to debut, leading to a three way melee with weapons and high spots to break out, and for the match to be decided with the ref none the wiser.
- In a TNA match Chris Sabin of the Motor/Murder City Machine Guns inadvertently knocked out the referee in a match against Team 3D. He then got knocked out and Brother Ray of Team 3D pinned him, as Brother Ray was pinning him another referee came out and counted the three count. AT THE SAME TIME as this was happening Alex Shelley of the Motor/Murder City Machine Guns pinned Brother Devon of Team 3D. The original referee woke up in time to make the three count. Cue the two referees arguing over whose count was the real one, eventually it was ruled a no-contest.
- Subverted by Shane Sewell, whose Puerto Rican wrestling background was noted and well-documented throughout his time as a TNA referee. Especially during Sheik Abdul Bashir's matches as X-Division Champion, when it was almost expected for Sewell to beat the shit out of Bashir after the match, regardless of all the storyline reasons against it. Bashir is better known for his time in WWE as Daivari. See below.
- On an episode of Raw in 2013, a match between Daniel Bryan and Wade Barrett was interfered with when Vince McMahon came down to ringside and very slowly pulled the ref out of the ring to break up a pin. Despite not even really being hurt in any way, the ref stayed down long enough for the Bryan/Barrett match to continue, with Vince calling Brad Maddox down as the new ref, Bryan beating up Maddox, Triple H coming down to finish the match as ref, and a dramatic appearance by Randy Orton. The last one closed out the show and the ref was still laying on the ground, selling the small tumble he took roughly five minutes earlier.
- Enforced at the World Wrestling League's Navidad Corporativa 2014 event, where referee Joe Bravo was ejected by a bunch of other referees for trying to assert himself against Laredo Kid and “El Fenomeno” BJ.
- Averted by the Pro Wrestling Guerilla referee Rick Knox, who is liable to kick the ass of any wrestler who tries to mess with him.