PWInsider - WWE News, Wrestling News, WWE



By Mike Johnson on 2022-02-14 20:01:00 is sad to report that longtime referee Mickie Henson passed away this evening following a battle with COVID-19 pneumonia.  Henson was 59 at the time of his passing tonight at 6:19 PM EST after being taken off life support.  Henson had suffered severe lung damage over the course of battling pneumonia.

Henson first broke into the business as a referee under the ring name Mickie Jay (using his middle name), working in Florida in 1987 during the latter days of Championship Wrestling from Florida, where he broke in under Dusty Rhodes and Steve Keirn.  He was hired by World Championship Wrestling in the early 1990s and remained with the company until it was shuttered and sold to the WWF in March 2001.  

Henson was hired by WWE in 2005 and brought in to work on the Raw side.  He later worked for the WWE ECW brand before being shifted over to Smackdown after the ECW brand was shuttered.   Henson refereed Edge vs. Mick Foley at Wrestlemania 22 in Chicago as well as John Cena vs. Kurt Ange at the 2005 Survivor Series PPV, among other marquee matches.

During his WWE tenure, Henson held the positions of head referee for Smackdown and ECW at different junctures.  Henson exited the ring in 2008 when he was diagnosed with Mantle cell lymphoma, which he later defeated.  He officially departed WWE in 2009 and was complimentary of the company for keeping him paid for eight months after he learned of his illness.  At one point, he had been told he only had months to live but battled back and defeated cancer.

While he is best remembered as a referee, under the Mickie Jay name, Henson worked as an enhancement talent on WWF TV in the early 1990s and also wrestled on the independent scene in Florida for the ICWA promotion and Steve Keirn's PWF promotion.  A longtime Florida native, Henson was well known for his love of fishing outside the ring.

Henson considered the 1999 match between Bret Hart and the late Chris Benoit, a tribute bout for Owen Hart in 1999 on WCW Monday Nitro as his personal favorite bout that he had oversaw as the third man in the ring. sends our deepest condolences to the family, friends and fans of Mickie Henson.


If you enjoy you can check out the AD-FREE PWInsider Elite section, which features exclusive audio updates, news, our critically acclaimed podcasts, interviews and more by clicking here!