On an episode of WWE Monday Night Raw in 2012, CM Punk squared off against Jack Swagger. The match may go unnoticed in history, but it is notable for how it ended as Swagger was counted out for the pinfall defeat despite appearing to raise his shoulder just before the three count.
The match’s referee, Jack Doan, revealed on the Unskripted podcast that he was given the go-ahead by then-WWE Chairman Vince McMahon to count stars out if they failed to kick out in time and even received payment for doing so.
“There was a big span there where Vince really got tired of the guys, I mean basically, you’re doing your three-count and we’re basically stopping ourselves before the three. The guys are trying to make it too close.”
“We went through where guys were just, like, waiting way too long, and Vince was like, ‘Start counting them out.’ So, of course, I got bonused for it and Vince was happy, but it was actually CM Punk and [Jack] Swagger, and if you actually go back and look at it, he kicked out in time and that was not the finish.”