Competent Refs will be a game changer for professional wrestling
I've read AEW wants to be more like a sport, have wins and losses matter, be the alternative to WWE, etc.
By now you've likely seen the female ref Aubrey Edwards. She's been getting praise, in my opinion rightfully so. She's not an idiot; not scripted to be an idiot. Two cases that made her stand out to me and engage me more in the product:
1) Shawn Spears hits Cody with a chair then turns and glares at Brandi. Edwards gets between them and shakes her head. To me, signaling a "don't you dare".
2) Jericho pushed Edwards, yelling at get for not counting to 3. Edwards scolded Jericho and reminded him she's the ref, not to put his hands on her.
A lot of this is awesome in that we're seeing a woman stick up for herself. But, we're also seeing a ref stick up for themselves and not be a punk to wrestlers, oblivious to wrong doing. It's a very subtle involvement from the refs, but not having them be helpless NPCs gives an edge to the product. Everyone wants to talk about the quality of wrestling or the mature storylines, but a real ref bring competent and in charge really helps set the atmosphere for a more serious product.
I just needed to rant that. Some idiots were bashing people praising Edwards, saying it's only because she's a woman. I disagree. It's because AEW is letting her do her job, and other refs, unlike many promotions before.