LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Linda Miles has never been afraid to make a career change.

“Life is about chapters,” said the Cincinnati native. “It’s where you are right now in that chapter and making the best of it.”

Right now as a college basketball referee she earns her living keeping coaches like Jeff Walz in line.

But not too long ago she had a different job and even had a different name. 

“Don’t ask me how they did it but they came up with the interesting cool name of Shaniqua,” said recalls. 

They would be the Vince McMahon and the WWE and yes, Linda Miles, referee was once Shaniqua, professional wrestler

“It was a challenge and it was a shift,” she said.  “I call them the good old grinding days.”

They are days that include a stop in Louisville to train at OVW , WWE’s developmental territory at the time.  It did not take very long for them to realize they had something special.

“Vince actually had in mind that he was going to put me in there with the men”

But it never happened. After three years, Linda walked away from one to dream job into another as a college basketball official. They’re two jobs that may seem different as night and day but in reality have plenty in common.

“Being in WWE prepared me even more so for the big stage. I went to Singapore and wrestled in front of thirty thousand people. You learn to keep your composure.”

From wrestler to ref. Quite the resume and quite the life.

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