Long-time WWE referee Mike Chioda was recently interviewed on Chris Jericho’s “Talk Is Jericho” podcast to talk about his 35-year career with WWE and his recent release.
"I’ve been a referee for 31 years, but I have been with the company for 35 years. Back in the day, you didn’t come on and be a referee. You had to pay dues. You had to pay ring crew dues for 20 years. Chief Jay Strongbow made me a referee way back in the day in the ‘80s. I actually worked for Gorilla Monsoon when I was 15 and 16 setting up the rings with Joey Marella. Victor Quinones used to run the ring crew back in the day for Gorilla because Gorilla owned a territory in South Jersey, Philadelphia Spectrum, Wildwood, New Jersey. I used to do the ring crew in the summertime and on the weekends when I had off from school. I made a lot of money on the road, $500 bucks a night when you are 15 was great money."
"Yes, it took me by complete surprise. I had surgery in October in Alabama. I had a torn rotator cuff and a torn bicep. The surgery went great. I healed up and was ready for WrestleMania. I signed a new contract in the middle of March. I got a bump in pay. I got a phone call and text on April 15th. There was no reason. I asked if it came from certain people like Vince and Stephanie and they said no. I don’t know if it’s heat, but how can you have heat if you have been off 6 months rehabbing? I hadn’t even been on Twitter or Facebook since 2015. My relationship with Vince was awesome over 35 years."
Thanks to WrestlingNews.co for the transcript.
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