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Tony Chimel On Life After WWE, Working At Trader Joe’s and more

Posted By: Ben Jordan Kerin on Feb 25, 2022

Tony Chimel On Life After WWE, Working At Trader Joe’s and more

Former WWE ring announcer Tony Chimel was interviewed recently on Chris Van Vliet’s podcast during which he reflected on his time in WWE and what he is up to these days.

Check out the highlights below:

On COVID possibly being the reason he is no longer with WWE:

“Well, that’s what I’m thinking. I was ready to go when it first hit. I flew back from a show in Washington, DC and flew home. The next show, I think it was in Detroit, I was getting on a plane and asking my boss, ‘Are we doing this show or not?’ He was like, ‘Just go like you are going to the show, and if you hear from me, then we will let you know if anything changes.’ So I took off and I flew from Florida to Charlotte. When I got to Charlotte, I was told that the show was canceled. so I turned around and went home. I never worked another show after that, so yeah.”

On his last role in WWE:

“I was working in the production office and making sure that everyone who should have rooms had rooms. Also, making sure that the trucks get loaded, taking care of runners at the shows, dealing with bills, and all that other stuff. Most of the time the ring announcing gig was the second part of my job. I have never just ring announced.”

On what he is doing these days:

“I figured out there is life after WWE. When I started, I was 22 years old, and now I’m 60. I found a job at Trader Joe’s, which I never really knew about. I had heard of Trader Joe’s, but I didn’t really know what it was. When I first told my daughter that I was working at Trader Joe’s, she was like, ‘Oh Dad, that’s great. You gotta get this and get that.’ I was like, ‘What are you talking about?’”

There’s a lot of similarities because at WWE, they always wanted to put smiles on people’s faces, and at Trader Joe’s, all they want to do is wow the customer and make the customer feel happy. I’ve always been a big customer service guy, and traveling for a living, you don’t get any of that crap from the airlines and you get crappy customer service from hotels. At Trader Joe’s, if you call the store, they actually answer. If you’re in there and you’re looking for something, we’ll help you and we’ll walk you to where you want to go. The customers there are like cult followers. I didn’t get it at first, but now that I’ve been there for a year, I’m one of them. A lot of people love it and they swear by the store. The people are great, the bosses are great, the manager is great. Everybody’s great there.”

On his WWE beginnings:

“When we were in high school, Gorilla (Monsoon) owned part of the business, and he had a ring. So on the the weekends and in the summer, we would drive to Baltimore, Washington, Scranton, wherever the show was. We would do the show and get paid like $50. To us, it was great. We were young. We could get out of town and hang out, do a job, and get paid. I think wehn Vince’s dad died, Vince bought out Gorilla and he didn’t have the ring anymore. A few weeks after that, Vince called Gorilla and said, ‘Does your son still want to set up the ring?’ Gorilla asked Joey (Marella) and he was allowed to bring one other guy with him, so Joey asked me. We drove to Stamford and filled out the forms and we became employees. I think I was employee 33 of the company.”

On his relationship with Vince McMahon:

“Vince was always good to me. He was just like a regular guy that owned the company. He knew me for so long. He once came to bat for me big when I was ring announcing. I would get paid a certain amount to ring announce or time keep, and I was getting paid for both. After a couple years of that, they said that they weren’t going to pay the timekeeper anymore, so I lost money. So I went to my boss and asked for more money for ring announcing so it evens out. He said to me, ‘Chimel, where would you be working if you didn’t work for WWE?’ I said, “Well, I don’t know, but I’m working for WWE.’ My boss always told me, ‘If you have a problem with what I’m doing, then you can go to Vince’, so I did. I said, ‘Vince, this is the deal. I’m doing both of these jobs and they took one away. I just want my money back through ring announcing. I will still ring the bell.’ I told Vince what my boss said about not working here. Vince said, ‘Please tell me he didn’t say that.’ I said, ‘He did.’ So I was tearing down the ring that night. My boss came up and said we will talk about my pay on Monday. Vince must have pulled him aside and said to take care of him or whatever. I will never forget that Vince did that for me.”

Tags: #wwe #tony chimel

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