Former WWE referee Mike Chioda was blindsided by his WWE release, and says his career isn’t over by a long shot. Chioda’s release as part of WWE’s April mass cuts was one of the more surprising releases, with the referee having been with the company for 35 years. Chioda told Chris Jericho how the release came out of nowhere and how he had just signed a new contract the month before.
Chioda also touched on his future, saying that he’s not done with the wrestling business by any measure. Highlights and the full podcast are below:
On if he was he surprised by his WWE release: “Yeah Chris, it took me by complete surprise. I had surgery in October first, in Alabama. And I had a torn rotator cuff and a torn bicep. So I went though surgery in Alabama, Dr. Dougas, and surgery went great. I’m healed up great, and I was ready for WrestleMania. I actually signed a new contract in the middle of March, my contract was up. I actually got a little bump in pay. And then I get a phone call on Tax Day, April 15th. So yeah, it took me by complete surprise.”
On if he was given a reason for this release: “No, there was no reason. He — I asked if it came from certain people like Vince and Stephanie, and he said no. It didn’t, it’s not like they pulled me out of a hat and said, ‘Okay, we have to cut the company and Mike Chioda’s salary is the start of the thing, you know? It was just — I think something completely different. I don’t know if it’s heat, or — but how can you have heat if you have been off 6 months rehabbing? And you know, I hadn’t even been on Twitter or Facebook since 2015. So yeah, it took me by complete surprise.”
On the future of his career: “My career is definitely not over. I definitely got plenty left. Whether it’s inside the ring or outside the ring, in training referees or working with talent and so forth.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Talk is Jericho with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.