Mike Chioda On Keepin’ It Kayfabe At WrestleMania 31, Calls Seth Rollins An ‘Unbelievable Talent’
Photo Credit: WWE
With 35 years in the wrestling business embedded in his stripes, referee Mike Chioda has several stories to tell. This weekend fans have the opportunity to get the “1-2-3’s” on his career experiences as he recaps a memorable Royal Rumble bout he officiated.
Chioda recently spoke with WrestleZone’s Dominic DeAngelo about his long tenure in WWE and shared his experience venturing into doing event watch-a-longs, as he’ll be doing his latest one Saturday, January 30 at noon EST exclusively on AdFreeShows.com. In honor of it being Royal Rumble weekend, Chioda will look back on the nearly 25-minute classic between John Cena, Seth Rollins and Brock Lesnar at Royal Rumble 2015.
Chioda said he appreciates the fan feedback, noting he gets intelligent and respectful questions before joking that he’s officiated so many matches that they could probably do more events like this for three years straight. While he’s focusing on Rollins’ 2015 Royal Rumble match for the watch-a-long this weekend, Chioda spent some time with DeAngelo looking back on his monumental night at WrestleMania 31. Chioda was the referee assigned to the Money In The Bank cash-in by Rollins, and despite the shock and awe displayed by fans watching the event, the longtime referee explained how much he knew ahead of time.
“I knew. I [was tipped off] towards the end of the day. I know they were trying to keep things ‘kayfabe’ but if you want things to go right, you better tell the referee what you’re doing. [laughs] You can make adjustments anytime, call it in the ring, whatever, but I knew, and I was very happy for Seth Rollins.”
“Seth Rollins is an unbelievable talent. When he first came in, he knew more moves,” Chioda explained, “every week I would see him pull out new moves, and he is just so acrobatic, so talented in that ring. He’s a phenomenal talent and he’s going to be around for quite a bit.”
Chioda also looked back on how he first got his start with the company, and explained how it all started due to a childhood friendship with the late Joey Marella, former referee and the son of Gorilla Monsoon.
“We played baseball together in the same township area and everything. We hung out and I knew Valerie, Marella’s sister. She went to the same school I did,” Chioda explained. “We hung out, became the best of friends. I actually used to work wrestling for Gorilla Monsoon when he used to own a wrestling territory and he used to work for Vince Sr. That was before Vince [Jr.] owned everything, so he used to work for Vince Sr. and he had his own little territory in Philadelphia, Maryland, Jersey Shore and all that. Pennsylvania area, I used to do ring crew when I was 15 or 16 years old. Yes, it was good times, man.”
“You had to hustle. You had to do the ring, the ropes, the time-keeping, the music, then you sold programs before the show. You sell them intermission and then you did the blow-out after the show,” Chioda said, “and then I got back down tearing down the ring and it was good. It was good money and good hustling.”
Despite having the Marella family ties, Chioda took to baseball more than he did wrestling but that soon developed into not just a career for him, but a business he loved.
“Wrestling always intrigued me. Like I was always intrigued by wrestling. It was wrestlers of course like Andre The Giant when I first met him and Hulk Hogan, Big John Studd and just a bunch of guys. I was more of a baseball fan, sports fan. I played baseball for a long period of time too,” Chioda said, “so more sports and than wrestling. I kind of just got intrigued with it when I was working with Joey and for Gorilla Monsoon and stuff and just kept going with it.”
(Transcription credit should go to @DominicDeAngelo of WrestleZone)
Our exclusive interview with Mike Chioda will release in full soon on WrestleZone but you can catch more of Mike this weekend on AdFreeShows.com. Not only will he be discussing the 2015 Royal Rumble match on the watch-a-long, but a new Mailbag with Mike Chioda just released today as well.
— AdFreeShows.com (@adfreeshows) January 29, 2021
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