In the fervently divided world of professional wrestling, aficionados consistently draw battle lines, passionately arguing the merits of All Elite Wrestling (AEW) over World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), and vice versa. However, veteran WWE referee Mike Chioda recently shed light on a specific aspect where AEW seemingly holds a distinctive advantage, particularly when it comes to the perks offered to their referees.
In a candid conversation on the latest installment of "Monday Mailbag," Chioda delved into the disparities between how AEW and WWE cater to their officials, particularly in terms of handling travel expenses. While AEW ensures all travel-related expenses for their referees are fully covered, Chioda highlighted that this is not the universal experience for those in WWE.
"Presently, there are referees in WWE who are left to fend for themselves when it comes to covering the costs associated with hotels, rental cars, and gasoline. They literally receive no financial assistance in these areas," Chioda remarked, expressing his bewilderment at this situation.
"Conversely, AEW makes it a point to take care of all such expenses for their officials."
Chioda's Wrestling Journey
Boasting a rich history with WWE that spans over two decades, starting in 1989, Chioda has had the unique opportunity to witness the inner workings of both promotions, having made intermittent appearances in AEW during 2020 and 2022.
He marked his tenure with a final appearance as an in-ring official at Ric Flair's Last Match. Chioda couldn't help but express his astonishment at the generous treatment AEW extends to its officials, especially given its relatively short time in the industry compared to WWE’s decades-long dominance.
He speculated that Vince McMahon, WWE's longtime leader, might not even be aware of the financial burdens placed on some of the company’s referees. "Considering AEW has been around for just about four years, and Vince's empire has been at the forefront for 40 to 50 years, it's quite perplexing.
I'm not even certain if Vince is aware that his referees are shouldering these expenses on their own,” Chioda mused. This revelation by Chioda not only highlights the significant differences in how the two major wrestling promotions operate but also underscores the evolving landscape of professional wrestling, where the welfare of all participants, including the referees, is becoming an increasingly important conversation.