Mike Chioda was a famous WWE referee and he has officiated some of the most important matches in WWE’s history. He recently spoke about referees are treated in the industry. In professional wrestling, referees play a very important role during a match.
They pass messages from one wrestler to another and also tell the wrestlers about any orders that they might get from backstage. Referees control the match and are also present to make sure that no wrestler in the ring gets hurt.
They can also tell the wrestlers to finish a match if the crowd is getting too bored.
Mike Chioda on How the Wrestling Industry Treats Them
Mike spoke on Wrestling Inc. about how the role of a referee has changed over the past few years.
"Well, when we started out in the company, it was great that I got Chief Jay Strongbow [to make] me a referee, and I always looked to Joey Marella, which was one of my great friends when he was living back in the day.
We grew up together, Gorilla Monsoon's son," Chioda noted. "So in getting into the referee business, Gorilla Monsoon said to me, 'Look, I'm going to tell you what I tell my son, the longevity in this business is refereeing.'
I wanted to be a wrestler. "I want to snap bumps and snap suplexes, and I was working out with the boys in the ring in the afternoons when I'm setting up the ring. You'd be at the arena all day, and Gorilla kept pulling me aside.
He goes, 'What are you doing taking bumps like that?' I go, 'I like to learn.' He goes, 'Well, you're going to be a referee. You can bump certain ways, but you want to be one of the boys, or you want to be a referee.'
I said, 'I want to be a referee.' He goes, 'Referees have longevity in this business,' which I've had a great career for 30 plus years refereeing," said Mike Chioda. "They've gone through a lot where they don't take care of the referees a lot anymore in the business over the years.
They need to protect the referees as much as possible, I think, as far as the rules and stop changing the rules because they change the rules on and off when it's convenient for them."