Mike Chioda: The time when John Cena choked Umaga
by J. ANDERSON | VIEW 4751
John Cena's 2006-2007 two-year period was one of the hottest and most important two-year periods of the WWE multi-world champion's career, with his feuds entering the hearts of all WWE Universe fans, with Cena having managed to keep his WWE Championship for several months, knocking down all the opponents that stood in front of him, in feuds that are always exciting and very important.
Just around that time, WWE built real monster heels to send against Cena, who had come out of Wrestlemania 21 with his first WWE title and from there built the very solid fanbase that followed him around the world. Among the many athletes crushed by the power of the Boston rapper, there were also big names like The Great Khali and Umaga, with the late Samoan athlete, who died far too young, who in that period had created really important storylines, such as that of Wrestlemania 23, where the future president of the United States of America, Donald Trump, also came to perform at Wrestlemania.
Umaga and John Cena's fainting at Rumble
In the 2007 edition of the PPV Royal Rumble, a title match for the WWE Championship was staged between John Cena and Umaga. The contest was a Last Man Standing match and therefore there were no disqualifications or count-outs to the match, with the winner simply having to keep his opponent on the ground for at least 10 seconds.
In that context, however, John Cena did not regulate his strength well, and literally strangling his opponent with the rope of the ring, he came to make the other athlete faint. This incident was recounted by Mike Chioda, official referee of the contest of 2007, in his latest interview on the Monday Mailbag: "Umaga couldn’t answer anything.
He was out like a light. That’s why I got so worried about Eckie (Umaga). I was thinking, was he concussed? But no, the rope got him and choked him out, and he passed out. I didn’t even know Eckie was passed out. He was shoot passed out.
He was totally out of it”. “He finally woke up. I was like, ‘Are you alright? That was nuts.’ It was the ring rope that choked him out. John was pulling too hard. He was tugging too hard. I felt bad because as a referee, you have to know what’s going on in there.
I was like, ‘Eckie, I just thought you were selling so good.’ He said, ‘I was trying to tell you but I couldn’t get it out.’ He couldn’t talk but he was trying to tell me it was too tight, and I couldn’t even hear him."