Mike Chioda has been one of the most popular and recognizable referees in the modern era of WWE, having been in the ring alongside athletes in some of the matches that have made the history of this business. In a recent interview with Michael Morales Torres for 'Lucha Libre Online', Chioda revealed that he was personally chosen by The Rock to referee two of his most important matches at WrestleMania.
The reference is to the famous challenge against Hollywood Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania X8 and the one before John Cena staged about a decade later at WrestleMania 28. The experience and his ability to diligently carry out his duties in the ring were the decisive factors for the choice of The Rock.
Mike Chioda talks about The Rock
"From what I was told, The Rock had a say in refereeing both in the match against Hulk Hogan in 2002 and in the one against John Cena at WrestleMania 28," said Mike Chioda. “If a character of The Rock's caliber feels safer with a certain referee by his side, it's clear that his opinion cannot be ignored.
I have to admit it's a phenomenal feeling when someone like The Rock wants you to be his referee. Shane McMahon did the same thing. We are talking about exceptional talents who have respect for you, so it means that you are doing your job well”- he added.
During the same interview, Mike illustrated how there was great uncertainty about how fans would react to the dispute between Rock and Hogan. In fact, one wondered which of the two would be booed by the Toronto public. “We couldn't really imagine where people would line up in Toronto.
The reaction of the public was simply incredible in the end”- he commented. In the end, The Rock triumphed and made it one of the most memorable matches in WWE history. Mike Chioda has recalled the uncertainty over the crowd's reaction to Hulk Hogan's classic confrontation against The Rock at WrestleMania X8 in Toronto.
"I marked out! I seriously marked out," said Chioda. "You could probably see, it’s on my Twitter, they had this crowd and I was just standing there. We really didn’t expect which way these people were going to go, in Toronto….
The crowd reaction was just unbelievable. I had chills, I couldn’t even hear myself think, at one point, which is only one of so many times in my career. They were so loud. And then the face-off, at the beginning. I’m standing there, I’m thirty-something years old at this point, and I’m looking and I’m just marking out, I was like, 'Oh my god, look at me marking out!'"