Former WWE Talent Still Doesn’t Know Why They Were Released

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A former WWE talent admitted that he was never told why he was released, even after spending more than 30 years in the company.

When it comes to WWE referees, there are several names that stick out as some of the most legendary people wearing the stripes in the ring. Mike Chioda is a name that most lifelong WWE fans know because he worked there for over 30 years.

Mike Chioda started in WWE in 1989, which is right around when Hulk Hogan was still going strong as the top guy in the company, but he was also slowing down a bit.

A decade later is when Steve Austin and The Rock took the business to the next level. After those guys moved on and the likes of John Cena, Randy Orton and Roman Reigns became the top guys, Chioda was there for all of that.

The COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 ended up being a period where Vince McMahon, John Laurinaitis and others running WWE at the time felt like they needed to release a lot of people. It happened throughout that year and into 2021. Fans didn’t like it, but with no touring going on until the summer of 2021, the company felt they needed to release a lot of people. Mike Chioda was one of those cuts in April 2021.

In an interview with WrestlingNewsco on YouTube, Mike Chioda was asked about his release and why it happened. The former WWE referee truly has no idea to this day.

“I don’t know. I don’t know to this day. I was making really good money. I’ll tell you straight out I was probably making 240 a year, but I’ve been there for 35 years at the time. I was out on surgery. I was out hurt. I made the transition. I moved to Houston in ’07. I came here in 2019, waited about a year for a house to be built, and got here in October 2019. I flew to Alabama, once it went to closing on my house here in Tampa, went and got the surgery, came home, rehabbed here for six months.”

“I was ready for WrestleMania but then the COVID hit and I didn’t get a call. I’m like, you gotta be kidding me. But you know, when we look at it, like Tony Chimel and I, you know, Tony got released too. He was with the company for 38 years. You know, just no reason, no why, no nothing. You know, they said budget costs but come on.”

“The company, I think six months later, they had their best quarter in so many years or something and did great. It wasn’t just me. People like Tony Chimel. You know, I remember talking to (Mark) Carrano. I said, ‘Carrano, what the f**k. You gotta be fu**ing kidding me?’ I know he felt bad and he didn’t know what to say. He said, ‘Mike, look, it’s not just you. It’s Tony Chimel, Tom Carlucci, John D’Amico.’ I’m like, ‘Oh, so everybody over 30 fu**ing years plus with the company. So that’s where you’re going with this. It wasn’t really a fu**ing budget cut’, because he’s mentioned three other people in three other different departments.”

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H/T WrestlingNewsco