Popular pro-wrestling referee Mike Chioda spoke about his release from WWE on the latest edition of Monday Mailbag, where the 35-year veteran touches on some famous moments in his career, like the Brock Lesnar and Big Show ring collapse and the Bart Gunn vs. Butterbean boxing showdown from WrestleMania XV. Highlights are below.
Explains how the ring collapsed during Brock Lesnar and Big Show match on SmackDown:
“They had us stay out of the corner. It was controlled by a gentleman by the name of Mark Carpenter. He used to make the rings for the WWE. I believe he still does. Ellis was part of production in the back. He was with props and was a stunt guy. He took care of all the stunts. He mostly had that on a timer and he was ready to explode it when a certain spot came when they hit the corner off the top. That all came down to Mark Carpenter and Ellis and Big Show and Brock. The thing I had to do was sell that bump. I remember Michael Hayes and a bunch of people were thrilled at how I sold that bump and looked around and dumbfounded and shocked. That’s exactly what they wanted out of me. I remember the crowd just went nuts. It was a pretty good feeling that we accomplished that because it was not something easy and we never did it before.”
How he thinks Bart Gunn took a dive for Butterbean at WrestleMania XV:
“I used to travel with Bart Gunn all the time. Bart Gunn was a great guy and a big guy, a big dude, but he wasn’t a tough guy. Billy Gunn was a tough guy. When Bart Gunn went into that boxing tournament, I thought he was going to go all the way. I actually thought he jobbed out and took a dive for Butterbean. I think it was all built up for Butterbean to win because he was the boxer but I think he jobbed out. I’ll never know to this day but I would like to find that answer out. I think he let him knock him out. Bart had planned to attack him and it was weird because the game plan Bart had for him, he did not go in there with it. So, it was almost like, ok, let him knock me out. Let it look good.”
Calls his WWE release very disappointing:
“I can’t say Vince didn’t reciprocate loyalty. Vince, Linda, Shane and Stephanie gave me loyalty for 35 years. I don’t know where the loyalty went at this point, but it is very disappointing. They couldn’t find a spot somewhere to let me retire after all these years in the best company, the only company I ever been with in 35 years? For 35 years, I always thought this company did it the right way in the professional wrestling business around the world. To be honest with you, it breaks my heart a little bit. I’m annoyed and frustrated why I couldn’t finish off my career. If they wanted me to retire in six months, I would have said yea. Hey, we’re going to need you doing this over here or training referees or mopping floors. Whatever. I don’t know if it really came from Vince. I can’t honestly say it did, but it happened. It’s a little frustrating.”
(H/T and transcribed by Wrestling News)