Back in April Vince McMahon released multiple in-ring athletes, backstage staff and office workers as part of a cost cutting exercise brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic. The move has been widely criticised by fans around the world, not just because he made the decision to fire them during a global health crisis, but also because it was to ensure he made a massive profit for the year.
One of the many people to lose their jobs was referee Mike Chioda. What was so upsetting about his firing was the fact he had been with the company since the 1980’s.
We had not seen Chioda on our screen for months until he debuted for All Elite Wrestling on last week’s AEW:Dynamite episode. In his first match he officiated the TNT Championship match between Cody and Scorpio Sky.
Chioda was also seen backstage in a segment including Chris Jericho. He would then go on to referee the main event between Jericho and his arch enemy Orange Cassidy.
Jericho discussed Mike Chioda during his Saturday Night Special Live Stream. He mentioned that he and Cody approached Tony Khan about bringing Chioda to the promotion. Jericho added that although he does not have a contract with AEW, he hopes to see Chioda officiate for the company again:
“Cody and I had talked about having Mikey come in… We were thinking, like, maybe we should try to bring him in. I mean, we asked Tony Khan [and he said], ‘But it’s the middle of a pandemic, and bringing in a new referee when we’ve got referees-‘” Jericho explained. “But I always said that when the time is right, let’s bring him in for a big match.
“And Cody is very smart, he brought him in and it made that TNT title match special. And then he asked me if I wanted to use him. I go, ‘Well, we can really use him in this match and make a story around it’. You know, ‘If you want a job, you better do the right thing’. Then, of course when the time comes, he turns his back, he takes it away.
“He’s not signed with us but hopefully we can have him come back with us more.”
During the live stream, The DemoGod also spoke about how WWE should be ashamed for releasing a staff member during a pandemic after he had been faithful to the company for over 30 years:
I mean, come on, seriously? 35 years the dude has been at your company and you’re going to fire him? Besides the fact that the dude is a great guy and such a talented performer, and can run the whole backstage, but after 35 years, what’s he supposed to do? Go get a job at freaking 7 Eleven? Like, shame on you WWE. They did it to Mark Eaton, a famous ringside guy that they still haven’t been able to replace him yet. When I was looking for time cues, Mark was always the guy.
Check out the whole live stream below: