Mike Chioda Reveals How Many Road Expenses WWE Is Covering For Referees

Former WWE referee Mike Chioda recalled the financial perks of work-related travel during his career's halcyon days – an occupational odyssey for which he never had to foot the bill.

"The first 20-something years I was with the company, everything was paid for because I was on the crew," he recalled during an episode of "Monday Mailbag with Mike Chioda." "That's the key – being on a crew. For the last 12 years, I was just a full-time ref, and that was the best because you got everything paid for – you got per diem, you got everything. That was the best of both worlds: being on a crew and getting paid for everything in your expenses."


However, Chioda acknowledged that many of today's referees are not as fortunate.

"They're paying out of pocket," he continued. "They don't pay for flights, they don't pay for hotels, rental cars, gas – [but they don't] give them a per diem or anything. So, a lot of money's out of pocket."

And while Chioda observed that while today's referees can write off much of their business expenses when filing their taxes, the burden of paying out of pocket can become onerous. He recalled conversing with one referee.

"Was spending $300 to $400 for the rental car for four days, not even three days, and he was paying like $500 for hotels, and gas was probably a couple hundred bucks ... and then you've got to add food in there, and if you got to pay for to go to the gym or pay for this or buy anything, it adds up."


If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "Monday Mailbag With Mike Chioda" with an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.