Mike Chioda Was Shocked Top AEW Star Left For WWE

Since AEW's inception in January 2019, many released WWE stars have made their way to Tony Khan's promotion. Rarely has it gone the other way but as always, exceptions do present themselves. With the current investigation into the backstage fracas following AEW All-Out ongoing, questions have been raised about the company's atmosphere. Former WWE referee Mike Chioda discussed that perceived tension during a recent episode of The Universal Wrestling Podcast, admitting that one case of an AEW member jumping to WWE surprised him.

"AEW's got a hell of a lot of talent over there right now," Chioda said. "I was shocked to see Cody go back, I really was," referring to Cody Rhodes. "When Cody started with Tony Khan, this whole starting AEW, I was just shocked that Cody went back and Tony Khan let him go. So you knew there was things going haywire up on the top already before all this."

Without speculating too much, Chioda notes that it probably wasn't all smooth sailing for AEW then either. But he does have an idea for how they can get a better handle on these issues going forward.

"I think they'll work it out," he continued. "You got a lot of old-school talent. You got Big Show. You got Regal there! You know, make somebody the Head of Talent Relations. I wouldn't bring in Johnny Laurinaitis, but you need a guy that's always been there to take the heat like Johnny Laurinaitis or Jim Ross and so forth to handle your talent. And that's what Vince did, he always had somebody to handle the talent."

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit "The Universal Wrestling Podcast" with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.