Mike Chioda Doesn't Understand Perk AEW Referees Get That WWE Refs Don't

In the tribalist world of wrestling fandom, AEW hardcores will debate that this, that, and the other thing are all better than WWE, and the other side will return fire in similar fashion. According to longtime WWE referee Mike Chioda, there's one element that undoubtedly favors the relative new kids on the block — at least as far as things go for AEW referees.

On the latest episode of "Monday Mailbag," Chioda explained that AEW officials have all of their travel expenses paid for, while at least some with WWE are footing their own bill.

"There's referees now, still with WWE, that don't get anything paid for," Chioda said. "They don't get their hotels, cars, or gas, or anything paid for. There's a few of them still, which I don't understand cause AEW [referees get] all their stuff paid for."

Chioda, who debuted as a referee in WWE in 1989 and counts 27 total years with the company, also made sporadic appearances in AEW in 2020 and 2022 — his last time donning the striped shirt before doing so at Ric Flair's Last Match in what he says was his final appearance as an in-ring official. His tenure in WWE also included other roles before his refereeing days began. The newness of AEW throws Chioda for a loop when it comes to the paid expenses element for officials, as compared to WWE and its longstanding position as the industry leader, but isn't quite sure the man in charge for so many years is even aware of that detail.

"AEW, around four years, Vince McMahon's company, 40-50 years," he explained. "I don't even think it's Vince. Vince probably doesn't even know that the referees have to pay their own hotels or this or that, but who knows?"

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Monday Mailbag w/ Mike Chioda with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.