At the Royal Rumble in 2007, Umaga faced John Cena in a Last Man Standing match, with the match ending with Cena grabbing the broken ring rope and wrapping it around Umaga’s neck for the STF, putting the Samoan Bulldozer to sleep.

During the latest episode of the Monday Mailbag with Mike Chioda, the former WWE referee spoke about his role in the match and revealed the conversation he had with Umaga in that moment. Chioda revealed that Umaga actually passed out during the altercation and felt the full extent of the rope around his neck.

“John Cena had a rope around his neck and he was actually choking Umaga out, and Umaga passed out,” Mike Chioda said. “I’m sitting there going ‘Eckie, Eckie,’ at first I’m like ‘What do you say Umaga, what do you say? Do you want to give it up, do you want to quit?’ I remember Umaga passed out and I was like ‘Eckie, Eckie, can you hear me?’ And then I was like ‘John, let go, let go’ and yeah, he choked him out and Umaga passed out.

“Umaga passed out, he couldn’t answer anything, he was out like a light. That’s why I got so worried about Eckie man, my god, I was thinking was he concussed? But no, the rope got him and choked him out, and he passed out. I didn’t even know Eckie was passed out, I was pissed. He was shoot passed out, shoot passed out. He was totally out of it.”

Speaking of Umaga, WWE Hall of Famer Rikishi took to social media in December to state that his fellow Anoa’i family member deserves to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2022. Unfortunately, Umaga passed away at the age of 36 because of a heart attack.

Continuing to talk about the infamous match in 2007, Mike Chioda talked about the conversation he had with Umaga after they got backstage and revealed that the former Intercontinental Champion was trying to tell Chioda he was being choked out. The 55-year-old said he felt awful about the situation but couldn’t hear what Umaga was trying to say to him in the ring because the choke was on so tight.

“He finally woke up and I was like ‘Eckie are you alright? He’s like ‘I passed out Uce,’ and I was like ‘Uce you alright, you alright Uce?’ It was the ring rope that choked him out and he was pulling and tugging too hard, John was,” Mike Chioda said. “I remember Eckie was passed out like a son of a gunman. What a match too, the steps, the monitor, and all that stuff. But when he got him with the rope, Eckie just passed out.

“I felt bad because as a referee you’ve got to know what’s going on in there. I was like ‘Eckie, I just thought you were selling so good,’ and he’s like ‘Oh Uce, I was trying to tell you but I couldn’t get it out.’ He was trying to tell me, he couldn’t talk, he was like it’s too tight, too tight and I couldn’t even hear him.”

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

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