Mike Chioda Reveals Vince McMahon Encouraged Rib That Backfired

After spending 31 years with the WWE as one of the lead referees for the company, Mike Chioda spoke on a recent episode of AdFreeShows.com's Monday Mailbag to talk about how much sleep talent would get back in the day after WWE events.


The former WWE referee detailed why talent would be lucky to get a few hours of sleep, mentioning how much talent used to party late at night.

"Not much man, it depends," Chioda said. "When you're on European tours, you get hardly any sleep. You just stay up partying when you get in at one or two in the morning and be at the hotel at three in the morning. You don't have too much downtime, sometimes you do have during the day five or six hours to sightsee, and do have time to do late-night excursions in cities that stay open all night.

"You wouldn't get too much downtime, when you go from TV to TV, people get in from one, two, three in the morning, got to get up at eight, nine the next day to do TV all over again. If you're going from a pay-per-view Sunday to a Monday Night RAW when we used to do RAW and then SmackDown on Tuesday, it was a busy schedule, that's for sure. If you did three days of TV, your ass is wiped and whipped out on Wednesday."


During AEW superstar Chris Jericho's appearance on the Broken Skull Sessions, the former WWE Champion told a story involving him and Vince drinking on a flight together and the WWE Chairman sending him a photo of him working out at four in the morning afterward.

Continuing to talk about travel, Mike Chioda also spoke about Vince McMahon and how he'd go to work out right after he got off a late-night plane ride.

"When Vince used to get in, he'd get on his charter, get into the next town, everybody would drive four hours, he would get in 30 minutes, and he would get in one or two in the morning and go to the gym," Chioda said. "His trainers would be sitting there waiting for him at the hotel waiting to go at three or four in the morning. He doesn't give up, man."

During the same podcast, Mike Chioda spoke about how he was told to cut a WrestleMania 35 short during the superstar's entrances. The match was originally planned for over 12 minutes but turned into a one-minute match after Chioda was told to cut it as the stars came out.

Chioda also revealed a rib he played on a cameraman during a flight that was pushed on him by Vince McMahon. The former WWE referee detailed how he ultimately gave a WWE cameraman a concussion, sending him back home from a European tour.


"Vince used to hate to see people sleep," Chioda said. "This one camera guy, I love him, he was a great guy and I remember he said, 'hey, cut him down.' I remember I climbed all the way up this thing cause he had his hammock on something, and I cut it by his head and he went straight down into the steel. He had a concussion.

"I felt so bad, it backfired on me so much. We stopped in Ramstine Germany because we always did, and I remember, he had to go to the hospital there and he went back home. I remember apologizing and calling him and everything. I couldn't say 'Vince and them made me do it.' I didn't want to say that, I had to do it. I shouldn't have listened to [Vince] but it was Vince and them guys, but the f***ing rib backfired."

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.