Legendary referee Mike Chioda has opened up about about the refereeing the match between The Rock and Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania X8, widely regarded by many as the most iconic WrestleMania match of all time.
Speaking to Wrestling Inc’sNick Hausman on The Wrestling Inc Daily podcast, Chioda spoke about having the task of refereeing one of the most hotly-anticipated matches in wrestling history, and just the sheer shock of the atmosphere – which he, of course, experienced first-hand in the ring.
“It took us way off-guard. It took everybody off-guard. In my career at that time, almost 20 years ago and being in the business that long for 15 years at that point, it was phenomenal to see where Hogan in the early ’80s when I started in this business to where he got the company into what he did is as an entertainer in the professional wrestling business, in the industry.
“He was an icon throughout so many years in the business and still is one of the icons in the history of the business today. When Rock came up, and he was another icon, it was just icon against icon. It was something that was great to be a part of. It was unbelievable. It is one of the most memorable matches in my history and my career.”
Chioda would go on to reveal to Hausman why that match was so special, and how he was unanimously picked to be part of it.
“Well, you had two old school wrestlers at the time. Hogan being from where he came from, he’s just being old school, and then you had a third generation [star]. You had two old-school two icons. A lot will be told on Saturday, what was going on backstage [and] where that match was supposed to be. It was just something I’ll never forget. It was great to be a part of that.
“That was one match that took place, and unfortunately, I was the referee for that match. Fortunately, at that time, being in the business 15+ years, I was glad to be a part of it. I was kind of picked for that match by the talent and all the way coming from the top guys in the business as far as Vince, and the writers and everything.”
Mike Chioda will be doing a live watch-along for Hulk Hogan vs The Rock at WrestleMania X8, which he refereed, this Saturday (12th) at 3pm UK time on AdFreeShows.com.