Mike Chioda has served as the referee for some of the biggest matches in WWE history. However, none were bigger than the clash between The Rock and Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania 18.
The match was Hogan’s first singles bout in WWE since 1993 and came just a month after he had returned to the company as part of the nWo. At the time The Rock was arguably the biggest star in wrestling, while Hogan is one of, if not the, biggest star ever.
Many believed the match would never happen, but by the time all was said and done it had surpassed all expectations. Hogan was cheered to the rafters and the crowd was electric throughout. So much so that despite the in-ring action being fairly pedestrian, the match is remembered as one of the greatest WrestleMania matches of all time.
Mike Chioda Didn’t Get The Magnitude Of The Match Until Years Later
Speaking on a recent episode of his Monday Mailbag podcast, Chioda reflected on the epic showdown. The veteran referee boldly claimed that nothing that has happened at WrestleMania since has topped that match.
“Did I know it was gonna be so legendary back then? Hell no, I didn’t know. I didn’t know a few years later. We thought something was gonna at some point top that, and I don’t think at some point since 2002, since Rock and Hogan, has really topped that.”
The latest installment of WrestleMania is set to take place on April 1st and 2nd. It had long been rumoured that The Rock would be returning to the ring at the show to face Roman Reigns, but he reportedly turned the opportunity down.
H/t to Wrestling Inc