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Mike Chioda Lifts The Lid On What Makes A Good Referee

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Long serving referee Mike Chioda knows a thing or two about what makes a good in-ring official.

The New Jersey native served as a referee in WWE for more than three decades before being released by the company in April 2020. During his time with the company, Chioda was the ‘third man’ in the ring for legendary matches such as Stone Cold vs. Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XIV and The Rock vs. Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania X8.

Speaking on the Monday Mailbag podcast on AdFreeShows, Mike Chioda has broken down what it takes to be a good referee.

Chioda, who now trains the next generation of in-ring officials, was asked what he looks for when training new hopefuls.

“Well, to see if they move around, see how they count and how their cadence is on their counts, I look at that. How they work the ring, you’re supposed to work 3 sides of the ring on TV. Definitely, they’ve got to be in shape. Can’t be so tall, there is a limit to your height. I think that six-foot is basically the cut off, and that’s what I am. They don’t want you towering the other wrestlers. There’s a lot of things, I can’t just look for one thing. Definitely your cadence on the counts, how aggressive they are, so they’re not just standing in the ring, standing in a corner and not doing anything. You like to see a referee moving around and of course if it’s a new referee, they may not know all the ropes and all the other stuff. But you look at how they work with the heel talent, and how they enforce the rules and the regulations of wrestling. So there’s a ton of things you look for.”

During the episode Chidoa also revealed how John Cena caused WWE to be hit with a huge fine. The veteran referee recalled working at Madison Square Garden, a venue with a notoriously strict curfew. Not that John Cena was all too concerned.

Chioda explained how Cena had caused WWE to be fined on more than one occasion for running over time. This resulted in the company having to pay out in the region of $100,000.

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