Former WWE official Mike Chioda has discussed the worst fan reactions he ever came across during his thirty-plus years as the man in the middle for WWE.
Chioda was speaking on an episode of his Monday Mailbag with Mike Chioda [available at AdFreeShows.com] when he was asked if a crowd had ever been so full of anger he had felt afraid for his safety. The veteran referee recalled this happened more regularly in the dim and distant past but first noted one famous example that he wasn’t even in the ring for.
Mike Chioda explained:
“Back in the day, of course the [Montreal] Screwjob, I wasn’t in the ring for that but boy I was wondering ‘Are we gonna make it out of this arena alive?’ But there was a lot of old-school stuff where you used to wonder, especially going to Puerto Rico years and years ago. Sometimes you worry about getting out of there, you know on a straight shoot because if you had a screwjob at the end or something like that. What the companies used to do was like if you were from that city or from that town they would screw that guy.”
Chioda also pointed to more recent days when ‘Yes-leMania’ would run wild as fans everywhere were outraged at the injustices suffered by Daniel Bryan:
“There’s times where I thought the places were going to explode when Daniel Bryan just kept losing match after match, he couldn’t get a W for so long. We thought people were actually gonna start rioting and throwing chairs and throwing sh*t in the ring.”
Chioda finished by pointing to one city in particular that was notorious for the crowd’s extreme reaction to things:
“Philadelphia was one of the worst. Years ago they used to throw everything at you, ketchup, mustard, hot dogs hitting your head, popcorn, beer. That was the worst – beer – because your whole gear and everything would stink like beer. But yeah, back in the day you used to get so many objects thrown and people [would] throw bottles and heavy stuff. I remember a lot of guys used to get hit and get so p*ssed man. So yeah, that used to happen, there were a lot of times where you had to worry about getting back out of the ring back to backstage.”
Mike Chioda also discussed which stars used to go over their allotted time in the ring and named one megastar that would carry the can for the officials when he did it.