The steroid trial which engulfed WWE Chairman Vince McMahon in the early 1990’s remains one of the most infamous episodes in the company’s history. An episode, which according to Mike Chioda led people to believe that the company would lose everything.
The trial centred around allegations that McMahon had distributed steroids among wrestlers. The case went to trial in 1994, with even Hulk Hogan, arguably the most popular wrestler in the world at the time, taking the stand. While the trial was a tabloid sensation and put WWE and professional wrestling under the microscope like never before, McMahon was eventually acquitted on all charges.
Answering questions on ‘Monday Mailbag’ – which is available on AdFreeShows, Mike Chioda, who spent over 30 years with WWE, recalled turbulent period.
After being asked about the trial and whether he ever contemplated leaving for WCW as a result, Chioda described the “stressful” time for all involved. The long-serving referee added that “we thought that the company would lose everything.”
“The trials were pretty difficult because there was a couple of other scandals going on during the steroid trial too. I got taken in to the Grand Jury twice, in New York City. So, it was kinda stressful, you thought that the company was going to lose everything. Hulk Hogan was our guy. You’ve got to remember from Hulk Hogan having the match with Andre The Giant, and then going 15 years later… and into 2002 with Rock and Hogan, Hulk Hogan was the face of the company. So we thought you were going to lose Hulk Hogan, the company, everything was supposed to go downhill, everything was going downhill, until it bounced back up and Vince got cleared of everything. Thank God, because I didn’t think I was going to get a job in WCW, not living in Jersey. I was always working out of Connecticut anyway… We were kinda stressed, we were worried about it.”
Chioda went on to say that going to WCW was never really an option, especially as he no real contacts within the company. The referee also jokingly recalled bumping into Jake “The Snake” Roberts as he was going to appear in front of the Grand Jury, with the WWE legend telling him “Don’t purge yourself, don’t purge yourself! [laughing]”
While Chioda had the privilege of being the third man in the ring when Hogan returned to face The Rock at WrestleMania 18, he has previously revealed that there’s one match he wishes he could have officiated.
Speaking on an earlier edition of the ‘Mailbag’ Chioda explained how he wished he would have been invovled with The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 25.