Mike Chioda Talks Refereeing At Double Or Nothing

Mike Chioda Adam Cole

Former WWE official Mike Chioda has revealed how he found out about AEW wanting him to work as the referee for the Owen Hart Foundation tournament.

At Double Or Nothing in Las Vegas, both the men’s and women’s Owen Hart Foundation tournaments came to a close with Adam Cole and Dr. Britt Baker DMD claiming the respective Owen Cups.

In the men’s final Adam Cole overcame the challenge of Samoa Joe, and wrestling fans were pleasantly surprised to spot former long-time WWE referee Mike Chioda as the man in the middle for their bout.

Speaking on Monday Mailbag with Mike Chioda on AdFreeShows.com, the veteran referee found out about AEW’s interest in bringing him in for the first time since 2020 and was all at sea, literally:

“I was on a cruise with my wife. Second day on the cruise, I get a call from [AEW producer] Dean Malenko. And Dean’s like ‘Hey, where you at? What are you doing?’ I said, ‘I’m on a f*cking cruise!’”

Chioda then explained how it was an honour for him to be asked to officiate the match to help pay tribute to his old friend Owen Hart, even if it meant he had to forsake the good food and drink for the rest of the cruise:

“First time I’m on a cruise in four or five years with my wife, and I’ve got to start f*cking dieting. I’m sitting down there at the bar too at this time … I come up there, I meet my wife, and I didn’t even tell her yet … she sees me coming in with this egg white omelette, some fruit, real healthy cottage cheese, and she’s like ‘What are you doing? You’re not trying the waffles? You’re not getting the pancakes over there?’ I’m like, ‘AEW called and they want me to do a show in two weeks.’”

“It was cool, they popped real huge [on the phone] they were happy I was able to do it, I wanted to do it. It’s an honour getting called back to do something like that for Owen Hart. Worked with him for many, many years. Owen and Bret were always great guys to me man, good people. God bless Owen.”

h/t Wrestling Inc.