Former long-time WWE referee Mike Chioda has explained how referees and ring crew are paid, saying that were healthy bonuses if the crew had to set up a steel cage on a show.
Many referees in WWE will work on the ring crew as well, setting up and stripping down rings for shows. Speaking on his Mailbag WIth Mike Chioda show available at AdFreeShows.com, the veteran official broke down he was paid for the different jobs he did in the company.
“Most referees are independent contractors but some are employees. I was an employee for many years too. I was an employee for 22 years and a subcontractor. It was better just being a subcontractor. I was going to make more. If you worked in the office or worked in the ring crew, I started off on the ring crew and became an employee for crew stuff. Plus you still made cash on the side for doing individual jobs. If you did the steel cage that night, they would pay you an extra $350. I split that with Tony Chimel, we drove the cage and set it up. It was different jobs we would make extra on top of. When I was refereeing as a full-time ref in big cities, those were good paydays. You wanted to take a piece of the house that night.”
Mike Chioda joined what was then the World Wrestling Federation in 1989. He was the man in the middle for many landmark matches in the company’s history including the main event of WrestleMania 14 and the incredible Icon vs. Icon bout between The Rock and Hollywood Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania 18.
Chioda was released from WWE after 31 years with the company on April 15th, 2020. Since then Chioda has worked for All Elite Wrestling on a couple of occasions, most recently at the Full Gear pay-per-view in November 2020 for the TNT Title match between Cody Rhodes and Darby Allin.