Mike Chioda was one of the longest-tenured guys in WWE. He served Vince McMahon for over three decades but was released by the company earlier this year.
Recently, he spoke to WrestlingInc and talked about WWE and AEW. At one point, Mike also talked about the difference between WWE and AEW referees. He stated that AEW treats its referees better than WWE.
“It’s very different to be honest with you. Similar in certain ways but very different,” Chioda stated.
“There’s only about six referees I believe over there right now. WWE has 17 referees, but they go by the rules. They try to stick by the rules and stuff like that, and I hear some things from fans, from feedback that wish they had a little more rules in AEW with referees. And I think the kids over there and the referees at AEW are doing a fine job. I think they probably get treated a little bit better in AEW than WWE referees.”
Chioda also said that AEW referees are allowed to do podcasts, sell merch, and earn royalties from video games. He revealed that WWE removed him from their video game once Mike started asking for his royalties.
“You’re tied down at WWE. You couldn’t get royalties off of video games because they wouldn’t let us in the video games. They let me in for a little while, and then once I was talking about, ‘Okay, where’s my royalties?’ They took me right out of the game.”
“I was in the SmackDown video game, and I was talking to Johnny [Ace] about it. I said, ‘Johnny, I’ve been here for quite a while. It’s not like I’m just a referee that came in here for two years or three years,’ and he’s like, ‘Nah just not doing the referees.’ And I said, ‘Wow.’ It’s a little uncomfortable because when you hear all the boys are making a lot of money off the royalties, which so be — I mean, I own my own name.”