Among the dozens of performers and employees released by WWE on ‘Black Wednesday’ on April 15th, the longest tenured of those let go was referee Mike Chioda.
Having been with the company since 1989, Chioda was seen as the senior referee in the company and had officiated many of the biggest matches in recent WWE history but had been off TV for a number of months before his release.
Last night on AEW Dynamite, Chioda made his unannounced debut as the man in the middle for the night’s two biggest matches.
His first appearance was to officiate the TNT Title match between Cody and Scorpio Sky. In his second match, between Chris Jericho and Orange Cassidy, the ref played into the story of the match somewhat, with Jericho attempting to lean on Chioda to favour him in the match due to their shared history in WWE.
In the end, Chioda played things right down the middle and Cassidy got the expected but exciting win.
There’s no word yet on whether Chioda will be making regular appearances with AEW but his experience would undoubtedly prove valuable.