Mike Chioda Recalls John Cena Choking Out Umaga At WWE Royal Rumble 2007
The match went real... too real
One of the better Last Man Standing matches in WWE history came at Royal Rumble 2007, when WWE Champion John Cena successfully defended the title against Umaga in a wild brawl.
The finish came as Cena choked out Umaga with the ring rope, but according to former WWE referee Mike Chioda on the Monday Mailbag podcast, Cena choked out the ‘Samoan Bulldozer’ for real:
“Umaga couldn’t answer anything. He was out like a light. That’s why I got so worried about Eckie (Umaga),” Chioda said. “I was thinking, was he concussed? But no, the rope got him and choked him out, and he passed out. I didn’t even know Eckie was passed out. He was shoot passed out. He was totally out of it.
“He finally woke up. I was like, ‘Are you alright? That was nuts.’ It was the ring rope that choked him out. John was pulling too hard. He was tugging too hard. I felt bad because as a referee, you have to know what’s going on in there. I was like, ‘Eckie, I just thought you were selling so good.’ He said, ‘I was trying to tell you but I couldn’t get it out.’ He couldn’t talk but he was trying to tell me it was too tight, and I couldn’t even hear him.”