Mike Chioda: Why I Was Removed From WWE Video Games
"They wouldn't do anything with the referees"
During his time with WWE, referee Mike Chioda was sometimes used in the company's video games in the early 2000s but he was suddenly removed one year.
Chioda revealed during an interview with WrestleTalk that he was pulled from future releases because he asked to be compensated for the company using his likeness.
"It was amazing for me to see Aubrey (Edwards). She had shirts on Pro Wrestling Tees. We were never allowed to do that! I mean, we weren't allowed to make any extra money. We weren't allowed to be on the video games for WWE. I was in one for a short time on SmackDown, until I asked if it was okay to get compensated because a lot of the guys were getting $40,000 checks every quarter, or $80,000 checks every three months, and then the Christmas one would be huge after that," Chioda said.
"I started asking about how it came, can you be here a certain amount of time to get it? A wrestler could come in and in six months or a year, they're on the video game, and they wouldn't do anything with the referees. As soon as I had asked, and started talking about that, I got taken out, then they paid someone in the office to do it for like two or three grand to be in the video game. It wasn't even a referee, he was just a guy in the office, they used his likeness, then paid him one time."
Chioda's 31-year tenure with WWE came to an end in April 2020 following his release. He has since made sporadic appearances in All Elite Wrestling and refereed Cody Rhodes' TNT Title match against Darby Allin at Full Gear.