Mike Chioda Recalls His Experience As Referee In Undertaker vs. Goldberg Bout In Saudi Arabia

When The Undertaker and Goldberg met in Saudi Arabia at WWE Super ShowDown 2019 it was supposed to be a historic showdown between two legends.

It was anything but.

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Goldberg suffered a concussion in the bout, leading to botched spots where both men were nearly injured. Fortunately, they made it out alive, but neither was happy with their performance.

Speaking to Alistair McGregor of Metro, referee Mike Chioda recalled his first-hand look at the action and what was going through his mind at the time.

"It went downhill after Goldberg got gashed open in the turnbuckle, got concussed. He was badly concussed and he got through the match, but barely. That’s when I was kinda worried because I thought, 'oh my God!' After the suplex, they almost broke their necks. 'Oh my God, let’s get this done,' he was so concussed. I was waiting to hear back from somebody to say, 'should I call this match or not because he’s not doing good at all?' They just let them go. When you were an old school wrestler, you didn’t care if you were bleeding – you got through the match, whatever it took, you got through it. You wouldn’t see too many guys just saying, 'Oh I can’t wrestle any more' or 'I broke my finger' or 'I tore my knee out.' They still get through the match," he said.

Chioda continued by saying, "These days are a little bit different because we take concussion protocol a lot more serious – we are taking it much more seriously now, in wrestling. That’s it, let it play out. Unless Taker’s gonna tell me something. Then I would’ve done it. That was it. Taker tells me something, I’m doing it. I don’t care if the office in the back didn’t like it or not! Taker is one of the bosses, that’s for sure."

The Undertaker won the bout in Saudi Arabia, but returned a month later to team with Roman Reigns against Drew McIntyre and Shane McMahon. Undertaker said that Roman and Drew helped him "erase the stain" of the Goldberg match.

Chioda was released by WWE as part of the company-wide cutbacks in April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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