Mike Chioda recently took part in a Q&A on Ad Free Shows to discuss a number of pro wrestling topics.
Featured below are some of the highlights from the Q&A, including referee Rod Zapata getting in trouble for the botched finish to the main event of WrestleMania 35.
Says Vince McMahon and John Laurinaitis were hot for the botched pinfall: “Rod Zapata was the referee for that match and got a lot of heat for it, a lot of heat for that match for counting. He shouldn’t have counted. I think he panicked. He could have said, ‘Hey, get that shoulder down more. Get that shoulder down.’ Sometimes if you start a count and it’s almost not touching, and if you’re telling them as you’re counting, they can make the adjustment and get it tighter. He should have never counted. He got a lot of heat for that. I remember there was so much heat that you almost thought he was going to lose his job at that point. That was something that you just have to work as a referee. If you don’t see something down, you can’t count it the way the camera angles are. Vince was f**king hot. Laurinaitis was hot. Rightfully so. You have to man up to your mistakes. That’s why it’s hard to be a referee.
How Zapata didn’t own up to the mistake which only got him more heat: “You know that’s the finish, and he was saying something about how he didn’t think Ronda or someone couldn’t make the adjustment. I remember we said to him, ‘Why didn’t you just tell them to get the shoulder down as you’re counting?’ He tried to protect himself and said ‘I don’t think she could have made the adjustment.’ Those were his return words, and I think he got himself a little more heat after that. That goes back to where you have to protect yourself as a referee because it’s going to make you look bad for counting the shoulders that are not down. It makes you look like sh*t, and that’s where you bury yourself if you don’t make the adjustment.”
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