Shawn Michaels Overselling for Hulk Hogan Left a Legendary Referee in a Rare Dilemma: “Of Course, You Can’t Smile”

Published 09/11/2023, 1:45 PM EDT

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In the wrestling world, the showdown between Hulk Hogan and Shawn Michaels at SummerSlam 2005 was once a highly anticipated dream match. However, today, it’s not the epic battle that stands out but rather Michaels’ exaggerated reactions in the ring. Few people understand this better than Mike Chioda. Chioda, a former WWE referee had a ringside view of Michaels’ memorable performance during that infamous match. This performance left the referee in a dilemma that he had faced for the first time in his decorated career.

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Shawn Michaels exaggerated selling antics almost cause the referee to break character

Mike Chioda, a former WWE referee who was right there in the action, spoke about this on a recent “Monday Mailbag” episode. Chioda acknowledged Michaels’ over-the-top selling during the match. He said, “It was popping me inside. I was laughing inside, I was having fun with it, like he was. He was basically overselling. I kind of got the picture. He was just popping me inside without the smiling on TV. Of course, you can’t smile as a referee on TV”, implying that he was enjoying Michaels’ antics but couldn’t express it on camera.

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Chioda continued, “You can smile if you’re babyface and a heel. They don’t know what you’re smiling about .But not as a ref. But yeah, it just popped me way inside. It was just kind of like ‘holy sh*t!’ I knew what was going on. What are you going to do? I was like, ‘He’s making Hogan look strong!'” Chioda concluded by saying, “He’s the best at selling, Shawn Michaels could sell his a*s off. It’s what babyfaces should do, heels should do, it’s both ways.” declaring that no one can beat the Heart Break Kid at this art.

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Chioda highlighted Michaels’s impeccable acting skills combined with his unique approach towards pro wrestling is what made him a fan favorite. This combined with his ridiculous charm and athleticism made him one of the greatest stars of WWE.  

Why Michaels is considered one of the greatest stars at WWE?

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Shawn Michaels, often hailed as the greatest wrestling performer of all time, possessed a unique blend of talents that set him apart. While others may excel in mic work or technical prowess, Michaels was the complete package. He effortlessly transitioned from charismatic promos to high-flying athleticism. His versatility allowed him to innovate in the ring, drawing inspiration from different wrestling styles to craft a Hall of Fame career. 

Whether mocking Hulk Hogan, delivering an iconic Superkick, or breaking through the barbershop window in a pivotal moment, Michaels left an indelible mark on wrestling history. His contributions to groundbreaking matches and his ability to elevate his opponents made him a legendary figure in the wrestling world. His unique traits earned him the fitting moniker of “Mr. WrestleMania.” In the grand theater of wrestling, Shawn Michaels was the ultimate showstopper.

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What do you make of the referee’s comments involving the match between Hogan and Michaels? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Written by:

Shaikh Aerajuddin

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Shaikh Aerajuddin is a WWE writer at EssentiallySports. With a Masters degree in Sports Science, Aeraj always carries a keen eye for detail and understands the various nuances of pro wrestling beyond the ring. Being a pro wrestling fan from his childhood, Aeraj now uses his analytical mind to tell a story in his articles for ES.
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Edited by:

Amal Joyce

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