Rey Mysterio was famously squashed by Samoa Joe at WrestleMania 35. The United States Championship match lasted less than a minute. Fans were disappointed that WWE could not find time for a longer match between two elite talents on a seven-hour show.
Former WWE referee Mike Chioda recalled the match on Monday Mailbag. As the official assigned to the bout, it was up to Mike to communicate the plan from the agent to the wrestlers. When Billy Kidman told Chioda to end the match right away, he was shocked.
The original plan for the match was to go for nearly 20 minutes. That quickly got cut down to 12. Just before the match, Mike Chioda was informed that the match needed to be cut for time. Rey Mysterio thought he was joking.
“We had 15 to 18 or 22 minutes, originally, got knocked down to like 12 minutes. I remember Rey had this badass cosplay, his gear was made and he spends a lot of money on his gear. Samoa Joe had a different style. I remember it got knocked down to 12-15 minutes and then when I got in the ring, Billy Kidman said, ‘Go home,’ like, right away. Rey’s in the ring already, did his entrance, Samoa Joe is coming down and I’m like, ‘Rey, they’re saying go home right away.’ He’s like, ‘What?’ I’m like, ‘I swear to god.’ He’s like, ‘[Chioda] are you f*cking with me?’ I’m like, ‘No, I swear to god he’s telling me you’ve got to.’
I couldn’t believe they did that to Rey because I don’t think they cut anybody else’s match that night. They didn’t cut anybody else’s matches or anything, it was just Joe and Rey’s match. I felt bad. He just goes in there and kind of demolishes Rey and beats him. I felt bad for Rey, I really did. He was coming back, they had made some promises to him but they’re taking care of him now, him and Dom, which is cool. I think he was going through a little bit of stuff with the company but he’s totally rebounded. Rey is such a professional and such a great person, man, a great guy, and he’s one of my best friends. That was just a bad weekend that weekend, and that was my last WrestleMania.”
That match was the only one on the show to be cut for time. With two major stars like Rey Mysterio and Samoa Joe, it is hard to believe that they couldn’t find more time elsewhere. Mike Chioda was as surprised as the WWE Universe at the decision.
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