Fans of professional wrestling are abuzz as the much-hyped WWE Brand Split draws near, and no topic has sparked more impassioned speculation than the fate of referee Mike Chioda.
Members of the so-called Internet Wrestling Community are split, with roughly half advocating for Chioda to officiate on Raw (hashtag: #RawIsChioda), while the other half believes his refereeing skills are most needed on Smackdown (#TeamBlueStripes).
While the future of Chioda — and, by extension, WWE as a whole — remains uncertain, some aspects of the upcoming brand split have been leaked online and are all-but carved in stone:
- Eric Bischoff will become General Manager of Smackdown
- Mitch the Potted Plant will become General Manager of Raw
- Raw will be shorted to 30 minutes, and mainly feature highlights of Swerved pranks
- NXT will be cancelled to make room for a resurrected ECW
The brand split is an audacious gamble for WWE, and the company’s stock price is sure to fluctuate next week depending on what the it does with Chioda.
Adding fuel to the speculation are rumors that Chioda is considering a one-off refereeing stint in UFC.