Tony Chimel on how he broke into WWE, working for Vince McMahon and not believing he has no say in WWE business, looks back on being released by the company

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By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast with Tony Chimel
Host: JP John Poz
Twitter: @TwoManPowerTrip
Website: www.tmptempire.com
Interview available at Tmptow.podomatic.com

Breaking into the WWF: “When I was about seven years old or something, we’re playing street hockey out in the street there in front of our houses. And up comes a new kid that just moved into the neighborhood and said, ‘Hey, I’m Joey, can I play’? And we’re like, yeah. And just over time you grew a relationship with him and then you find out his dad’s a wrestler and we were kids, so we all watch wrestling on Saturday morning sometimes, and we knew about it and we knew who he was and, and all that. And I just became good friends with him, we hung out. He was a couple years younger than me, but we went to the same high school together and we played the same sports, you know, football, basketball, baseball, hockey, whatever. And, you know, he was just part of the neighborhood and you got to be close to him and stuff like that.

“And Gorilla (Monsoon), you know, and Gorilla owned part of… this is before Vince (McMahon) owned the company, when Vince Sr. owned it, I think he owned part of it. And Gorilla owned part of it, and Arnold Skaaland owned part of it, and there was a guy out in Harrisburg named Phil Zacko, I believe that on part of it and Gorilla had a ring and we would either during the summertime or on vacations or something like that, we’d go and drive the ring truck to a place like Baltimore or Scranton, PA or Harrisburg or something like that. And you would just do it on occasionally, you know, and then we’d sell programs and make like, I don’t know, 10 cents off a program or something like that that you sold. And then when Vince’s dad died, I guess Vince bought Gorilla out, and all of that and bought the other guys out. And maybe a couple weeks after that, Vince called Gorilla and said, ‘Hey, does your son want to work for me and set the ring up? And he can bring a friend.’ Joey brought me, and that’s how I got in the door in November of 1983.”

Working for Vince McMahon: I always had a good relationship with Vince. Vince was always nice to me. Vince never had a problem with me. Vince would always joke around with me and stuff like that. And, you know, Vince gave me a career for 38 years. I got no ill will till Vince or for Vince. And he always treated me great and was always nice to me, even, you know, stuck by me when I had an issue with one of my bosses a long time ago. And he stuck with me and stuck up for me, which I really appreciate it, and I’m still grateful for that to this day.”

On Vince McMahon’s retirement: “I do not see Vince sitting on a beach in Florida and not doing anything. He could be retired. That’s fine. You know, I refuse to believe that he’s not having any input in anything in that company. And it’d be interesting to see if he’s still on the payroll or he got a severance package or what goes on with that when you become owner of the company, is he now not owner? Does he now not own any stock? Does he have nothing to do with the company? Does he not talk about business to Steph or Shane or Hunter or anybody? I don’t know about that. That’s his world. That’s his life, that business. And he created a great business and he created a great career for me for 38 years. And I just, I don’t believe he can be retired or not in the input or not backstage or anything like that. There’s no way I’m believing that he doesn’t have any say or no comments about any of that stuff, or is it getting paid by the company? I don’t know.”

Being released by WWE: “I was shocked. I mean, you know, I went through all sorts of different phases of getting let go. When the pandemic hit, I was willing to go and travel and do shows and do whatever and just continue to do my job. And obviously they weren’t running shows all over the country because of that, but they started running shows in Orlando, which is only two or three hours from where I live now and where I lived, and I offered to go there and they were saying, no, they didn’t want me there, and things like that. And then finally, I got a call saying that I was furloughed and I still offered to go back and work there and do what I was doing and all that. And then finally, I got a call from Kevin Dunn saying that I was being let go. Kevin really technically wasn’t my boss, but he makes a lot of decisions. And I guess he was the one that I, I don’t know if he made a decision or that new guy (Nick) Khan or whatever made the decision. Because I’m sure they, they had independent contractors working in the production office and doing what I was doing for probably a lot less money than I was. And at 59, 60 years of age back then, you know, they probably said, oh, we can just let him go. And, you know, I guess it was a good timing thing for them and a good reason.”

Other topics include the WWF, Mike Chioda, the WWE, Triple H, Edge, The Undertaker, John Cena, the WWE Hall of Fame, and more.

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