Jimmy Smith became the lead announcer for WWE Monday Night Raw in May of 2021. Smith came to the wrestling world via his career in mixed martial arts. He had a brief career as a television host with Bellator and on “American Ninja Warrior.” The WWE experience brought on an entirely different set of rules.
Broadcasting legitimate sports was no problem for Jimmy. There are no real stakes for a commentator during an MMA fight. Having to put over matches, storylines, and wrestlers was a totally new thing for Smith.
Jimmy recently appeared on “Throwing Down w/ Renee & Miesha” where the commentator discussed the differences. Smith also gave insight into what working with Vince McMahon is like. He said everything is laid out for him before each event.
“The weird part is when it comes to MMA, it’s not a show. I’m calling an event, and the event and the show are two different things. I know that’s hard to understand. I’m sitting there and two people are fighting. When they start, when they end, and how they fight have nothing to do with me. If they get there, they lay an egg, and they suck, it’s not really my problem. Or if they have a banger, I’m kind of along for the ride, but the show and the fight are separate things. On RAW, they’re all together, so I’m part of the show and the show is a part of me, and I’m part of making that show…
We [Smith and Vince McMahon] go to the production meeting before every show. We talk about what’s going on, what the thought process is behind everything, and what the psychology is behind everything. That meeting lays out how the show is supposed to go, here’s what we’re thinking and all that stuff. After that, once I’m on air, generally I’m allowed to just completely do whatever I need to do. If there’s something he needs to jump in and say, he does it, but it’s pretty much the meetings before the show that is when the vast majority of the interactions happen in that meeting.”
Jimmy Smith is aware of the nuances that make broadcasting pro wrestling different from any other sport. The new gig brings on increased responsibility. Smith is always prepared to deliver just what Vince McMahon is looking for.
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