Pat McAfee made a name for himself in the NFL before transitioning into WWE. No one could have ever foreseen just how successful McAfee would become in WWE, both as a commentator and in-ring competitor. He also interviewed Vince McMahon on his show last year and now it appears McAfee explained his approach to interviewing the WWE Chairman.
The former NFL punter became the voice of Smackdown alongside Michael Cole and breathe new life into the product. He was last seen on WWE television during the Royal Rumble and has been absent since.
Pat McAfee has a good relationship with Vince McMahon and even faced him in an impromptu match at WrestleMania 38. Prior to that, Vince McMahon appeared on “The Pat McAfee Show” for a rare interview.
The interview had a lot of interesting topics of discussion and even ended up booking McAfee’s match against Austin Theory at WrestleMania 38. While speaking to Jimmy Traina on the SI Media Podcast, Pat McAfee was asked if he was nervous to interview McMahon. Afterwards, McAfee explained his approach to interviewing the WWE Chairman.
No. When I was doing SmackDown, I started learning the business a little more. Obviously, as a fan my entire life, I understood and thought I knew what was going on, but once you start meeting people and kind of learn about people and the process of it all, I’m genuinely a curious person too, so I would just go ask Vince questions. ‘Why do you guys do it this way? Why do you do this?’ I feel like he’s naturally a teacher. I feel if people approach him and ask him questions, he wants to tell people why he did what he did. The way he goes about telling people, we’ve all seen, certainly an interesting thing and he’s certainly made mistakes as a human, I think he would recognize that and we all recognize that.
Whenever you’re talking about business acumen in American business humans in history, one of the best feels for business and what the future looks like. I just started asking him questions and I think he respected the questions I was asking because a lot of questions I was asking was for my own business, my own show, he knew about that. I’d ask him stuff about things we were thinking about doing with partners and sponsors and exclusivities and it would like take him back to 20 or 25 years ago.
We, naturally, built up a little bit of a conversation almost every single week at SmackDown because I’d be going through a lot with my show, and at the same time, my SmackDown thing is growing, and there are two different silos. My show is sports, football, wrestling, but kind of similar because they’re both entertainment, but it wasn’t a lot of crossover. Some of our people won’t ever watch wrestling, some of the wrestling people came over, but it was certainly two different real worlds that were happening.
I just started asking questions about decisions I would have to make. I think he appreciated it, I think he respected the questions I was asking, and anytime you talk to anybody, I learned this with Peyton, I was very lucky to be teammates with Peyton Manning. These are humans, at the end of the day. You have to talk to them like they’re humans. Soon as you start treating them like they’re not humans, they’re going to not act like humans. If you get showed up in front of somebody, they’re going to immediately shut down and not really talk to you. If you talk to people like they’re humans, they appreciate that. Him blessing us, he flew in for that.
Didn’t know if it was going to happen. It was reported, it was talked about, day of though, before we went live, did not get a confirmation. I just assume he’s coming. Then we get a text, ’30 minutes out, 15 minutes out.’ Plane, SUV, all by himself, no security, walks right in, sits down, does an hour and 15, hour and a half, comes out, takes a picture, says thank you to everyone, back on the plane, back home, probably had another 12 hour day after that. I was pumped more than nervous. I knew that he doesn’t talk to a lot of people. I, being a wrestling fan for a long time, have obviously followed his trajectory business-wise on top of everything else. I felt pumped for the opportunity, for sure.”
Pat McAfee revealed how Vince McMahon helped him with major deal for his show. Pat McAfee will also get a ton of money every year from his insane ESPN deal. We’ll have to see what’s next in store for McAfee.
What’s your view on what Pat McAfee said? Did you like his interview with Vince McMahon? Let us know in the comments!