Jimmy Smith has been providing play-by-play commentary for Monday Night Raw since May 31, 2021, where he replaced former lead announcer Adnan Virk.
Smith’s work was praised both by fans and by the company for how well he took to the job, fitting right in alongside Corey Graves and Byron Saxton from night one.
Prior to announcing for WWE, Smith previously announced for multiple MMA promotions. Smith was a recent guest on the ‘Throwing Down with Renee and Miesha’ podcast, where he spoke about his WWE gig, detailing how it is different to calling an MMA 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. It’s a really different experience. Seeing them do what they do, I tell a lot of people that I’m lucky I got into this when I was like 43. When they take these bumps, I’m sitting there going, ‘Oh my God. That would kill me.’ I’m not 25 anymore. I can’t take somebody slamming me on the steps.”
When you become a play-by-play announcer for WWE, you have Vince McMahon in your ear for the entire length of the show. That comes with the job. Smith went on to detail his interactions with Vince, as well as how much freedom he has on air.
“We 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.”
Smith has called some big moments during his time on WWE’s flagship show, including Big E’s WWE Championship victory over Bobby Lashley on September 13, 2021.
transcription via WrestlingNews.co
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