Jimmy Smith expresses concern about Daniel Cormier’s potential in WWE

During an episode of MMA on SiriusXM, WWE RAW announcer Jimmy Smith commented on Daniel Cormier’s segment from the October 3rd 2022 edition of RAW…

“Number one, ‘For all of you who don’t know who I am’ is a bad start. Number two, when he said, ‘I’m Daniel Cormier,’ did you hear anything [from the crowd]? If that had been The Rock, number one, I would have popped like crazy. ‘I’m The Rock.’ Pop like crazy again. When he went, ‘I’m Daniel Cormier,’ I kind of turned around and crickets. Am I alone in this? When he first popped on the screen I expected something. The crowd just really didn’t react. Right here, when he goes, ‘I’m Daniel Cormier,’ and this crowd shot, by the way, we’re seeing it on YouTube, look at this crowd, they really didn’t react very much. Remember, I’m in the bubble of MMA and I’m in the bubble of professional wrestling. I’m in kind of two bubbles so I don’t know how often the two bubbles intersect. That was a great indication of WWE fans, at least the ones that were there, really didn’t seem to react much.”

“Here’s the issue to me, and let’s speak about it in pro wrestling terms, he was the face. He was the good guy. He was the foil to Jon Jones’ bad guy and he’s generally kind of a likable guy, but he wasn’t one of the over-the-top personalities. DC was a good personality but not over-the-top as far as combat sports go, number one. Number two, the idea that your average and the expression that I always use is ‘the guy at 7/11.’ DC, is he a guy who the guy at 7/11 knows when DC fights every time? Not necessarily. It’s a weird kind of mix. He’s popular, but is he crossover popular? I don’t know, and that’s what it takes. Let’s face it, he doesn’t bring anything as far as referee credentials. But the whole point of this is over-the-top eyeballs. Mike Tyson being a guest referee is just a stunt to get eyeballs. So the idea that you’re a nice guy or you’re popular in MMA means something, but this isn’t about real authentic credentials so it is about the pop, and he didn’t get that.”

“What people don’t know, is the referee is basically a producer in real-time. The referee has an IFB in their ear and the producers in Gorilla are saying, “Okay, three minutes until this. Two minutes until that. Alright, here’s the spot coming up.” When the referee’s going 1-2-, he’s leaning forward and going, “Three minutes until commercial so do what you got to do.” They are communicating stuff to the wrestlers in the ring. DC is not going to do any of that. He just doesn’t know how. I’m not knocking the guy, he’s just not a producer, and that’s not what he does. … DC’s not going to do the producing stuff. Fortunately, it’s Seth Rollins and Matt Riddle, they could have a gold star match in a parking lot by themselves. So you’re not going to need that. The interesting thing is who gets under his skin and when he snaps, you know, we all know the deal here. How DC handles all that stuff, the improvisational nature of being in pro wrestling, how he handles that will tell us about the future. If he’s a great ref and really does spots well, whatever it is, that tells us a ton about where we’re going to go in the future.” (quotes courtesy of Gisberto Guzzo)