Former NFL star and current WWE SmackDown color commentator Pat McAfee recently spoke with Ariel Helwani on the Ariel Helwani show about a wide range of topics, most notably how much he enjoys his gig with WWE despite not making a lot of money doing it. Hear his full thoughts on the subject below.
Reveals how he got the SmackDown commentary gig:
I think they got comfortable with me, used to me, they saw some of my content and there was a trust that was built up. When I was allowed to do the run with Adam Cole, because he broke my set and we did that whole thing — you always have to do this, every single day with everybody, but I think I was able to build up some trust with people about like, ‘Hey, I do understand a little bit about the business, not enough to act like I’m a genius or anything like that, but I know what is potentially a good because I do a show literally every single day. I’m not going to panic in any big moments because I’ve been in some of the largest of all time. I’m always coming from a good spot. They kind of let me do that and I’m very lucky to do that. Now, I’m getting a chance to sit next to the greatest of all-time in Michael Cole. I just go out there and have a blast. It’s not a profitable thing for me, SmackDown, aside from being in front of three million people every Friday night, which is incredibly huge and a massive commercial, but when you’re talking about strictly cash in pocket, it’s not that profitable. For me, I’m doing it, because I love it so much. I have so much fun and enjoy it.
On hearing Vince McMahon in his ear during the show:
There have been a couple of things, obviously, that have been told me to, ‘do this, try to do this,’ and I try to curtail it and keep it in there,” he said. “Anybody who says you’re getting a chance to a hear a billionaire speak into your brain whenever you’re talking about his show and acts as if that’s a bad thing, I think it’s incredibly short-sighted. Getting a chance to chat with Vince McMahon, even if you think he’s a lunatic or whatever, he’s one of the biggest self-made dudes in the history of the world. I take it as an incredible opportunity and I’ve been in football and soccer where coaches have said terrible things to me, so I almost have a callous built up. If Vince McMahon was coming in my ear and saying some of the things that people have said that have happened in the past, my natural reaction would be to almost laugh, like, ‘this sounds bad but I get it.’ I look at it as an incredible opportunity and something that is cool. I’m very thankful they’ve let me do my own thing.
(H/T and transcribed by Fightful)