Pat McAfee Comments on How He Got WWE Smackdown Commentary Job, Listening to Criticism, More

Pat McAfee made his WWE Smackdown commentary debut last Friday night and tonight will be his second time on the job with veteran play-by-play man Michael Cole. McAfee is a former NFL punter that also hosts a very popular Youtube and Sirus XM sports talk show Monday to Friday from 12pm to 3pm. He’s also a big-time wrestling fan that was impressive when he wrestled in NXT last year while his promos really stood out as a heel performer.

During McAfee’s Youtube show earlier in the week, he was critical of his own performance on Smackdown last week.

“I do not think I was anywhere near where I can get to as a commentator for professional wrestling. I used a lot of the words a couple times over and over. I was scared to have too much bass in my voice ’cause I didn’t want people to think I was trying to dominate the call or anything like that, but sometimes I sounded a little bit too soft. The standing, natural instinct was for me to stand when something happened. I guess a lot of people didn’t enjoy that. I appreciate that because that was potentially something that could get me into some shit. A lot of people say like, ‘Oh, you need to stay so we can.’ The clip of us coming back to the two shot of me standing, him sitting and me kind of being caught in a situation where I’m like, ‘Well I don’t know if I should stand or sit right now.’ That was one of those kind of ad-libbed moments that pop up that is incredible. I had a blast. I think I stunk, but I have a chance to get better. I enjoyed it. I’m very thankful to all the people at the WWE and to anybody that happened to tune in.”

You can see an extended video clip here.

I think Pat is being a bit hard on himself considering it was his first time on the job on live television. I think a lot of fans liked him and he’s going to do well in that spot.

Recently, McAfee was a guest on the Busted Open Radio Show where he talked about his first time on Smackdown and more topics. Thanks to PostWrestling for the transcript.

McAfee spoke about how he was open to criticism and being coached on the job:

“It’s one of those things with me where I think people have this misperception of me that I don’t do well with coaching or whatever. I actually love coaching. I wanna be great, I wanna be as good as I possibly can, I wanna make the product as good as possible. But just, it depends on who it is and I had to have that thought because I’ve heard the horror stories obviously, and I was like, Vince McMahon, self-made billionaire, a guy that revolutionized the world. If he wants to talk to me and tell me how to be better, I’m okay with listening to that but I do believe he gets and understands me too so I think that’s a big part of this whole thing.”

McAfee revealed that WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon was not at last week’s Smackdown, so he is excited to see what it’s like when Vince is there:

“The commentators are very, very important so, I know it’s a big role, I know it’s a very important role. I’m trying to get as good as possible at that role. I wanna be great at it. Not because they gave me a shot, gave me an opportunity but it’s good for wrestling if I get better at my job and now that I’m kinda done with night one — Vince [McMahon] was not there. I guess everything could be [different] in the next week or so. But I gotta work on a lot, but I enjoyed it and I’m excited to see whenever V.K.M. shows up, what it’s gonna be like as well.”

McAfee also talked about the process of how he got hired by WWE and working with Michael Cole on Smackdown:

“The original phone call, there was no thought that I was gonna be doing commentating for SmackDown. We kind of all — I know very little compared to a lot of people that have been in the business, but I think anybody who’s ever been in the business does know a couple things that there’s a chance when you get a call, it was like, ‘Hey, you thinking about maybe wanting to do something a little bit bigger?’ Absolutely. You know, I absolutely love what was going on. They’re like, ‘Okay, let’s figure out how we can make the schedule work’ then they brought up, ‘Hey, would mind maybe doing some commentating? Do you care?’ I’m like — and I didn’t know what it was gonna be. I thought maybe NXT, maybe something else and then as the conversations continued, they’re like, ‘How about commentating for SmackDown?’ And I was like, ‘… Yeah. I have no idea why. I have no idea why you would be putting me on FOX every Friday but I would absolutely love to do it.’ Michael Cole, you know, getting a chance to work with him makes my life a whole lot easier so it’s just like dream situation after dream situation that I did not know what was gonna be what it was until very quickly before it all kind of got announced. It kind of all happened relatively quickly.”

Good luck to Pat on his second episode of Smackdown tonight. If you check out his Youtube show this afternoon, he’ll probably talk about it on there as well.

I’ll have a review of Smackdown up on TJRWrestling later tonight.