Jimmy Smith sits across from the wrestling ring doing commentary for “WWE Raw” every Monday, but that doesn’t mean he’s best buddies with Vince McMahon. On his podcast “Unlocking The Cage” on Sirius XM, Smith brought up the news of McMahon being investigated due to alleged executive misconduct. Smith knew a lot of his colleagues would be interested in what he would say since he works for the company and gave his perspective as to who this investigation would be looking into.
“What will get exposed over the next couple months, in investigations like this typically, is what is the executive culture at the WWE. That’s what we’re going to find out. The good thing about me and my job is I don’t know cause I’m not an executive,” Smith stated, who joined the Raw as the lead play-by-play man back in May of 2021. “One thing you have to know about me, workwise, is I do my job, I take my headset off and I go home.” Smith’s producer attests to that notion: “To an annoying degree.”
Smith goes on to explain that in organizations like UFC or WWE, there are different levels of people that work with one another. He talks about the production people helping set everything up, the people working out logistics like travel, and on-air talent, which is anybody on camera. The level above all that are the executives.
“Two places you can be in a production meeting: you can sit next to Vince McMahon, you can sit across from Vince McMahon. I am one of the people that sits across from Vince McMahon. All the producers, the commentators, we all sit on one side and they go over the matches. People are sitting next to Vince and people are sitting across from Vince. What is going to get investigated over the next couple of months is the culture and communication between the people who sit next to Vince McMahon. That is what is going to get looked at. Why? A culture is hard to hide. You can hide an act. You can do something, you make a mistake and you can make amends for that mistake and all these things, you can do that. It’s what is going on communication-wise behind the scenes, that’s what this investigation is going to be looking at. They’re going to be looking at the executive culture of the WWE. The good news from my perspective is I have spent five minutes total talking to any executive of WWE. They don’t have any reason to talk to me.
Smith states that he hears from Vince McMahon, but just strictly regarding matters with the production and promotion of “Raw.”
“It’s all about the nuts and bolts of the show. It’s never, ‘Hey, let’s hang out and get something to eat.’ Doesn’t work that way folks. I never did that with anybody, not Dana White, not Scott Coker. There’s a real line in sports and sports entertainment to the people sitting at the top, the executives, and the people doing their job in a particular place.
With all these levels of workers, Smith says that each has its own culture and while some of these levels may bleed over into one another, it more than often doesn’t. That goes with the executive level at WWE. Smith makes mention of John Laurinitis who is referenced in the Wall Street Journal article with McMahon.
“Hey, nice guy in the two times that I spoke to him, shook his hand and went, ‘Hey, how ya doing?’ Bruce Prichard! Nice guy. the handful of times I had to speak with Bruce Prichard about something and ask him a question, really nice guy,” Smith said.
“I’m not on the private jet, I’m not doing any of that stuff.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit “Unlocking The Cage” with ah/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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