WWE made it official by announcing the hiring of Jimmy Smith as the new lead play- by- play voice for their flagship show Monday Night Raw.
WWE and Raw lead play-by-play announcer at the time, Adnan Virk, mutually agreed to part ways earlier this week. Smith will begin his new duties alongside Corey Graves and Byron Saxton beginning this coming Monday, May 31st at 8pm ET on the USA Network. Below is a statement from WWE.
Prior to working for WWE, Smith was the lead analyst for Bellator MMA. In 2018 he would go on to work for the UFC commentary team and stay there for one year. The former mixed martial arts fighter also hosts a show on SiriusXM’s Fight Nation Channel.
Smith joined WWE earlier in the year working mostly on NXT. He served as an analyst for NXT, where he hosted NXT TakeOver pre-show panels and worked on other projects for the black and gold brand.
Smith came highly regarded by Michael Cole, who had been personally working with him behind the scenes for a possible announcing role within the company.
The Raw lead play-by-play position has become a revolving door over the last few months. WWE’s most recent signing of Adnan Virk, who was a former ESPN sportscaster and had no prior experience in sports entertainment. Virk struggled out of the gate and the wrestling fans on social media weren’t shy in letting him and WWE know how they felt about his commentary.
WWE got the message and are hitting the reset button with Smith this Monday Night. Hopefully the company shows the patience needed when bringing in a new guy into the fold. It is not an easy job, there will be ups and downs but WWE hopes that Smith can grow quickly into the role and adjust well to the fast paced environment of sports entertainment.