Pat McAfee: WWE commentary is not that profitable for me, I do it because I love it

Ariel Helwani invited Pat McAfee onto his show to discuss McAfee's NFL and sports media careers

Photo Courtesy: WWE

Pat McAfee dives into his sports media career.

For several years, Pat McAfee has been affiliated with WWE by doing their pre-shows and now he is the color commentator for SmackDown alongside Michael Cole.

McAfee is six months into his run as a regular on commentary and he is enjoying his time behind the desk, as he relayed to Ariel Helwani during their conversation. McAfee brought up Vince McMahon being in his ear during shows and feels it is a short-sighted thing to complain about because it is Vince’s show. The former NFL punter added that for him, the gig is not that profitable but he is doing it because he loves it.

And now, getting a chance to sit next to the greatest of all-time in Michael Cole, I mean I just go out there and have a blast. It’s not a profitable thing for me, the SmackDown. I mean aside from being in front of three million people every Friday night which is incredibly huge, that’s a massive commercial. When you’re talking about just strictly cash in pocket, like that is not that profitable of a thing for me. For me, I’m doing it because I love it so much. I have so much fun, I enjoy it. There’s been a couple things obviously that have been told to me like, ‘Hey, do this, do this, try to do this’ and I try to curtail it and keep it in there but anybody that says you get a chance to 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 that’s incredibly short-sighted. Getting a chance to chat with Vince McMahon, even if you think he’s whatever; a lunatic or whatever. This is one of the biggest self-made dudes in the history of the world so, 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 callus build-up so, if Vince McMahon was to come into my ear and say some of the things that people have said have happened in the past, I think my natural reaction would be to almost laugh. Like this sounds bad but it will be like, ‘Okay, all right. I get it. I get it.’ But I look at that as an incredible opportunity at something that’s really cool and very thankful that they’ve let me kind of do my own thing in there.

Pat McAfee’s only sanctioned match was against Adam Cole at NXT TakeOver XXX. McAfee was banged up once it was all said and done, but said he has to assume that he’ll be back in the ring at some point.

I mean first minute I’m in that match, I do a moonsault and I don’t turn my feet out so my toe just goes straight into the mat, fracture my big toe literally the first minute I’m in there and then obviously with the flip off the top and in the match with Adam Cole, I got kicked so hard in the face in the middle of that thing. I mean it was — my whole body was incredibly sore. The amount of respect that I had for every woman and man that gets in the ring after my first match — I mean I obviously had massive respect for them but it grew. I mean I’m delicate flower but, let’s assume I’m probably gonna get back in there. I mean let’s assume at some point. I gotta win at some point, you know what I mean? I can’t just be completely defeated in there but my body was beat up dude. I was very sore.

Continuing on the topic of Adam Cole, McAfee made sure to give props to Cole for his talent. Since their match at TakeOver, both McAfee and Cole have not let up with their disdain of one another in public settings.

And Adam Cole is a terrible human. Okay, we gotta make sure everybody knows that. Adam Cole, outright scumbag of a guy but getting a chance to work with somebody who is that talented, even though he is a whole ass, you know what I mean? Getting the chance to work with somebody that talented, especially in the era that we had to do it. There was no fans. There was really no atmosphere. It was like 17 minutes, one-on-one match, no gimmicks by the way. There was no chairs, there’s no tables, there’s no referee interference, there was none of my boys out there. Just a one-on-one match. I take a lot of pride in that because I had dreamt about that ever since I was a kid. So I was very, very lucky to do that.

McAfee and Michael Cole will be on the call for tomorrow’s SmackDown which will feature the fallout from Extreme Rules. To hear POST Wrestling’s recap of Extreme Rules, head over to this link.

If the quotes in this article are used, please credit The Ariel Helwani Show with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions. 

About Andrew Thompson 5070 Articles
A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.