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Jimmy Smith Named New Voice Of WWE’s Raw

Smith has held multiple commentating roles in combat sports.

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: Joe Rogan Experience

Adnan Virk tapped out, and Jimmy Smith is tapping in.

WWE announced on Tuesday that former MMA fighter Jimmy Smith is taking over for Virk as the play-by-play voice of “Monday Night RAW” alongside analysts Corey Graves and Byron Saxton. Smith debuts as the play-by-play voice of RAW beginning this Monday, May 31.

“Hey guys, well it’s been a busy day,” Smith said on Twitter. “Apparently WWE liked my work so far. I know I’m stepping into a new world (I WAS a Mr. Perfect and Bruiser Brody fanatic, however) but know I’ll do everything I can to honor the athletes and fans. Watch Monday and judge my work for yourself.”

Smith has a wide range of broadcast experience since his four-year MMA career ended in the 2000s, finishing with a 5-1 record. He got his start as the host of “Fight Quest” on Discovery and has also hosted “American Ninja Warrior.” 

Outside of hosting, Smith has commentated fights for Bellator MMA, Premier Boxing Champions, the UFC and will continue hosting his Sirius XM daily MMA show “Unlocking The Cage.”

His most pertinent experience to this role on “RAW” is his recent stint as an analyst for NXT. Smith hosted “Takeover: Stand and Deliver” pre-show panels and worked on special projects for the brand, namely the video package for Finn Balor vs. NXT Champion Karrion Kross. That instant recognition from the fan base should help Smith’s transition go smoother than Virk’s.

Smith’s rise in the WWE announcing ranks hasn’t been a secret. Wrestling.com reported in March that Smith tried out at a live Smackdown taping. Michael Cole has since been training and helping Smith be ready for this opportunity. Smith was a favorite of Cole’s after he progressed through the training with signs of versatility. All of those will be on display for the WWE world to digest on May 31.

Sports TV News

Fox Officially Unveils NFL Broadcast Teams

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In what has been considered a formality for some time, Fox today officially unveiled Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen, Erin Andrews, and Tom Rinaldi as their number one NFL broadcast team Monday. Burkhardt and Olsen were elevated to Fox’s top booth after the departure of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman to ESPN’s Monday Night Football earlier this year.

There were some reports that Drew Brees could have been a possibility to join the network, but those discussions fell apart.

The network’s other teams include several familiar faces to football fans:

#2 team: Joe Davis, Daryl “Moose” Johnston, Pam Oliver
#3 team: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth, Kristina Pink
#4 team: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma, Shannon Spake
#5 team: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez, Laura Okmin
#6 team: Chris Myers, Robert Smith, Jen Hale

Olsen’s jump to the number one team with Burkhardt is a formality until the retirement of Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady. The seven-time Super Bowl winner will ascend to Fox’s number one booth upon his retirement, whenever that may be.

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Ryan Clark, Mad Dog Get Into Heated Argument on ‘First Take’

“Mad Dog, stop screaming at me now, bro. For the last time, you’re gonna stop screaming at me,” Clark interrupted.

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Former Pittsburgh Steeler, and current ESPN NFL analyst Ryan Clark and recent Radio Hall of Fame inductee Chris “Mad Dog” Russo squared off on Monday’s edition of First Take, with a heated exchange taking place between the two.

After a discussion about Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas meandered into a discussion about whether Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp would be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame if he never played another game, Clark said about Hall of Fame voters “they must be voting like you (Russo) vote for the Heisman, where you just vote on whoever the hell you want based off the fact that they play quarterback”.

Russo quickly took exception to the perceived slight.

“Ryan, hold on now,” Russo said, in a louder manner than normal. “You said something, now I’m going to comment. I’ve been voting for the Heisman since before you were born.”

“Mad Dog, stop screaming at me now, bro. For the last time, you’re gonna stop screaming at me,” Clark interrupted.

“You said something that wasn’t right,” Russo said.

“Lower your voice,” the former Steeler interrupted again.

“I’ve been voting for the Heisman since before you were born,” Mad Dog reiterated, with a lower volume. “30 years.”

“I don’t care about that,” Clark rebutted.

“You’re saying I’m voting for the Heisman and saying I don’t deserve a vote. I’ve been voting for 30 years!”, Russo began to raise his voice again.

“I never said you don’t deserve a vote,” Clark replied before clarifying he disagrees with Russo’s sentiment about the college football award being only awarded to quarterbacks.

It’s not the first time Russo has clashed with First Take contributors. A discussion with J.J. Reddick went viral earlier this year after Reddick told Russo previous NBA players played with “plumbers and firefighters”.

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Todd Frazier Joining ESPN Little League World Series Booth

It will be a memorable summer for Fraizer at the LLWS because he will be inducted into the Little League Hall of Excellence. 

Ricky Keeler

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When people talk about 11-year MLB veteran Todd Frazier, some of the things that are usually mentioned on broadcasts usually is that he is from Toms River, New Jersey and that he played in the Little League World Series in 1998 (won the championship). Now, Frazier will have a bigger connection to the annual event in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

As first reported by Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati EnquirerFrazier will be in the TV booth (remotely) for ESPN for this year’s Little League World Series. He made his broadcast debut on Monday morning during one of the New England region semifinals between Maine and Massachusetts. 

Frazier told Nightengale that he wants to use this event to begin his second career in the broadcasting industry.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, especially for the Little League World Series since I’ve been a part of it. I know it and understand it really well. Kind of kickstart my second career here.” 

It will be a memorable summer for Fraizer at the LLWS because he will be inducted into the Little League Hall of Excellence. 

The Little League World Series begins on Wednesday, August 17 and ends on Sunday, August 28. It will be broadcasted on ESPN and ABC.  

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