Fresh off the heels of this weekend’s reports that Daniel Cormier will serve as a guest referee at WWE Extreme Rules, DC appeared on Monday Night Raw to make it official and put both of the bout’s combatants on notice.
During the latest installment of WWE Monday Night Raw, the former champ-champ appeared during a segment between Seth Freakin’ Rollins and Matt Riddle, who will be competing in a Fight Pit match at Saturday’s Extreme Rules event. As originally reported by Ariel Helwani, Cormier will serve as the special guest referee of the match.
At the time, it was widely believed that this would be Cormier’s first time appearing on WWE programming. However, that assumption was put to rest when DC graced the fans inside the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota with his presence via the jumbotron.
Daniel Cormier Appears On WWE Raw
Already getting a head start on his duties as an enforcer, Cormier put an end to the trash talk that was taking place between Rollins and Riddle to let them know that there will be law and order at the most extreme WWE event of the year if he has anything to say about it.
“We have had to watch you two whine, argue, and complain for months. We’ve had enough. Your behavior has been insane, and we are tired of the foolishness. From parking lots to arenas, you two have fought all around the world,” Cormier began.
“And for all the people lookin’ going, ‘Who is this guy?’ I’m Daniel Cormier. I am one of the greatest UFC fighters of all time. I am the double champion.
“Matt, listen, bro. We go way back. You’re a former UFC fighter, and I respect that. You’re a part of the fraternity. Seth, you know that from afar I’ve always admired you. I was there in Santa Clara when you won that first world championship, and I may have celebrated.
“But as the whole world is fed up, I, too, am fed up. Somebody told me that you two are competing in a fight pit match this Saturday at Extreme Rules. Well, I’m into that. That’s my world. I live in the cage. I love it. But one thing I do know: is there has to be a stern third man. It can’t be any ol’ referee. So you know who they called? They called your boy DC to come down and lay down the law to make sure that only one of you walk out of the Fight Pit victorious, and we put an end to this. That’s exactly what I plan to do.
“So now, it’s time to stop yappin’, train hard, train smart, and I’ll see both of you guys this Saturday in Philadelphia.”
Indeed, Matt Riddle did have a relatively brief MMA career that spanned six years and began on The Ultimate Fighter 7. Riddle’s career overall was a successful one, with a quietly impressive record of 7-3 in the UFC and 8-3 overall.
Seth Rollins holds a win over Riddle at the last WWE Premium Live Event, Clash At The Castle, which saw the former WWE champion pull out a win with a vicious “curb stomp” finisher off the second rope.
That bout served as the payoff for what was several weeks of an explosive rivalry between the two, as Cormier alluded to in his promo.
The feud has integrated a heavy realism aspect to it, including very personal trash talk. This includes what, in hindsight, may have been a nugget by WWE writers and producers, when Rollins and Riddle even played homage to the infamous Jon Jones/Daniel Cormier hot mic moment from 2014. You can view the Rollins/Riddle version down below.
As many wrestling historians may remember, there was another UFC legend who got his start in the WWE by beginning as a special guest referee.
In 1997’s WrestleMania 13 in Chicago, Illinois, UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock served as the special guest referee for the classic submission match between “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Bret “The Hitman” Hart.
Shamrock would then go on to become one of the major players in WWE’s Attitude Era and a former intercontinental and tag team champion, in addition to winning the prestigious King of the Ring tournament in 1998. And as it happens, Shamrock has chimed in with approval of how Cormier is breaking into the rasslin’ business.
Daniel Cormier has made no secret of how big of a fan he is of professional wrestling, so it will be interesting to see if this will be a one-off appearance or the beginning of a new career for the 43-year-old, or at least the start of a major storyline that will center around the UFC commentator.
Fans can learn more about Daniel Cormier’s WWE tenure this Saturday at WWE’s Extreme Rules event, which will stream live at 8 PM ET on Peacock from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
What were your thoughts on Daniel Cormier’s first WWE promo?