Former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier will serve as the special guest referee for a highly anticipated upcoming WWE match.
As reported by Ariel Helwani, Cormier will be the guest referee at the upcoming WWE Extreme Rules 2022 event scheduled for later this Saturday in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He will be the special guest official in the highly touted Fight Pit Match between Matt Riddle and Seth Rollins.
Daniel Cormier will serve as guest referee for next Saturday’s Fight Pit Match between Matt Riddle and Seth Rollins at WWE’s Extreme Rules in Philly. Oct. 8.
No, seriously. It’s really happening. Oct. 8.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) October 2, 2022
Daniel Cormier To Guest Referee MMA-Style WWE Match
The match will be the second of its kind in WWE. The original was held in May 2020 in WWE’s developmental league, NXT, between Timothy Thatcher and Riddle. WWE Hall of Famer and Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle served as the special guest referee for the bout, which was won by Thatcher.
The Fight Pit Match takes away the usual ring ropes and puts both competitors in a four-sided steel cage. Under the Fight Pit rules, the competitors can only win via knockout or submission. There are no pinfalls.
Cormier’s casting for the role is an appropriate choice, as the match harkens to an MMA and UFC style. Also, Riddle himself has a background as a former MMA and UFC fighter.
Also, Cormier is a longtime wrestling and WWE fan. Seven years ago, he was live in the stands to watch Rollins win his first WWE Championship at WrestleMania 31 in a main event that also featured Brock Lesnar, himself a former UFC heavyweight champion.
Now, Cormier will referee Rollins competing in an MMA-style bout. C0rmier has expressed interest in working with WWE on multiple occasions, but nothing has actually materialized until now.
It will be interesting to see if Cormier does any future work with WWE off of this appearance, or if this will be a one-time-only special occasion. ComicBook.com reports that Cormier recently spoke to Monster Energy on Twitter Spaces in July about having talks with WWE and Triple H, currently WWE’s Chief Creative Officer, about working with The Creed Brothers in NXT. However, while Cormier was interesting, it’s something he hasn’t been able to make work yet.
What future role Cormier might have, if any, with WWE remains to be seen. Besides his MMA career, Cormier also has a history of broadcast work with ESPN and UFC. Considering Lesnar and Cormier never crossed paths in the UFC’s Octagon, that could potentially create a blockbuster opportunity for WWE to book a pro wrestling match between the two inside a WWE ring. However, that is merely a fantasy matchup at this point.
Cormier became one of the most decorated athletes in MMA history. He is only the second fighter in history to hold two UFC titles in two weight classes at the same time. He is also the first MMA fighter to have title defenses in both divisions. Earlier this year, Cormier was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame for the organization’s 2022 class of inductees.
WWE Extreme Rules, featuring Cormier refereeing Riddle vs. Rollins in the Fight Pit, will emanate from the Wells Fargo Center this Saturday. The WWE premium live event will be presented live on Peacock. It will also be available to fans overseas on the WWE Network.