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Why is Daniel Cormier appearing at WWE Extreme Rules?

The recent UFC Hall of Fame inductee will don a referee uniform at the WWE pay-per-view.

UFC Hall of Fame Class of 2022 Induction Ceremony Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The WWE is heading to the Wells Fargo Center Philadelphia, PA, on Saturday, October 8 for its annual Extreme Rules pay-per-view. The card will be filled with stipulation matches and one of the marquee bouts will be the “Fight Pit” cage match featuring Matt Riddle taking on Seth Rollins.

This was already a high stakes encounter heading in and the company upped the stakes even further by adding an individual who is familiar with cage matches. That individual? Why none other than recent UFC Hall of Fame inductee Daniel Cormier.

That’s right, the news broke last Saturday that Cormier will serve as the special guest referee for the matchup. He solidified himself as the ref for this blood feud by appearing on this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw via sattelite.

This isn’t the first time the WWE has tabbed a former UFC wrestler to serve as the ref for an intense rivalry match. Back in 1997, Ken Shamrock was brought in to ref the legendary Wrestlemania 13 encounter between Bret Hart and Stone Cold Steve Austin. That immediately led to Shamrock being signed to the company as a full-time performer following the show. And considering that Cormier has been a fan of the WWE for quite some time, this could be the just the first of many appearances for the former UFC Heavyweight Champion.

Rumors are already starting to flare up about a possible Daniel Cormier-Brock Lesnar match at Wrestlemania 39 next year, speculation that Cormier has already shot down...for now. But given the success that former UFC stars like Lesnar and Ronda Rousey have had in the WWE in recent years, it would not be a shock to see DC jump into the mix.