WWE is a constantly changing product and continues to give people something different, especially when it comes to their commentary team. With Kevin Patrick’s firing, WWE changed up the commentary team in a big way and the reason for that has been revealed.

As reported earlier, WWE closely observed Kevin Patrick’s performance as he took on the role of lead play-by-play commentator for SmackDown without Michael Cole. Ultimately, he was let go from his position due to not meeting the expectations.

Following his firing, a lot of changes take place on the commentary teams across the main roster shows. Pat McAfee came back and is now part of the RAW commentary team alongside Michael Cole.

On the other hand, Wade Barrett will be working with Corey Graves on Friday Night SmackDown. In the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer discussed the changes in the announcing teams. The plan is for Graves to take on the play-by-play role, traditionally the voice of the babyfaces, despite his previous heel side commentary.


With Kevin Patrick being gone, and Pat McAfee being brought in, the announcing teams are now Michael Cole & McAfee on Raw and Wade Barrett & Corey Graves on Smackdown.

The idea is that Graves will be the play-by-play guy, and he’s never technically been that but has in actuality had to carry that for a few announcers they’ve brought in.

Traditionally the play-by-play guy is the voice of the babyfaces and the color guy can be the voice of the heels or straight. Barrett & Graves have always been heel side announcers so it will be interesting because if the announcers both continually put over the heels, they become the faces, so Graves will likely have to adjust somewhat.

The adjustments were made primarily because McAfee agreed to return, given his enthusiasm and significant name value. McAfee’s busy schedule, especially during football season, poses a challenge, but WWE is utilizing him alongside experienced announcers like Cole or Vic Joseph. Barrett’s effective collaboration with Cole led to retaining him, while Patrick was considered the weakest link.

Essentially the changes were because McAfee agreed to come back. He must really love wrestling because with the money he makes ($17 million per year) and having a family, and having a daily studio show means he has to do a show and then fly out to wherever Raw is late every week.

Look, if you’re WWE and he’s up for doing it, you absolutely use him. He’s super enthusiastic and his name value is huge right now. But he can’t be the play-by-play guy and Cole or a Vic Joseph would have to be with him.

Barrett did a great job with Cole and they didn’t want to get rid of him and Patrick was the weakest link. The one thing is it would be far tougher for McAfee continuing on that schedule during football season, particularly since for his talk show he would have to be watching Monday Night Football for his Tuesday show and his schedule is much tighter doing the added college football related programming like GameDay that he’s on. But that’s eight months away.

We will have to wait and see whether te new commentary changes will end up giving positive results for the company in the long run, as WWE is looking to improve everything about the product now.

What do you think about this story concerning the WWE commentary team? Do you think this is the best composition? Let us know in the comments section below!

Subhojeet Mukherjee

Subhojeet is a professional wrestling fan for over 22 years. He got captivated by the sport during the Monday Night Wars and has a passion for it ever since. He also enjoys TV shows, movies, anime, novels and music, which broadens his perspective and appreciation for wrestling. He is a knowledgeable and respected voice in the industry.

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