WWE Announces Several Major Commentary Changes
By Jason Hall
October 6, 2022
World Wrestling Entertainment announced making several major commentary changes to its SmackDown, RAW and NXT television programs.
Former WWE superstar Wade Barrett will be moving from NXT to SmackDown, joining longtime play-by-play man Michael Cole, the company announced in a news release. Barrett will serve as SmackDown's color commentator amid the absence of Pat McAfee, who is currently serving as a co-host on ESPN's College GameDay and will return to his full-time position with SmackDown following the conclusion of the college football season, according to the news release.
Ring announcer Samantha Irvin and backstage interviewers Kayla Braxton and Megan Morant will continue to serve their previous roles on SmackDown moving forward.
Corey Graves, who has served double-duty on both RAW and SmackDown in McAfee's absence, will continue his role as RAW's color commentator alongside Kevin Patrick, who will transition from backstage interviewer to play-by-play man, replacing Jimmy Smith, who confirmed his departure in a statement shared on his verified Twitter account.
Just wanted to say, now that the story is officially out, that my time with the WWE is officially done. Had a lot of fun and met some great people. Really and truly blown away by the acceptance from the WWE fans! You folks make it work every week and your enthusiasm was amazing!— Jimmy Smith (@jimmysmithmma) October 6, 2022
Cole and Graves will also serve as the commentary team for WWE's Premium Live Events moving forward.
Longtime RAW color commentator Byron Saxton will transition to a backstage interviewer role, joining former NXT interviewer Cathy Kelley as part of her return to the company.
WWE Hall of Famer Booker T will join play-by-play man Vic Joseph on commentary for NXT.
Ring announcer Alicia Taylor and backstage interviewer McKenzie Mitchell will both be retaining their current roles with NXT.