Pat McAfee will be joining ESPN College GameDay as a full-time member this season, as confirmed on Tuesday night. It was unclear at the time what this meant for McAfee's role as a color commentator for WWE's Friday Night SmackDown, a position he has held since April 2021. He explained on The Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday that his role at the commentary desk has been put on hold. It's unclear what WWE will do with the Blue Brand's commentary desk in the meantime, though the easiest solution would be to reunite Michael Cole with color commentator Corey Graves.
"Last week, we got a deal done that allows me to join College GameDay full-time this season and also next season," McAfee said. "With that, because it is Saturday morning, to make that decision and really be a firm 'yes' from me, I wanted to talk to the people from WWE. Obviously, I hold my role as a SmackDown commentator as high as anything else that I do because not only is it a dream for me since I was a little kid, but there are other little kids out there that are hopefully getting their imagination getting their goals and dreams created like I was when I was a kid watching WWE. I think WWE does that for kids and every time I got an opportunity to get on a microphone there, I wanted to honor that."
"The original thought for me was, I could do SmackDown and GameDay. I can do it. The folks at the WWE, who I have nothing but love, respect, and appreciation for, I'm talking old regime, new regime, whoever you think is in charge, I have nothing but great feelings towards. I reach out to them and chit chat with them, they were the ones who said, 'If you're going to do GameDay, which is a great opportunity, congratulations, you cannot be traveling overnight for the entirety of the season. It's not good for your health, your family, anything," he later added. "Whenever the time is right, we'll have you back in our family.' SmackDown, me commentating, will be on hold for a bit while I do College GameDay. I'm still very much in the WWE family."
Triple H confirmed McAfee's status in a tweet on Wednesday morning. Along with working as a commentator, McAfee has wrestled a number of matches in WWE against the likes of Adam Cole, Austin Theory, Vince McMahon and Happy Corbin.
.@PatMcAfeeShow approached us about his amazing opportunity with College GameDay. We’d never stand in Pat’s way, as he continues to architect his exceptional career.— Triple H (@TripleH) September 7, 2022
Pat will remain a member of the @WWE Universe and we look forward to his return. #UpToSomethingSZN