WWE Announces New Commentary Teams for Raw, SmackDown and NXT (Update)

Update: WWE announced via Variety that new teams for Raw, SmackDown and NXT have all been confirmed. SmackDown will be called by Michael Cole and Wade Barrett, Raw will have Kevin Patrick and Corey Graves as its commentators and WWE Hall of Famer Booker T will be returning to the commentary booth to work with Vic Joseph. The backstage interviewers for the shows will consist of Kayla Braxton & Megan Morant (SmackDown), Byron Saxton & a returning Cathy Kelley (Raw) and McKenzie Mitchell (NXT).

Original Story: WWE is shaking up its commentary teams for Monday Night Raw, NXT and Friday Night Smackdown again, according to a number of reports that dropped on Thursday. Recent changes to the commentary teams have included Sudu Shah filling in for Vic Joseph on this week's NXT (though this was just a fill-in as Joseph got married to McKenzie Mitchell this past weekend) and Corey Graves pulling double duty on both Raw and SmackDown while Pat McAfee does his work on ESPN College GameDay throughout the ongoing football season. 

But this doesn't seem to be the end of it. First, the insider account @WrestleVotes tweeted on Thursday morning — "I'm told to expect a commentary change on RAW with the season premiere this coming week. Other minor aspects of both shows are also set to get altered as well."

PWInsider then reported that NXT's Wade Barrett is heading to this week's SmackDown. The report cited a number of sources claiming the former Intercontinental Champion will be the Blue Brand's new color commentator until McAfee returns. 

McAfee recently addressed his future with WWE on The Pat McAfee Show — "Last week, we got a deal done that allows me to join College GameDay full-time this season and also next season. 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."

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"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."

h/t Variety