Backstage Reaction to WWE’s Commentary Teams Changes & Pat McAfee Update

As noted before, WWE recently announced that they have made several changes to their commentary teams for their RAW, SmackDown, NXT, and PPV shows taking effect with this past Friday’s SmackDown show.

Fightful Select reported that their sources stated that WWE officials had been working on plans for some time to shakeup their commentary teams. It was reported that the recent loss of Pat McAfee to ESPN for their College GameDay series helped push WWE’s decision to go forward with these plans.

In regards to McAfee, it was reported that WWE officials still want to work with McAfee “whenever he is available and wants to” and he has been very well liked backstage during his time in the company.

In regards to Jimmy Smith’s departure, it was reported that WWE officials had felt that Smith had acclimated well with his job for their RAW brand despite his lack of pro wrestling commentary experience and fandom prior to his hiring.

In regards to Cathy Kelly’s rehiring, it was reported that she was someone that WWE’s new leadership regime had been very interested in bringing back to the company.

It was also reported that while WWE made the decision to move away from three-man commentary booths, they might still make future changes to their new commentary teams based on the success of them. WWE officials reportedly do not want to “force chemistry” for their new teams if things do not work out well.

In regards to Wade Barrett’s min roster call-up, Barrett recently stated on Twitter that he will eventually return back to WWE’s NXT brand after some time. PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported that his sources confirmed that Barrett’s stay on the main roster is only temporary and he will return back to NXT once Pat McAfee returns.