WWE: Wade Barrett SD Commentary Update, Puerto Rico to Host May 5th SD Show, Royal Rumble 2023

Wade Barrett Comments on His SmackDown Commentary Role Being Permanent

Daily Star held a recent interview with WWE SmackDown commentator Wade Barrett. One of the topics discussed included Barrett revealing that he has permanently replaced Pat McAfee for WWE’s SmackDown brand commentary team.

“It’s as permanent as you can ever be in a role in WWE! Historically, things have always been switched around and teams have been moved from here to there, and I’m not saying I’m going to be in the SmackDown hot seat for the next ten years or anything like that. But in terms of the foreseeable, it’s going to be me and (Michael) Cole going forward. Pat McAfee is always going to be a friend of WWE. He’s an incredibly talented guy and we’re all fans of his too, but he has a lot on his plate. I am sure he’ll come in and out from time to time and be involved in various roles but, as far as I’m aware, he’s not going to be sat in the SmackDown hot seat for now at least.”

WWE Announces May 5th SmackDown Show to Take Place in Puerto Rico

As noted before, WWE recently announced that this year’s Backlash event will be taking place on May 6th in San Juan, Puerto Rico and musician Bad Bunny will be the official host of the event.

WWE recently announced that week’s Backlash 2023 go-home SmackDown show on May 5th will also be taking place at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico José Miguel Agrelot in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Official press release:



STAMFORD, Conn., March 16, 2023 – Following the high volume of Backlash ticket pre-registrations for the Saturday, May 6 event in San Juan, WWE (NYSE: WWE) today announced that SmackDown will also be headed to Puerto Rico that weekend. SmackDown will emanate from the same venue – Coliseo de Puerto Rico José Miguel Agrelot – on Friday, May 5.

The announcement was made in conjunction with the Puerto Rico Convention Center District Authority (PRCDA) and the Puerto Rico Tourism Company.

“The PRCDA and the Puerto Rico Tourism Company have a phenomenal track record of delivering large-scale events to the island,” said John Porco, WWE Executive Vice President, Live Events. “Their partnership and support have allowed WWE to bring not just one – but two – nights of sports entertainment to Coliseo de Puerto Rico José Miguel Agrelot this May.”

“Puerto Rico is a world-class entertainment destination. We have proven ourselves time and time again by hosting worldwide known and recognized events. Our unique venues provide the perfect settings to receive our visitors and to guarantee them an incredible experience. We are proud and very excited to host one of the most-anticipated events of this year”, said Mariela Vallines, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Convention District Authority.

“Puerto Rico is a renowned, successful host of sporting events due to its state-of-the-art modern infrastructure, air-and-sea accessibility, variety of accommodations, experienced production staff and its warmth and hospitality. Events such as WWE’s Backlash and SmackDown provide a great venue to showcase the island’s assets both as a diverse travel destination, and an ideal location to hold international events such as this,” said Carlos Mercado Santiago, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company.

Hosted by two-time GRAMMY® award-winning and global recording artist Bad Bunny, Backlash marks the first WWE premium live event to take place in Puerto Rico since January 2005.

An exclusive presale opportunity for combo tickets for Friday Night SmackDown and Backlash will be available this Monday, March 20 at 12pm ET via Ticketera.com. Fans can register now to receive an exclusive presale offer by visiting https://www.wwe.com/backlash-presale-registration.

General public on-sale for combo tickets will be available this Tuesday, March 21 at 10am ET via Ticketera.com

Additional details on individual tickets being released for each event will be announced in the coming weeks.

More on WWE’s Announcement of Over 51,000 for Royal Rumble 2023

As noted before, WWE recently announced that this year’s Royal Rumble 2023 event in San Antonio, Texas generated an attendance of 51,388 and a live gate of around $7.7 million. The real attendance is believed to be around 47,585 based on tickets distributed and WWE’s stage setup for the event.

Wrestlenomics’ Brandon Thurston reported that WWE’s actual attendance for the event was lower than previously believed at 44,569 and drew a lower gate than WWE announced at $7.3 million based on public records from the San Antonio city government. Thurston reported that the breakdown was 41,907 paid and 2,662 comp tickets. Thurston also reported that the actual amount of tickets scanned for the event was 42,928.

In regards to WWE’s inflated number for the event, Thurston reported that his sources managed to get some internal emails from WWE breaking down how the company typically counts attendance to arrive at their inflated numbers for events.

WWE Director of TV Event Relations (Wed. 25 Jan, 6:55 PM CT):

Hello all, Gathering up all the pertinent information for WWE TV attendance figure for the TV broadcast on Saturday. This is an “asses in the venue” number. If you have a heartbeat we count you.

Therefore, looking for the following information:

1. Total suite capacity for the venue. This would include standing room in the suites and any killed suites on the south end.

2. Total venue staffing number for the venue on site for the show. This would be everyone…venue staff, operations, housekeeping, concessions, security, parking, etc.

Don’t need an answer right now but will need it before Saturday.

Alamodome Event Services Manager (Wed, 25 Jan, 7:06 PM CT):

RE: Royal Rumble total attendance (including staffing) request

We will work on this and have it to you by Friday.

Alamodome Box Officer Manager (Thu, 26 Jan, 1:26 PM CT):

I can speak for the Suite portion of this question…

With suites 1-8 and 45-52 not in use, and the Press Box not being used for Ticketed Patrons (which we do sometimes do for concerts like Elton John and Bad Bunny), the total Suite capacity including SRO’s for Saturday is 694 persons.

WWE Director of TV Event Relations (Thu, 26 Jan, 1:35 PM CT):

What would the total capacity be if suites 1-8 and 45-52 and the press box were fully ticketed?

Alamodome Box Office Manager (Thu, 26 Jan, 1:40 PM CT):

Press box would be 130 and the 8 suites combined including SRO’s would be another 318 persons (130 + 318)

WWE Director of TV Event Relations (Fri, 27 Jan, 10:05 PM CT):

Any update on the total venue staff number for tomorrow’s show for our TV attendance figure?

Alamodome Event Services Manager (Sat, 28 Jan, 6:59 AM CT):

Total number 725 do u need breakdown?

WWE Director of TV Event Relations (Sat, 28 Jan, 7:41 AM CT):

This seems very low. Does this include everyone? Concessions? parking? security? Housekeeping? Ops? Anyone with a heartbeat.

Alamodome Event Services Manager (Sat, 28 Jan, 7:45 AM CT):

Let me check again when all managers arrive. Will get back to you around 9:30am.

Alamodome Event Services Manager (Sat, Jan 28, 7:19 PM CT):

As we discussed earlier the revised number with Traffic, SAPD, Pritchard is 1,280.

In regards to the mention of “Pritchard,” Thurston reported that this likely refers to the housekeeping and janitorial contractor used by the Alamodome called Pritchard Sports & Entertainment Group.