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WWE takes the safe route to replace Pat McAfee on commentary

WWE, Pat McAfee, Corey Graves, SmackDown, Michael Cole

When news broke that Pat McAfee was going to be away from the WWE Universe for the entirety of the 2022 college football season to focus on his new gig with ESPN’s College GameDay, it left a massive hole at the SmackDown commentary desk.

Sure, some dislike McAfee for his brashness or for his general lack of encyclopedic knowledge of wrestling move names, but the former All-Pro Indianapolis Colts punter has captured the hearts of an expansive fanbase from Michael Cole to Vince McMahon due to his everyman’s approach to the act of announcing; providing the fan’s perspective where someone like, say, Wade Barrett would instead give insight into the minds of the men – or women – in the ring.

So what would WWE do to replace McAfee? Would they put in a call to a legend like Paul “Triple H” Levesque, who was lauded for his time on the mic during the initial run of pandemic shows in 2020? Or would Cole cycle through guest hosts from match to match depending on who was appropriate for any given contest, say Ricochet for a Gunther match or Drew McIntyre for a bout featuring Sheamus?

None of the above; no, WWE decided instead to simply call up Corey Graves from RAW and give the former grappler even more time on the mic to push his heelish agenda.

Needless to say, fans online weren’t too pleased with the decision.

Now granted, could this be a one-week affair? Could SmackDown ultimately cycle through guest hosts from week to week depending on availability before McAfee returns to the ring around the Royal Rumble? Only time will tell, but the initial results are in, and they aren’t particularly popular.