WWE has officially announced changes to the commentary teams for all three brands. WWE announced through Variety today that the changes will begin with this week’s season premiere episode of SmackDown.
Michael Cole and Wade Barrett will be the main commentators for SmackDown going forward after Barrett had been used in NXT. Samantha Irvin will serve as the ring announcer, with Kayla Braxton and Megan Morant as backstage interviewers.
Kevin Patrick and Corey Graves will be on the commentary team for Raw. Patrick has worked as a backstage correspondent, a play-by-play commentator for Main Event, and the host of Raw Talk.
Mike Rome will be the ring announcer, while Cathy Kelley and Byron Saxton will conduct onscreen interviews. Kelley is returning to WWE after leaving the company in 2020, while Saxton had been working on the Raw commentary desk along with Graves and Jimmy Smith since May.
For NXT, Vic Joseph and WWE Hall of Famer Booker T will be the commentators. Alicia Tyler is the ring announcer, and McKenzie Mitchell will continue as the backstage interviewer.
Cole and Graves will be the commentary team for the premium live events. Changing up the commentary teams is one of many changes Triple H has made since taking over creative in July.
The changes come after Pat McAfee, who had been calling SmackDown with Michael Cole, announced in early September that he would take a temporary leave from WWE to be an analyst on ESPN’s “College Gameday.” The expectation is that he will return to NXT once the college football season ends.