Pat McAfee made his WWE SmackDown commentary debut last Friday, April 16.
McAfee had done spot commentary work in 2019 when the majority of the WWE crew was stuck coming back from Saudi Arabia, and had been part of NXT kick-off show panels, but this marked his full-time debut.
Speaking to Joseph Staszewsk of the New York Post, McAfee discussed his new role and natural instincts behind the desk.
“I’m trying to be something that provides a little more assist for stories that are happening as opposed to interjecting myself in stories. But it was difficult not to be a heel full-time in there, I will say. I think that will naturally turn up a little bit, but I don’t think you’ll ever expect me going on to commentary … maybe it will happen, but I don’t think so, though … of me saying, ‘it must suck to suck’ or whatever to whoever is listening. I don’t know if that’s going to happen. Maybe it will. Maybe that’s how it will kind of feel and lead to. But for me, I’m naturally more of a heel, but I also want to make sure I’m not distracting from all the incredible things going on SmackDown," he said.
He went on to say, “I want to be great at this,” and noted his influences of Jerry Lawler and Bobby Heenan.
"I think there’s a lot of greats, obviously I think a lot of people helped shape my personality,” McAfee said. “But I’m really trying to make it my own in there. There’s going to hopefully be some traits of people I watched over the years that you might hear a little bit of influence from. But I hope to really make it my own.”
McAfee previously noted that Vince McMahon was not at SmackDown last Friday. You can find his full comments on his first night on the job by clicking here.
Fightful will have live coverage of WWE SmackDown beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Friday.