Pat McAfee entered into a new venture on April 16 when he took over as lead analyst on WWE SmackDown.
McAfee has wrestled in NXT, made a one-night appearance as an announcer on SmackDown in 2019, and has done work on NXT pre-show panels, but now he's the full-time color commentator on SmackDown alongside Michael Cole.
Speaking on his Pat McAfee Show, McAfee graded his official commentary debut.
"There was no real sitdown like 'hey, you can expect this and this.' I had no clue what was going to happen all night. No clue. I do believe that is the plan going forward, to just keep me out of the blue. If so, I had an absolute blast. I do not think I was anywhere near what I can get to as a commentator for professional wrestling. I used a lot of words over and over. I was scared to have too much bass in my voice because I didn't want people to think I was trying to dominate the call, but sometimes I sounded too soft. The standing, my natural instinct is to stand when something happens, I guess a lot of people didn't enjoy that. I appreciate that because that was potentially something that could get me into some shit. A lot of people say, 'you need to stay.' The clip of us coming back to the two-hot of me standing and [Michael Cole] sitting and my being caught in a situation where I'm like, 'I don't know if I should stand or sit right now. That was an ad-libbed moment that pops up and is incredible. I had a blast. I think I stunk, but I have a chance to get better. I enjoyed it and am very thankful to all the people in WWE and to anybody that tuned in," he said.
It was announced on the morning of Friday, April 16 that McAfee would be replacing Corey Graves, who moved to WWE Raw, as the lead analyst on SmackDown.
McAfee revealed that the original announcement was supposed to be made on the night of Thursday, April 15, but was delayed.
"On Thursday, something happened in WWE that none of us knew about and we were like 'Hmmm, this does not feel like the right move here.' So we delayed it," he said.
While McAfee didn't give an official reason, WWE did release a handful of talents on April 15.
McAfee went on to say that Vince McMahon was not at SmackDown on Friday, so he didn't get a chance to speak to him or be produced by him. McAfee addressed criticisms that he's "uncoachable," which he shot down, saying he enjoys being coached up, especially if it's coming from the right people.
"Vince McMahon is somebody, If he were to say something to me, no matter how he says it....if you talked to me the way Vince McMahon talks to me, I'd smack you in the mouth, but it's fucking Vince McMahon. There's a lot of people at WWE to where if they have advice, they created that business, I'm going to listen to them. I have not changed and will not change, but I am very open if people give me critiques on what they think would be better," he said.
McAfee will continue his commentary duties this Friday on WWE SmackDown.
If you missed anything from the April 16 episode of SmackDown, check out Fightful's full report on the show by clicking here.
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