See what I did there?
Shake up? Anyways, with Smackdown heading to FOX next week and RAW having its season premiere next week, WWE is making gradual changes to their commentary teams.
No, unfortunately, there will still be three-person commentary teams.
No, Michael Cole isn’t being fired…unfortunately. Things are just changing.
According to reports and then confirmed by WWE themselves, starting next week on Monday Night RAW, you will not hear Michael Cole, Corey Graves or Renee Young. There will be a brand new three man team. Heading up the commentary team in Cole’s place will be 205 Live and NXT UK’s Vic Joseph, WWE Hall of Famer and legendary commentator, Jerry “The King” Lawler and Dio Maddin. Now, there’s a number of issues here.
First, you already have Vic Joseph doing two other shows and now you’re putting him on RAW.
What does that mean for NXT UK and 205 Live? Does someone else head up NXT UK with Nigel McGuinness? Now to be fair, WWE employees fly all over the world in an instant. So travel wouldn’t be a huge problem and besides, NXT UK is still pre-taped even though NXT US just went LIVE last week. He could still do his NXT UK tapings and the RAW gig too.
Where does this leave 205 Live though? Does he stay on and commentate 3 shows? We’ll have to wait and see.
Second, Lawler has been known to be controversial over the years from his Puppies days to recent times of…questionable activity. Bringing him back is a very weird choice. He should have been kept on the kickoff shows for PPVs.
Third, who the heck is Dio Maddin? Well, he is a former NFL Offensive Lineman who played with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans and New England Patriots (even though he didn’t make it off the practice squad). He was brought into WWE a few years ago to wrestle but he couldn’t hack it so he’s on commentary. I’ll reserve judgment on his commentary until Monday Night.
Onto the return of Friday Night Smackdown, Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton have been replaced from the Smackdown Announce Team and joining Corey Graves in their place…Renee Young and Michael Cole. Cole was the constant of Smackdown since its inception, so it makes sense. Young still has a ways to go with her commentary but maybe she’ll be better on Smackdown.
For NXT, the commentary team will stay the same as it has been in the last month or so with Mauro Ranallo leading and Nigel McGuinness and WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix backing him up.
Will this change in commentary be good or back for this newest era in WWE programming? We’ll find out next week on the season premiere of Monday Night RAW and the return of Friday Night Smackdown debuting on its new home, FOX.
Stay tuned for more WWE coverage here on All Everything Entertainment.