REPORT: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, members of production team not clued in about Pat McAfee's WWE return

Originally published at REPORT: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, members of production team not clued in about Pat McAfee's WWE return

Pat McAfee’s return was a legitimate surprise. 

To kick off the 2023 Royal Rumble Premium Live Event, Pat McAfee made his return to WWE programming and joined Michael Cole and Corey Graves at the announce desk for the entire show. 

Per a report from PWInsider, McAfee’s return was a ‘legitimate surprise’. The site notes that majority of the production team was unaware of Pat’s arrival and they scrambled to get him a seat and headset. Cole and Graves were not clued in either and were prepared to call the show as a two-man team. 


🗣🗣LET'S GOOOOO #RoyalRumble

— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) January 29, 2023

Before taking on his ESPN College Gameday duties, McAfee was a member of the SmackDown commentary team alongside Michael Cole. 

Wade Barrett was moved from the NXT brand onto SmackDown to fill in for McAfee. 

I’m so happy Pat is back. WWE commentary is just so MID without him.

Commentary was so much fun last night. You could tell Vince was not shrieking in their ears and it enhanced the show big time

Pat found every way to say banger bros without saying it. :rofl::rofl:


Commentary has been better for the last 6 months for sure. It’s definitely the biggest improvement under the Paul regime. You could legitimately have made an argument for Michael Cole as most improved character in 2022 because of it.

If anything it will be interesting to see how Pat fits into the new style.

It’s a risky strategy to make his return a surprise to Cole and Graves. But you could tell Cole was so happy to see his buddy back it worked out okay.

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Agreed. I have no issues with Smackdown. Barrett is also good at his job but McAfee brings up the show a level. Raw is a different story as Kevin Patrick is pretty dull. Still, it’s overall so much better than years before.

“I’ve been told for 25 years to watch my monitor” lol. I love the little digs Cole takes at Vince. The team last night was awesome, the only person I dont really care for in general is Kevin Patrick. I liked him as a backstage guy, but on commentary he just comes off vanilla.

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