Pat McAfee, the former NFL star turned media mogul, has made a triumphant return to the WWE, stepping into a full-time role as the lead color commentator for Monday Night Raw. This marks McAfee's second major commentary stint within the WWE universe, following a notable tenure on Friday Night Smackdown from April 2021 to September 2022.
His shift back to the wrestling world comes after a period as the dynamic host of ESPN's College GameDay, a role he has embraced over the last two football seasons. McAfee's connection with WWE extends back to 2018, beginning with part-time commentary duties for the NXT brand, and swiftly moving up the ranks to become a pre-show host for WrestleMania in 2019.
His in-ring debut in 2020 was met with acclaim, showcasing his versatility and commitment to entertainment. McAfee continued to surprise fans with his wrestling prowess, even participating in WrestleMania in 2022 and making a memorable appearance at the recent Royal Rumble event.
McAfee's Travel Hurdles
This latest career move poses a significant logistical challenge for McAfee, who is known for his Indianapolis-based ESPN and radio shows. The transition from SmackDown's Friday schedule to Raw's Monday slot demands a new level of travel coordination, especially given his commitments to ESPN's major events.
The WWE's commentary landscape saw a recent shakeup with the departure of SmackDown's lead play-by-play voice, Kevin Patrick, paving the way for McAfee's new role on Raw and leaving questions about the future configuration of the SmackDown commentary team.
Amidst his career advancements, McAfee has navigated through controversies, notably on his ESPN show, ranging from contentious discussions with high-profile guests to allegations of internal sabotage within ESPN. The WWE itself is not without its dramas, with recent lawsuits levelling serious accusations against its leadership.
This backdrop of challenges and change underscores McAfee's return to WWE, a move that fans and industry watchers alike will be following closely as the charismatic commentator takes on this new chapter in his diverse career.