The season premiere episodes of WWE SmackDown, RAW, and NXT will lead to some changes in production, starting with the commentary teams.
Variety reports that Wade Barrett will move on from NXT to be a commentator on SmackDown. He will be joining Michael Cole on the desk. Kayla Braxton and Megan Morant will continue to work as backstage interviewers while Samantha Ervin will be the ring announcer on the blue brand.
Pat McAfee was working with Michael Cole on SmackDown since April 2021, but he is on a break from WWE as he works as an analyst on ESPN’s College Gameday. McAfee will return to SmackDown upon the conclusion of the College Football season.
Kevin Patrick will return to commentary to partner Corey Graves. Patrick has been working as a backstage interviewer on RAW, host of RAW Talk, and commentator of Main Event. Earlier, Graves, Byron Saxton and Jimmy Smith were the three-man booth for RAW. Jimmy Smith will be leaving WWE after 16 months stint with the company.
On the other hand, Byron Saxton will move to the backstage interviewer role. He will be joined by a returning Cathy Kelley. Kelley earlier worked in the same role at NXT before she left the company in 2020.
WWE Hall of Famer Booker T will also return to the commentary desk to partner with Vic Joseph on NXT. The former World Heavyweight Champion has work on both RAW and SmackDown as a commentator previously and has been recently working as a panelist for PLE event pre-shows.
Apart from the commentary changes, some changes in set design and other minor production changes are expected for all three shows going into the new season. Keep tuned in for more news and updates from WWE. Check here for the list of current commentary teams in WWE.