Pat McAfee has confirmed that he will take time away from WWE due to his new role on ESPN’s College GameDay.
Pat McAfee has been one of the voices of WWE SmackDown since April 2021 when he joined Michael Cole on the blue brand’s announce team.
Since joining SmackDown Pat McAfee has competed in the ring at both WrestleMania 38 and SummerSlam 2022. At WrestleMania, he took on Austin Theory, winning that match before improbably losing a second bout to ousted WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. At SummerSlam McAfee picked up a big win over Happy Corbin.
On September 7th, it was reported that McAfee will be taking on a full-time role on ESPN’s College GameDay beginning on September 10th.
Speaking on the most recent edition of ‘The Pat McAfee Show’, the star has revealed that, although he initially thought he could do both SmackDown and GameDay, WWE suggested it would be better for him if he take some time off from the blue brand to concentrate on his new venture.
“I was thinking about maybe doing both [SmackDown and College Gameday] […] So the original thought for me was I can do both, I can do SmackDown and I can do Gameday. The folks at the WWE who I have nothing but love and respect and appreciation for, old regime, new regime, whoever you think is in charge over there I have nothing but love and appreciation for.”
“So I reach out to them, chit chat with them, and they were the ones that said ‘hey dude, if you’re gonna do Gameday which is a great opportunity, congratulations, we love the show, you cannot be travelling overnight for the entirety of the season, it’s not good for your health, it’s not good for your family, it’s not good for anything. Whenever the time is right we will have you back in our family.'”
“So SmackDown will be on hold for a little bit, commentating, while I do College Gameday. I’m still very much in the WWE family and as one OG in the WWE family said to me in a message, very heartfelt, ‘hey now one of our guys is on College Gameday.’ So I’m still very much a part of the WWE family, will still very much be doing things but for the good of college football and College Gameday I’ll be focussing on that on Saturdays.”
Meanwhile, WWE Chief Content Officer Triple H has taken to social media to confirm that Pat McAfee will “remain a member of the WWE Universe”.
“@PatMcAfeeShow approached us about his amazing opportunity with College GameDay. We’d never stand in Pat’s way, as he continues to architect his exceptional career. Pat will remain a member of the @WWE Universe and we look forward to his return. #UpToSomethingSZN”
.@PatMcAfeeShow approached us about his amazing opportunity with College GameDay. We’d never stand in Pat’s way, as he continues to architect his exceptional career.
— Triple H (@TripleH) September 7, 2022
H/T to Inside The Ropes for the above transcription.