A new report has revealed why WWE decided to change up the commentary teams for Raw and Smackdown starting this coming week.
It was announced on Saturday, several hours before SummerSlam from Detroit, that World Wrestling Entertainment was going to change their commentary teams starting with Monday’s edition of Raw on August 7th.
The new commentary teams will be:
Raw – Michael Cole & Wade Barrett.
Smackdown – Michael Cole, Corey Graves & Kevin Patrick.
That means the team of Cole & Barrett are moving from Smackdown to Raw. Meanwhile, Graves & Raw are going to Smackdown to join Cole, who has been Smackdown’s lead announcer for the past four years.
Prior to moving back to Smackdown in 2019, Cole was the lead announcer on Raw for about a decade before that. In the 2000s, Cole was a Smackdown guy.
WWE Wants More Michael Cole On Their Main Two Shows
As for why WWE changed the commentary teams, PWInsider Elite’s Mike Johnson reports that there were requests by new WWE owners Endeavor and WWE’s broadcast partners to have Michael Cole as the face of the product going forward.
The report also noted that while Kevin Patrick is well-liked internally by the company, it is believed that he needs “some seasoning” and having Cole on the broadcast with Patrick will give Kevin more experience. PWInsider added that they were told it wasn’t seen as a demotion for Patrick although it does seem like it is.
Regarding Wade Barrett going to Raw from Smackdown, the PWInsider report noted that Wade’s chemistry with Cole is so great that WWE wants that duo on the longer, three-hour Raw show.
The commentary at SummerSlam last night was Michael and Corey Graves for the entire broadcast which lasted about 4 hours, 15 minutes. Wade Barrett was on commentary for Money in the Bank in July because it was in England, which is where he is from and he was there for Smackdown one night earlier. Barrett was on the Kickoff Show during the SummerSlam broadcast.