Pat McAfee returns to WWE on full-time basis as Raw’s lead color commentator

Pat McAfee has another job yet again.

The former Indianapolis Colts punter-turned-media personality officially returned to the WWE on a full-time basis Monday night, joining Michael Cole on commentary as Raw’s lead color commentator moving forward.

It’s the second WWE lead commentary job for McAfee, who previously held the role on Friday Night Smackdown from April 2021 to September 2022, when he became a full-time host of ESPN’s College GameDay. When he left for GameDay, WWE’s Paul “Triple H” Levesque said McAfee would be welcomed back whenever he wanted.

McAfee has since held the GameDay role for the last two falls and indicated on his show in December that he’s expecting to be back on the show as of now.

McAfee has been involved with WWE since 2018, when he started as a part-time commentator with the developmental NXT brand for its major events. He also served as a pre-show host for WrestleMania in 2019. McAfee first got in the ring to wrestle in 2020 and made an impressive debut.

He wrestled at WrestleMania in 2022 and made a surprise appearance at Saturday’s Royal Rumble, first as a commentator and then as a participant in the men’s Royal Rumble match, eliminating himself after 38 seconds.

It appears this will be quite a travel haul for McAfee, who hosts his weekly ESPN and radio show from Indianapolis. The SmackDown travel was easier because it was on Fridays. McAfee also travels to major events for ESPN.

WWE last week released SmackDown lead play-by-play announcer Kevin Patrick (real name Kevin Egan) as part of a commentary shakeup. McAfee’s role on Raw has him replace Wade Barrett. It’s unclear what the SmackDown commentary team will be.

McAfee found himself in multiple controversies over the past month on his ESPN show. New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers on the show attempted to connect Jimmy Kimmel to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, which led to Kimmel threatening legal action. Rodgers has also spread vaccine conspiracies on the show with little pushback from the host. McAfee also this month accused ESPN executive Norby Williamson of sabotaging his show.

Meanwhile, WWE last week was hit with a lawsuit that accused founder Vince McMahon and former executive John Laurinaitis of sex trafficking, abuse and other charges. McMahon resigned from TKO Group on Friday, the parent company of WWE where he was executive chairman of the board.

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(Photo: Sam Hodde / Getty Images)

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