WWE Report: Wade Barrett, Corey Graves set to be new broadcast team for SmackDown

WWE SmackDown, the flagship show of WWE, made its debut on the Fox network in the early 2000s with Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler as the first commentators. Since then, WWE has regularly made changes to the commentary team to provide a fresh and new watching experience for the fans.

Last week, WWE made a surprising announcement by officially removing Kevin Patrick from the SmackDown commentary team. Initially, there were rumors about Michael Cole stepping in to replace Patrick, but now, WWE is reportedly planning to bring back Wade Barrett to join Corey Graves.

New SmackDown broadcasters: Wade Barrett, Corey Graves

The former Intercontinental Champion and leader of Nexus, Wade Barrett, is reportedly set to join the commentary team of SmackDown starting from the next episode. The roster previously included Corey Graves and Kevin Patrick, who was released earlier this week. Patrick joined WWE in March 2021 on the RAW roster and was moved to SmackDown just a month before his release.

As per the report from PW Insider, Barrett is likely to be shifted to the SmackDown team soon. The reports also confirm that Corey Graves will be joining the live show as the lead announcer, with Wade Barrett providing color commentary for the blue brand.

Barrett has been a color commentator for WWE since 2016, joining the NXT brand after retiring from in-ring competition. He moved to SmackDown in 2022 and then to RAW in 2023. Barrett is known for his witty and sarcastic remarks, along with his signature catchphrase, “I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news.”

On the other hand, Graves is a former NXT Tag Team Champion and has been a color commentator for WWE since 2014, when he retired from wrestling due to a concussion. Graves has worked on various WWE shows, such as NXT, Raw, SmackDown, and 205 Live.

How much WWE commentators earn?

WWE commentators play a significant role in promoting the company and intensifying the wrestling matches. They contribute to enhancing the entertainment value and storytelling of the WWE product.

The salaries of WWE commentators depend on factors like their experience, popularity, and contract terms. The highest-paid WWE commentator is Michael Cole, earning a reported $650,000 per year. Cole serves as the lead commentator for both RAW and SmackDown and has been with WWE since 1997. Additionally, he holds the positions of senior producer and vice president of announcer relations for the company.

Michael Cole and Corey Graves
via WWE

The second-highest-paid WWE commentator is Corey Graves, earning $500,000 per year. He is signed with both SmackDown and NXT and also hosts the After the Bell podcast. WWE Hall of Famer Booker T is the only commentator with a part-time contract, earning around $550,000 per year despite his part-time status.

Other WWE commentators, including Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, and Vic Joseph, earn around $200,000 per year, serving both as commentators and backstage interviewers.

In addition to their mic skills, commentators have been involved in storylines with WWE Superstars, and fans have enjoyed their contributions as part of WWE’s matches.


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