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Pat McAfee explains his reaction to Michael Cole announcing Sasha & Naomi’s suspension

A lot of folks — this writer among them — read a lot into SmackDown color commentator Pat McAfee’s facial expressions while Michael Cole announced that Sasha Banks & Naomi were stripped of the Women’s Tag titles and suspended from WWE for walking out before the previous Monday’s Raw.

Because we thought WWE’s spin was crap, and because McAfee has a history of calling out similar kinds of crap when he’s experienced it in the past, Pat’s disbelieving look on the May 20 episode of the blue brand was interpreted as disapproval. But based on the explanation he gave on his streaming daily talk show today (May 23), he looked like he didn’t know what was going on because he didn’t know what was going on.

At the end of McAfee’s rundown of things from SmackDown with his crew, without being prompted he said:

“The Sasha and Naomi thing — that was my first time hearing what Cole was saying, live there. I have no idea what to think there. I have no clue. This is a very fascinating thing. She [Sasha]’s a superstar. They were our champions. What... I honestly have no idea what to believe in this whole thing. They keep me out of the loop with everything. I have no fucking idea. While Cole was doing his thing, I was very fascinated... ‘What is going on right now?’

“I have no idea. I wish I had more answers for people. A couple of people asked me during my ‘Chat with Pat’ [Twitter Q&A] on Saturday, ‘What’s going on?’ It’s like, ‘Fuck, I feel like you know more than I do.’ Literally, as that was happening, I’m like, ‘Well Goddamn. Suspended indefinitely.’ We need it [a resolution]!”

If you were hoping Pat Mac was going to take a stand for the working class here, slam Vince McMahon & WWE for publicly disrespecting their employees independent contractors, and announce his retirement from sports entertainment, you’re no doubt disappointed. Some might see this as McAfee kowtowing to the corporation, perhaps even at his bosses’ request after his reaction got so much attention over the weekend. Viewed together with continuing to have Aaron Rodgers on The Pat McAfee Show without pushing back on the NFL star’s COVID misinformation, it’s a tough look.

But there is a read here where McAfee is doing all he can without burning his bridge to WWE: not repeating the they-let-us-down rhetoric Cole & Corey Graves gave us (via Vince), calling Banks a “superstar”, and pleading for a resolution. This— and the open-to-interpretation facial expressions, a tactic McAfee also employed during some of Rodgers’ rants — could be his way of doing something to support Sasha & Naomi while keeping one of his dream jobs, and the benefits that brings everyone on Team McAfee.

Or it could be a little of column A and a little of column B.

What it definitely is? Myself and others looking to have our stance validated by a very entertaining, admittedly flawed human being we don’t know. We should probably do less of that.

If you’re like me and probably won’t though? Stick with us and I’ll keep you up to date on what else Pat Mac says about this “fascinating” situation.

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