Last night (Sept. 6), news broke that Pat McAfee had landed another high profile gig... a full-time spot on ESPN’s College GameDay. The popular pre-game broadcast airs live every Saturday morning during the fall & early winter, traveling around the country to different college campuses.
It immediately raised questions from wrestling fans about McAfee’s availability for another live show he’s been doing every Friday night for the past 16 months or so — WWE SmackDown. Initial reports indicated he would continue as Michael Cole’s commentary partner, but talking about his latest job on the daily streaming Pat McAfee Show today, Pat revealed it’s not gonna be possible.
McAfee says his immediate thought was that he would do both jobs,. But the team at WWE was concerned that weekly red-eye flights between SmackDown’s host city and wherever GameDay is that week (which is often away from a major city, meaning it would mean a potential commute could require multiple flights or modes of transportation) would be good for Pat or his family. Instead, he remains a part of the team, but for college football season, his focus will be on his new role at ESPN.
Having recently signed a multi-year extension with WWE, and proving his worth as a part-time in-ring performer as well as as an announcer, McAfee’s future with the company still seems set. He got a SHAHT AHT from new Chief Content Officer while he was making his announcement on YouTube:
.@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
Pat will remain a member of the @WWE Universe and we look forward to his return. #UpToSomethingSZN
WWE is probably excited to have another in at ESPN & GameDay. Numerous WWE Superstars with ties to college football have appeared on the Saturday broadcast over the years, including Goldberg and Big E.
Whoever fills in for Pat Mac on SmackDown will have big shoes to fill, but like Triple H, we’re already anticipating his return.