Five months ago, WWE announced some changes to the announce teams for Raw and SmackDown. With the team of Michael Cole & Wade Barrett moving to Mondays while the duo that had been on that USA Network show, Kevin Patrick & Corey Graves, went to FOX Fridays. Cole also remained on SmackDown, pulling double duty in order to help Patrick as he grew into the role of solo play-by-play voice.
Perhaps WWE officials think KP is once again ready to go it alone. PWInsider reported today (Jan. 1) that “the word making the rounds” at the company is that moving forward all shows will be announced by two person teams. That means Cole will not be on SmackDown in the new year. Insider doesn’t specify if the teams calling the shows will otherwise remain the same.
Assuming they do, we’ll see how Patrick does with just his color commentating partner. He was on the receiving end of a fair amount criticism when it was just him & Graves calling Raw but WWE was supposedly “high on” the Irish-born broadcaster — thus the chance to work with the company’s current “Voice” in Cole.
The timing of this report is also interesting, coming shortly after we learned about Kevin Dunn’s departure. In addition to calling shows, Cole’s held an executive position at WWE the past few years and could be in line for increased responsibility with the long-time head of television and production leaving.