WWE Raw, SmackDown Swap Announce Teams; Michael Cole on Both Shows
WWE confirmed a commentary change as Michael Cole does double duty on Raw & SmackDown, Barrett Goes to Raw & Graves/Patrick go to SmackDown.
It's a rarity, but WWE is shaking up their commentary teams, affecting both shows with senior commentator Michael Cole working both Raw and SmackDown again. The change officially takes place on the August 7th edition of Raw that follows Summerslam, the company's latest premium live event on Peacock on August 5th. Color commentator Wade Barrett, who's been working on SmackDown, will go to Raw and resume partnering with Cole, formerly exclusive to SmackDown. SmackDown announcers Kevin Patrick and Corey Graves will be the new Raw team with Cole, according to the WWE.
Sean Michael Coulthard started his time with WWE during the company's Attitude Era in 1997 after being recommended by Todd Pettengill, who worked in a similar capacity with the company. As an on-air talent, he adopted the Cole stage name, becoming a backstage interviewer and became the Raw play-by-play announcer subbing in for Jim Ross, who currently works for All Elite Wrestling. With SmackDown premiere on UPN, Cole moved to the program pairing with color commentator Peter Senerchia (aka Tazz in WWE and currently, Taz in AEW). Cole would occasionally be involved in storylines and the less said about the Anonymous GM, the better.
Barrett (Stuart Bennett) came up as a professional wrestler in 2004 before joining WWE in 2006, initially coming up through Ohio Valley Wrestling and Florida Championship Wrestling before formally making his on-camera debut on WWE TV in the first season of NXT in 2010. He would be active as a performer until 2016. In his four-year absence from WWE, Barrett appeared on Lucha Underground and the National Wrestling Alliance before returning to the company in 2020 as the color commentator for the company's current incarnation of NXT as a third brand.
Graves (Matthew Polinsky) came into the wrestling scene in 2000, going through various promotions before finding his way to WWE. His promising in-ring career was cut short in his time as a performer in NXT due to issues with concussions before becoming on-air talent in 2015 before his eventual role as a color commentator in 2016 on Raw. Graves and Patrick will start their SmackDown duties on the August 11th edition on Fox.