Despite being signed to WWE since just 2018, Pat McAfee has done a lot in his tenure with the company so far, trying his hand and successfully thriving at multiple different parts of the business. In that time, he’s proved himself to be much more than just a good hand, cementing himself as a true asset. He is someone with bounds of energy, charisma, and a knack for the professional wrestling business.

Pat McAfee Showcased His Charisma On NXT’s Pre-Shows

McAfee made his start for WWE by appearing on the NXT Kick-Off panels. Being a lifelong wrestling fan, his investment was clear, and with his unique personality and his lack of filter by just being himself – down to wearing shorts with a suit jacket – he turned heads in this minor role. It wouldn’t be long until he was afforded more duties, hosting watch-alongs on YouTube, and making himself a presence on WWE’s social media.

Pat McAfee in shorts at Wrestlemania and NXT Pre-Show Panel

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Despite an awkward interaction backstage with Michael Cole at Wrestlemania 35, in which McAfee was criticized for his shorts, he and Cole eventually shared the same screen when many of the WWE roster were stuck in Saudi Arabia for one of the most unique episodes of SmackDown in history. During the show, many NXT talents appeared, with an invasion of the blue brand taking place, and McAfee showing glimpses of his talents on the commentary desk.

McAfee’s Feud With Adam Cole Was Met With Acclaim

McAfee first big step into center stage in WWE was a feud with Adam Cole in NXT. Something which had been brewing for quite some time, with the pair building from tense moments on kick-off shows, led into a program on the black and gold brand. It wasn’t just the typical celebrity, special feature match – McAfee appeared regularly on TV, getting physical, and establishing his own faction. In this heel role, he impressed hugely on the mic, clearly being a complete natural in the spotlight.

Pat McAfee vs Adam Cole, and NXT War Games

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He and Cole tore the house down at NXT Takeover XXX, with many regarding it as one of the best celebrity matches in wrestling history. Following a further match against the Undisputed Era inside War Games, McAfee had shown the world what he could do, and that he was a versatile commodity for WWE.

Having already impressed as a panellist, host, and in-ring competitor, McAfee would make a return to the commentary desk, permanently sitting alongside Michael Cole as color commentator for SmackDown. This addition to SmackDown has been on of its highlights in recent times. The show has seen a break from the mold, having a two-man team instead of a crowded booth, which is a formula proven to work multiple throughout history, with memorable pairings such as Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura, and JR and Jerry Lawler.

Pat McAfee Michael Cole Smackdown WWE Commentary

What makes the pairing between Cole and McAfee work so well, is that neither of them are heel. A common problem in the past with heel commentators is a complete lack of logic at times when calling the action, in addition to being quite annoying to listen to – Cole’s previous heel character is proof of that. Comparatively to how AEW presents their commentators, a team without a heel actually benefits the bad guys a lot more than having a heel cheerleader on the desk.

McAfee’s energy on commentary is infectious. He seems truly ecstatic to be there each and every week, jumping up and down when there’s an impactful move and riffing to an air guitar along with entrance music. His enjoyment is so apparent that it makes the product more digestible, even if the content isn’t as good as it should be. With the commentators acting as the bridge from the action inside the ring to the audience at home, it’s important for them to make the action feel realistic, and McAfee does just that. He is managing to find the perfect balance between being over the top, but not feeling overbearing.

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He also brings the best out of Cole. Though he hasn’t changed leaps and bounds, McAfee brings out more of Cole’s personality. The dynamic works and Cole’s professionalism meshes well with McAfee’s sometimes strange and unique ways to call the action, which veer away from the usual clichéd ways of commentating.

Pat McAfee WWE Smackdown

McAfee is unapologetically himself when on the desk, and the fact that he has consistently remained as he is, shows that WWE must have no problem with the way he works, which is a huge positive going forwards, as it means more McAfee for the foreseeable future, whether that’s inside or outside the ring. He brings such a fresh take on WWE’s commentary style, and it’s certainly more than welcome.

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