Fans who tuned in to Monday Night Raw on Jan. 29, 2024, may have gotten a shock when they discovered that Pat McAfee was the color commentator alongside Michael Cole for the evening. Following this change in the lineup, many wanted to know whether the change was permanent. What happened to Wade Barrett, the show's previous color commentator?
While some fans were undoubtedly happy about the change, others were confused and wondered where Wade had gone. Why did WWE decide to make this change? Here's what we know about the lineup change and what happened to Wade.
What happened to Wade Barrett on 'Monday Night Raw'?
During the broadcast, Michael announced that his partnership with Pat would be permanent moving forward. While Michael didn't say anything about the fate of his former partner, many suspect that Wade will wind up on Smackdown as the show's analyst alongside Corey Graves.
This reshuffling of the WWE lineup comes just days after the WWE terminated its contract with Kevin Patrick, the play-by-play commentator on Smackdown.
Kevin was reportedly told that he would have to step up his game or risk being let go, and it seems that he ultimately couldn't satisfy the team at WWE. As a result of Kevin's dismissal, though, there has been a reshuffling of the hosting lineups across the board at WWE.
Wade has worked with WWE as a commentator since 2020 and has already had several roles with the company in his four years there.
While we don't yet know for sure that Wade will be returning to Smackdown, a post he previously occupied in 2022 before moving to RAW, there has been no announcement that he stepped down or was let go. Instead, it seems like WWE brought Pat onto RAW so that Wade could leave the show and head to Smackdown, where he would be needed in the aftermath of Kevin's ouster.
Initial reports seem to confirm Wade's new role.
Although Michael didn't make it official when he introduced Pat, initial reports seem to confirm that Wade will be joining Corey on Smackdown, and fans seem to be excited by the new pairing.
"This feels like the right decision if you don’t want to take Vic Joseph away from NXT. Corey has at some points done play-by-play to cover up for the inexperience of his last three broadcast partners (Adnan Virk, Jimmy Smith, and Kevin Patrick). Plus Wade is excellent too. Good idea," one person wrote.
"Barrett's charisma + Graves' humor = SmackDown commentary gold! This is the chemistry we need! Let's witness some epic matches and even funnier banter!" another person added.
While the change may have shaken up some fans who weren't expecting the shift, it's clear that most people are excited about the potential of the new lineup. It looks like that lineup may make its debut on Feb. 2, 2024, and fans will get a chance to see whether the lineup they were anticipating is as good as they thought it would be.