The former Indianapolis Colts punter turned sports broadcasting star lended his voice to his second WWE pay-per-view event on Sunday (June 20) night since joining the SmackDown broadcast team in April.
Wrestling fans showered McAfee with praise throughout the broadcast, specifically the event's first two SmackDown roster matches between SmackDown Women's Champion Bianca Belair vs. Bayley and Seth Rollins vs. Cesaro.
One Twitter user, "@Fiend4Follows," tweeted, "This is a petition to have Pat McAfee on commentary for the entire PPV," referencing the split RAW and SmackDown broadcast teams covering the show.
Numerous other Twitter users shared those sentiments:
McAfee acknowledged the positive feedback for his recent commentary contributions, as well as some criticism from the "Internet Wrestling Community" during his initial involvement with WWE's NXT brand prior to joining the SmackDown broadcast team, both on Twitter and during the opening of his daily radio program.
"Flyin home from #HIAC.. Just took a SICK portrait selfie. Thanks for all of the love for [Michael] Cole & I on here tonight," McAfee tweeted. "The IWC was, understandably, a bit fickle about my arrival in this world. I’m very thankful for the opportunity to do my thing at this level. It’s wild to me too."
McAfee, who had previously made several on-air and in-ring appearances for the company, was announced as SmackDown's new color commentator on April 15, hours ahead of his live television debut.
“For as long as I can remember WWE has been a company that I have admired, both for its incredible staying power of creating riveting entertainment and for its ability to connect people all over the globe,” McAfee said via WWE.com. “I’ve been fortunate to try a lot of cool professions but working for WWE was the one I looked forward to most. I am incredibly honored and grateful for the chance to give back to the business that has given me and many others so much and having the opportunity to sit at the same table that legends have graced is truly a dream come true. Now let’s go get it.”
McAfee has worked alongside veteran play-by-play man Michael Cole, who also serves as the VP of WWE's on-air announce talent.
McAfee has previously credited Cole's role in bringing him into the company for past on-air appearances, which initially included serving as a preshow host of multiple NXT TakeOver events and later developed into an in-ring feud with NXT star Adam Cole (no relation).
McAfee also served as a fill-in host for a November 2019 live episode of SmackDown in Buffalo, New York amid travel problems.
The Plum, Pennsylvania native retired from the NFL after eight NFL seasons -- which included two Pro Bowl appearances and being named Pro Football Focus '"punter of the decade for the 2010s" -- to launch Barstool Sports' "Heartland" division in Indianapolis, where he spent his entire pro career, in 2016.
McAfee departed from Barstool Sports in 2018 to launch Pat McAfee Inc., which includes several podcasts and streaming shows, including its flagship program, The Pat McAfee Show 2.0, which also airs live on Sirius XM and YouTube.
McAfee has also made numerous appearances broadcasting games for FOX Sports and ESPN, as well as working as a sideline reporter for the relaunched XFL -- then-ran by WWE chairman Vince McMahon -- in 2020.
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