In the midst of the dark cloud that hovered over WWE last week due to the traveling woes of Crown Jewel, there definitely was a silver lining. While most of the wrestlers and personnel were stuck in transit, the audible booking of SmackDown was widely viewed to be better than what it was originally promoted to look like.
Instead of featuring the normal SmackDown roster, the ones who stayed in the United States – The Miz, Sami Zayn, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Carmella, Dana Brooke, and even Daniel Bryan – fell victim to an NXT takeover. While this was occurring, two-time Pro Bowl former Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee had an opportunity to live out his dream by sitting at the the SmackDown commentating booth for the first time ever.
Now working for NXT, McAfee certainly did not look like it was his first rodeo behind the booth, although it was. It was clear that he was super elated at the opportunity, as his legitimately sounded excited all throughout the show, by stayed with his color commentary cues.
In an interview with DAZN USA, McAfee went into extensive detail as to how the whole thing came about.
On Friday night I commentated @WWE #SmackDown on Fox. It all came together beautifully at the last minute with some help from Mr. H @TripleH and Mr. @JimIrsay #PatMcAfeeShowLIVE on @DAZN_USA pic.twitter.com/WFfCecnSxF
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) November 4, 2019
While preparing to appear on College Gameday the next day, McAfee received a text from Triple H asking him if he was home and a subsequent phone call asking if he was aware of the traveling issues going on. He then pitched to McAfee if he was interested in doing color commentary, and McAfee responded, “absolutely.”
After failing to get a flight from Indianapolis to Buffalo to Memphis, he threw a “hail Mary” and asked the Colts COO Jim Irsay if he could use his plane to get to SmackDown and then College Gameday the next day. Irsay said yes, and he was able to successful get to both destinations.
When he arrived in Buffalo, 1.5 hours before the show started, “nobody [was] there” because “everybody [was] stuck in transit.” He sees Triple H, who was talking the Brock Lesnar, and discussed the plan. He did commentary for most of the SmackDown show, and “had a blast.”
“Vince McMahon was in my ear a couple of times,” said McAfee, “and I think I heard him laugh once.” He added that Stephanie McMahon was in his ear a couple of times as well, and he also thinks he heard her laugh. Overall, it was a great experience for McAfee, and it would not be a surprise to see him behind the booth again sooner than later.