McAfee joined the SmackDown broadcast team in 2021, and he signed a multi-year extension with the company in 2022. He also faced Austin Theory (and subsequently Vince McMahon) at WrestleMania 38. McAfee joined ESPN College Gameday in September 2022, and he made one-off returns at WWE Royal Rumble and WrestleMania 39. He recently signed a deal with ESPN that will see “The Pat McAfee Show” move to the network.
In an interview with Jimmy Traina on the SI Media Podcast, McAfee discussed his future with WWE. He made it clear that he’s still in contact with Triple H, Nick Khan, Michael Cole, Triple H, and Kevin Dunn. (H/t Jeremy Lambert of Fightful for the transcription)
“Myself, Michael Cole, Nick Khan, Kevin Dunn, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Vincent Kennedy McMahon, we are all still very much in contact with each other,” McAfee said. “Two of those men, Nick Khan and Vince, were people that when I had a question about what was going on during this whole process, very much answered my questions and said, Vince gave me a stern, ‘Do not,’ for one thing that I was thinking about doing because I did not appreciate the way something was laid out by one particular person in a company that I was negotiating with and everything.
“I sent a question, ‘Am I allowed to say this back?’ It took a couple of hours, and I got a ‘Do not. Now is not the time,’ something like that. Business-wise, I will listen to everything. Nick is another situation because Nick comes from the sports media world, so he knows all of these humans I was talking to. Nick Khan was like a ghost, ‘this person, what type of person are they?’ He would send me a ‘Boom, boom, boom. Bang, pow, think about this.'”
McAfee continued by stating that his relationship with WWE remains strong, and they’re all talking about how to get him back “into the universe.” He noted that he lived out multiple dreams, he loves the company, and they’re trying to figure out his potential return.
“My relationship with WWE is, I don’t want to say stronger than it’s ever been, but actually stronger than it’s ever been and we are all very much talking about how I get back into the universe because I love it,” McAfee said. “I love it, I think I’m good at it, I think I’m supposed to be in there.
“I understand why people are doing things, I think that’s why commentating was a good spot for me alongside Michael Cole, the greatest of all-time. Getting stunned by Stone Cole Steve Austin. I lived out dream, after dream, after dream over there. I love that place. Our relationship is very strong. We’re working. We’re all trying to figure it out.”
As of this writing, it’s unclear when McAfee will return to WWE. WrestleZone will provide more information as it becomes available.
Michael Cole recently stated that he wants to have another run on commentary with McAfee. Click here to see what he had to say.