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WWE announced some recently rumored announce team shake-ups for next week’s new season. Michael Cole will replace Tom Phillips on Smackdown as lead play-by-play announcer, and Vic Joseph will replace Cole on Monday Night Raw. Tom Phillips’ reassignment, if any, hasn’t been announced.
On the color commentator side, Dio Maddin gets promoted to Raw – he had been doing commentary on 205 Live – and Jerry Lawler is back on the Raw team full time. Corey Graves duties get reduced to just Smackdown, and Renee Young is now considered a “special contributor” and apparently isn’t on the team. There has been talk of Fox wanting a two-person booth on Smackdown rather than three. Byron Saxton’s reassignment, if any, hasn’t been announced. It’s possible Phillips and Saxton end up on 205 Live or Main Event.
The move of Cole to Smackdown is further evidence that Smackdown is now considered the A-show and Raw is taking a lesser role within the WWE TV show portfolio.
The NXT team stays the same.