Speaking on a recent episode of his Hall of Fame podcast, Booker T revealed that he was meant to leave NXT at the end of December.
However, he explained that plans had changed and he would be staying with NXT full-time. Booker T moved to the brand following a major reshuffle of WWE’s announce teams in October. The changes saw Wade Barrett move from NXT to SmackDown as Pat McAfee took a break and Kevin Patrick took over play-by-play duties on Raw. Patrick replaced Jimmy Smith who left the company altogether.
Report Gives New Update On Booker T
Writing in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer has now revealed WWE’s original plans for their announcers. The idea was that Wade Barrett was only a short-term addition to SmackDown and would he replaced by McAfee when the football season, and his ESPN duties were over.
“Booker T will be full-time on NXT working with Vic Joseph. The original plan was for Booker T to be in the spot during football season, with Wade Barrett doing Smackdown. After football season, the idea was for Pat McAfee to return to Smackdown and Barrett to go back to NXT.”
Booker T’s addition to the NXT announce team alongside Vic Joseph came as a surprise to many fans given he hadn’t had a full-time commentary role since 2018. The two-time WWE Hall of Famer began his commentary career back in 2011 on SmackDown, before later moving to Monday Night Raw.
In more recent times the former World Champion has become a regular feature on WWE’s Premium Live Event pre-shows.
NXT was recently rocked by the release of the brand’s long-reigning Women’s Champion Mandy Rose. The star was let go after WWE became uncomfortable with the content she was posting on her exclusive content website.
In the weeks after her exit, it has been announced that Rose earned $1 million from her subscription platform in December, far outstripping what she would have earned in WWE.