Fans hoping to see Pat McAfee at WrestleMania 39 look set to be disappointed.
After joining the SmackDown commentary team in April 2021, McAfee became a big hit with fans for his endless energy and unrivaled enthusiasm. However, the former NFL star took a step back from WWE in September 2022 after landing a new presenting role with ESPN.
His WWE future was thrown further into doubt when the company reorganised its commentary teams in his absence. McAfee returned to WWE at the Royal Rumble, but it appears that this was a one-off.
During an interview with Andrew Marchand and John Ourand on the Marchand & Ourand Sports Media Podcast, WWE CEO Nick Khan was asked about McAfee’s status for WrestleMania. Khan said that there are no plans for him to be involved over the weekend, but hopes to work with him in the future.
“We have no plans to have him there this weekend. The world is his oyster. He’s 36 years old. Look at his relevancy factor when you talk to young children. I have two young children, when I talk to them, it’s often, ‘McAfee, McAfee, McAfee.’ That’s what’s in the wheelhouse for them. If you look at any of the traditional buyers, what do they want? They want a young, diverse audience. What does McAfee bring? A young, diverse audience.
He doesn’t get political to the extreme either way. He has Aaron Rodgers on, respectfully develops that relationship, and becomes the go-to home for Aaron Rodgers. You see that with more athletes and Pat. He’s not looking to annihilate anybody or crucify them. He’s looking to have good content and his content has been terrific. He’ll determine, ultimately, where he wants his home to be. Our hope is that he does more with us,”
Is Pat McAfee Ever Returning To WWE?
The comments from Khan come after it was reported that there are “no plans” for McAfee to return to WWE even beyond WrestleMania. McAfee famously competed at WrestleMania 38 against Austin Theory and then Vince McMahon. He ended his night on the receiving end of a Stunner from Steve Austin before hilariously working his way through a beer while semi-conscious at ringside.
H/t to Fightful