With Smackdown’s upcoming move to Fox and NXT’s move to the USA Network, it was only fitting that before the season premiere of Monday Night Raw on what has been dubbed premier week the WWE has officially announced their new announce teams for both Raw and Smackdown. As listed on WWE.com the following news item is revealed.
STAMFORD, Conn. – WWE Premiere Week ushers in an unprecedented era of coverage with special episodes of Monday Night Raw, NXT, Total Divas and the FOX debut of Friday Night SmackDown bringing fans eight hours of primetime programming.
As part of WWE Premiere Week, new voices will be brought to the Raw, NXT and SmackDown broadcasts. Raw’s new announce team will include play-by-play from Vic Joseph with Dio Maddin and WWE Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler serving as analysts; NXT play-by-play will be called by Mauro Ranallo with Beth Phoenix and Nigel McGuiness as analysts; and SmackDown will feature Michael Cole handling play-by-play, Corey Graves serving as analyst and Renee Young as a Special Contributor.
Monday, September 30
The season premiere of Monday Night Raw airs at 8/7 C on USA Network as WWE Universal Champion Seth Rollins defends his title against Rey Mysterio; The Miz hosts WWE Hall of Famers Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair on a special edition of Miz TV; Brock Lesnar makes a special appearance; AJ Styles defends his United States Title vs. Cedric Alexander; and Alexa Bliss takes on Sasha Banks.
Wednesday, October 2
NXT will make its two-hour live premiere this Wednesday, October 2, on USA Network at 8/7 C, as The Undisputed ERA defend their golden prophecy and the NXT Tag Team Championships in a match against the Street Profits. Also, NXT Champion Adam Cole defends his title against Matt Riddle; NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler takes on Candice LeRae; Johnny Gargano competes against Shane Thorne, and fans can witness “The Velveteen Dream Experience.”
Immediately following NXT, season nine of Total Divas will premiere on E! at 10/9 C. The hit series is back with a season more personal and action-packed than ever. WWE Superstar Ronda Rousey joins Natalya, Naomi and Nia Jax for the new season, which also includes returning cast member Carmella and newcomer Sonya Deville. Nikki Bella and Brie Bella will make guest appearances in the series as well.
Friday, October 4
SmackDown’s 20th anniversary will kick off the new era of Friday Night SmackDown’s highly-anticipated move to FOX broadcast network on Friday, October 4 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, when WWE Champion Kofi Kingston puts his title on the line against Brock Lesnar. The Four Horsewomen also square off as WWE Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair team up against WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley and Sasha Banks in tag team competition. Later Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon look to finally settle their ongoing dispute in a high-stakes Ladder Match with the loser forced to leave WWE.
Prior to the premiere, the Friday Night SmackDown Kickoff Show “blue carpet” special will air at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on FOX from the Staples Center, featuring celebrity, Superstar and Legend arrivals, as well as backstage access.
Madison’s Mindset: Its a very interesting take on who has been placed in the commentary role along with whom has been omitted from this role. In each of these shows absent are regular’s Byron Saxton and Tom Phillips who have been regulars on either Raw or Smackdown Live for some time. Questions do arise such as what does ‘special contributor’ comprise of for Renee Young and how effective will Dio Maddin if he is immediately thrust into the spotlight? A number of questions to be answered but all will come to pass as of Monday, September 30th as the new Raw and Smackdown announce teams make their respective debuts.