Renee has been joined recently on those panels by people like Sam Roberts and Peter Rosenberg, possibly in an attempt to find another correspondent to plug in wherever necessary. Meanwhile, Dasha Fuentes has moved up from NXT to the primary SmackDown backstage interviewer while they groom Andrea D’Marco and Kayla Braxton in NXT.
In a way, Renee has been given the type of job Michael Cole used to have when Jim Ross was still around, Charly Caruso has been given the type of jobs Renee Young was doing just a year ago, and some other pieces of the puzzle are being shifted around to see who does the best job between the different spots available.
It will be interesting to see how Tom Phillips, Nigel McGuinness and Percy Watson mesh in NXT, but it would not shock me at all if we saw either McGuinness try to learn play-by-play instead of color so he can take over for Phillips when he inevitably moves on to Raw/SmackDown. After all, if the UK show doesn’t take off, you have to use McGuinness for something, so why not NXT? Watson may stick around or they may find someone else to replace him if he doesn’t get any better, as other people in the past have had temporary positions in that spot like Matt Bloom and William Regal (who both went on to jobs which suit them better).
Also, at some point, they’re going to have to realize how terrible Otunga is and drop him just as they did plenty of other people in the past, and we’re also going to need a replacement for JBL when he decides to hang it up—and when he does, don’t be too shocked if he steps in as a panelist, as that seems to be the trend. Cole, meanwhile, will work in whatever capacity he plans on being useful backstage as WWE.
I have a feeling 2017 is going to see the addition of a handful of new names we’re going to have to get used to sitting behind the headsets, holding microphones backstage and so forth. There was a point in time where Scott Stanford and Kyle Edwards managed the things Cathy Kelley appears to be doing now, Greg Hamilton rather quickly moved his way up to becoming SmackDown’s lead ring announcer and we’ve seen a pronounced effort to globalize things with commentary teams for about a dozen different languages over the world instead of just our standard Spanish announce team (although that table is still probably the most fun to put someone through).
The NXT pre-show panel in one snapshot showed us three big changes with Graves stepping down, McGuinness coming in and the two of them being managed by Charly as yet another big stride in her career.
Things are changing very quickly and by the time 2018 rolls around, we may be looking at a much more cemented future of WWE’s broadcasters.
How do you feel about this? Who would you like to see in what positions? Are there any wrestlers you think could do well on commentary? Chime in on this situation in the comments below!