Pat McAfee Influenced By Commentary Greats, But Hopes To Make It With His Own Persona
Pat McAfee is settling into his new role on the WWE Friday Night SmackDown broadcast team, but the former NFL star punter doesn’t want to be just another voice at the desk. He wants to be an all-time great.
In an interview with Joseph Staszewski of the New York Post, McAfee discussed his goals as he enters his second episode of SmackDown. He made it clear that he wants to both bring something new to the table and give back to the business he has admired for a long time. McAfee also discussed the challenges of portraying a heel character without getting carried away at the expense of the show.
“I’m trying to be something that provides a little more assist for stories that are happening as opposed to interjecting myself in stories,” said McAfee. “But it was difficult not to be a heel full-time in there, I will say. I think that will naturally turn up a little bit, but I don’t think you’ll ever expect me going on to commentary … maybe it will happen, but I don’t think so, though … of me saying, ‘it must suck to suck’ or whatever to whoever is listening. I don’t know if that’s going to happen.
“Maybe it will. Maybe that’s how it will kind of feel and lead to. But for me, I’m naturally more of a heel, but I also want to make sure I’m not distracting from all the incredible things going on SmackDown.”
McAfee, who impressed fans and analysts alike with his in-ring debut at WWE NXT TakeOver XXX, explained that he intends to draw from some legendary influences like Jerry “The King” Lawler, but he’s trying to make an impression as an individual.
“I think there’s a lot of greats, obviously I think a lot of people helped shape my personality,” said McAfee. “But I’m really trying to make it my own in there. There’s going to hopefully be some traits of people I watched over the years that you might hear a little bit of influence from. But I hope to really make it my own.”
During the interview, McAfee also teased an eventual return to the ring and shared his perspective on working with Vince McMahon.