Longtime ESPN Announcer Joe Tessitore Is Joining WWE

WWE’s broadcasts booths get overhauled all the time, and according to a new story by Ryan Glasspiegel of the New York Post, the current top booth on SmackDown is getting a shakeup. While it is unclear which show the duo of Corey Graves and Wade Barrett will call going forward, we now know that Graves is sliding back into a color commentator role, as longtime ESPN broadcaster Joe Tessitore is joining WWE as a play-by-play announcer.

While the news was originally reported by the Post, the wrestling podcast Getting Over confirmed that Tessitore is on his way to WWE.

And not long after the reports began to circulate, WWE confirmed the move.

Tessitore has been with ESPN forever, as he’s a familiar voice on college football broadcasts and is the lead play-by-play guy on its boxing team. He also had a stint as the voice of Monday Night Football, but only spent two seasons in the booth during the network’s infamous experiment with Jason Witten as its top color commentator — Witten only lasted a year, at which point Booger McFarland slid into the booth.

While WWE and boxing are not exactly the same, Tessitore’s experience with a combat sport should hopefully give him a bit of a baseline as he enters this world. Plus he’s got some experience calling more outside the box programming, as he’s the voice of the ABC show Holey Moley.

Glasspiegel reports that the top booth on Raw — Michael Cole and Pat McAfee — will stay together. Additionally, while Tessitore is joining WWE broadcasts, he will remain with the Worldwide Leader.