Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer gave some behind-the-scenes details on who put the new RAW Commentary trio together and it wasn’t Vince McMahon, according to the latest Observer Newsletter.
Meltzer is reporting that Paul Heyman selected both Vic Joseph and Dio Maddin to be the new voices of the RAW brand. Heyman wanted to give the show a new look and it appears that he appreciates the work the two have done on the 205 Live brand. While Maddin certainly is green behind the headphones, Heyman thinks he’ll be a success in the new role.
No confirmation as to who put Jerry Lawler in as the third man, but Meltzer does report that it is only temporary and that it is unlike McMahon to put older veterans back in a main commentary role as age is an issue with him.
(Author’s note: McMahon however, likes Lawler’s commentary and when I attended The King and JR’s live show back during WrestleMania weekend, both The King and Jim Ross stated that Vince mostly lets Lawler go without being monitored – most recently as of last year’s Royal Rumble match.)
So as it stands right now, this is what the commentary teams will look like via WWE’s press release regarding “WWE Premiere Week”:
“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.”
Then you also have the studio show, WWE Backstage hosted by Renee Young and Booker T every week as well. PWInsider is reporting that Cathy Kelley will be playing a big role on the show as well while she splits time between that and NXT. In addition to that, PWInsider is reporting that WWE has auditioned several talents to play the roles of rotating personalities that will join the team on a week-to-week basis. Two names that have been confirmed to audition were both Rey Mysterio and Paige. Insider also states that WWE Backstage will be produced under the auspices of FOX, not WWE. The production crew on the show are all employed by FOX.