After JBL announced his departure from the Smackdown Live announcing booth, speculation quickly took hold over who would replace him. After waiting the weekend, WWE has announced that replacement will be none other than current Monday Night Raw commentator Corey Graves.
The short announcement came via WWE.com, stating;
As first announced on WWE’s Twitter page, Corey Graves will be joining the SmackDown LIVE commentary team, replacing JBLwho opted to leave his position at the desk late last week to pursue his new opportunity as a Beyond Sport Global Ambassador.
Graves will now commentate both Raw and SmackDown LIVE, while Nigel McGuinness will take over Graves’ commentary duties on 205 Live and WWE Main Event.
WWE.com wishes both Graves and McGuinness the best of luck in their new roles
It’s a huge show in confidence for Corey Graves, who has been very quickly climbing the ranks within WWE.
Graves is a former NXT Tag Team Champion – forced to retire due to concussions. From here he transitioned into ring announcing, taking over weekly duties on NXT and it’s Takeover shows. In 2016, he moved up to Monday Night Raw during the WWE Draft, becoming the exclusive property of the Monday Night Raw brand. This didn’t last long, however, as Graves would soon take up announcing duties on Tuesday Night’s 205 Live.
That show will now be handled by Nigel McGuiness – who has already been announced as Grave’s replacement.
For our money, Graves is the best announcer in the company right now – and is easily the best choice WWE had. Speculation had suggested that Renee Young might take up the position – but it was clear from her Tweets that this wasn’t on the cards.
JBL’s departure opens the door for change on Tuesday nights. The veteran commentator had courted huge negative press earlier this year when it was reported that himself and Mauro Ranallo had fallen out. His departure didn’t surprise us, though the timing of it did.