WWE Announces New Commentators Team, Premiere Week Schedule, And New Show on FOX TV

WWE Premiere Week ushers in an unprecedented era of coverage with special episodes of Monday Night RAW, NXT, Total Divas and the FOX debut of Friday Night SmackDown bringing fans eight hours of primetime programming.

As part of WWE Premiere Week, new voices will be brought to the RAW, NXT and SmackDown broadcasts. 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.

Monday, September 30

The season premiere of Monday Night RAW airs at 8/7 C on USA Network (1 AM BST) as WWE Universal Champion Seth Rollins defends his title against Rey Mysterio; The Miz hosts WWE Hall of Famers Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair on a special edition of Miz TV; Brock Lesnar makes a special appearance; AJ Styles defends his United States Title vs. Cedric Alexander; and Alexa Bliss takes on Sasha Banks.

Wednesday, October 2

NXT will make its two-hour live premiere this Wednesday, October 2, on USA Network at 8/7 C (1 AM BST), as The Undisputed ERA defend their golden prophecy and the NXT Tag Team Championships in a match against the Street Profits. Also, NXT Champion Adam Cole defends his title against Matt Riddle; NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler takes on Candice LeRae; Johnny Gargano competes against Shane Thorne, and fans can witness “The Velveteen Dream Experience.”

Immediately following NXT, season nine of Total Divas will premiere on E! at 10/9 C (3 AM BST). The hit series is back with a season more personal and action-packed than ever. WWE Superstar Ronda Rousey joins Natalya, Naomi and Nia Jax for the new season, which also includes returning cast member Carmella and newcomer Sonya Deville. Nikki Bella and Brie Bella will make guest appearances in the series as well.

Friday, October 4

SmackDown’s 20th anniversary will kick off the new era of Friday Night SmackDown’s highly-anticipated move to FOX broadcast network on Friday, October 4 at 8 p.m. ET/PT (1 AM BST), when WWE Champion Kofi Kingston puts his title on the line against Brock Lesnar. The Four Horsewomen also square off as WWE Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair team up against WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley and Sasha Banks in tag team competition. Later Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon look to finally settle their ongoing dispute in a high-stakes Ladder Match with the loser forced to leave WWE.

Prior to the premiere, the Friday Night SmackDown Kickoff Show “blue carpet” special will air at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on FOX from the Staples Center, featuring celebrity, Superstar and Legend arrivals, as well as backstage access.

SmackDown moves from Tuesdays to Fridays beginning Friday, October 4, at 8 p.m. ET (1 AM BST) on FOX, but WWE fans can still get their Tuesday night fix with FS1’s WWE Backstage, television’s only studio show devoted to all things WWE. The hour-long weekly show offers viewers the latest WWE news every Tuesday at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT, beginning November 5 on FS1.

Longtime WWE broadcaster Renee Young and WWE Hall of Famer Booker T weigh in on the biggest stories in WWE and are joined by a rotating cast of guests and personalities, including current and former WWE Superstars.

Ahead of WWE Backstage’s November 5 debut, FOX Sports offers a special preview of the show on Tuesday, October 15, following the conclusion of the ALCS Game 3 on FS1. Young and Booker T are joined by special guests to reveal the WWE Backstage set at the FOX Studios Lot in Los Angeles, and to break in their brand-new ring.

WWE Backstage is a wrestling show for wrestling fans. From hardcore fans to people new to wrestling, we’ll give them a little bit of everything,” Young said. “It’s going to be fun, it’s going to be loud, we’re going to give them a ton of opinions and I can’t wait to help spread the word about SmackDown coming to FOX.” Young will be joined by the two-time WWE Hall of Famer, Booker T, for analysis.

“It’s awesome being part of the FOX family and part of this movement of Friday Night SmackDown to FOX,” Booker T said. “FOX Sports has always been the one-stop shop for sports and now it’s going to be the one-stop shop for sports and entertainment. I think this is going to be a tag team that’s going to last for a long time and one that cannot lose. As I always say, now can you dig it, sucka?”

More information on WWE Backstage, including additional on-air personalities and special guests, will be announced at a later date.

Press announcements and pics courtesy of WWE

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