Paul Heyman permanently removed from an on-screen role in WWE - Reports

Paul Heyman
Paul Heyman

Paul Heyman has reportedly been permanently removed from his role as co-host of Talking Smack. Heyman hosted the post-SmackDown show with Kayla Braxton, but has been replaced by SmackDown commentator Pat McAfee.

Talking Smack is an analysis show held after each SmackDown episode. The show was previously hosted by Renee Paquette and Daniel Bryan when it first began airing in 2016. Kayla Braxton became co-host after WWE rebooted the show last year, hosting alongside Paul Heyman and briefly with Xavier Woods.

According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, Heyman has been replaced by McAfee, and that there was "no real reason" for WWE to make the change:

"Meltzer also reported that Paul Heyman is off Talking Smack permanently, replaced by Pat McAfee. Meltzer said there was no real reason for the decision but 'everything can change tomorrow in WWE.' He said there are questions about how to handle Talking Smack when they go back out on the road, mainly because Fox doesn't want the show to air before the West Coast audience can see the show. He said there doesn't seem to be that level of concern with Raw Talk," wrote Josh Nason for F4W.

McAfee has co-hosted three episodes of Talking Smack with Kayla Braxton so far.

Paul Heyman praises Pat McAfee

Pat McAfee as SmackDown commentator
Pat McAfee as SmackDown commentator

Paul Heyman knows a thing or two about wowing audiences with the mic, and he has special praise for SmackDown commentator Pat McAfee:

“What I’ve liked about what Pat McAfee has done is that he hasn’t tried to conform into the role of being the stereotypical color commentator, dating back to the days of when Roddy Piper was doing it in Georgia or when Jesse Ventura was doing it with WWE. Or when I was color commentator for Jim Ross and b****slapped all of them and showed them how the job is really done. Pat is making it his own gig,” said Paul Heyman.

Pat McAfee began his current role as SmackDown commentator in April 2021, and currently works with Michael Cole at the commentary desk.

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Edited by John Cunningham