Thursday, July 25, 2024

WWE signs veteran broadcaster Joe Tessitore to play-by-play role alongside Corey Graves, Wade Barrett

WWE is adding an elite sports personality to its ranks. College football and boxing broadcaster Joe Tessitore, 53, has signed a deal to provide play-by-play for the WWE beginning this summer.

What is not yet clear is what show Tessitore will be calling, though WWE did confirm that he will work alongside Corey Graves and Wade Barrett. Graves is presently the lead voice alongside Barrett on “SmackDown,” which airs Friday nights, while Michael Cole and Pat McAfee commentate “Raw” on Monday nights. Cole and McAfee will remain paired together.

“It’s an honor to be a part of WWE,” Tessitore said in a statement provided to CBS Sports. “The recent success and trajectory are undeniable. Being there at WrestleMania XL, one could feel it — from Cody [Rhodes], Seth [Rollins], Roman [Reigns] and The Rock, to creative and production, these are some of the very best storytellers in TV.

“Corey and Wade are absolute stars and it is my privilege to join their team. Pat and Cole are just magical together and Cole is the greatest to ever sit in that chair.  As a lifelong viewer, I’m humbled to join this team and to serve our fans.”

A one-time NFL “Monday Night Football” play-by-play man, Tessitore currently calls college football and Top Rank Boxing for ESPN while also serving as the lead voice for sports reality competition comedy series “Holey Moley” on ABC.

Given Tessitore’s college football and boxing duties generally require him to work Saturdays, and WWE did not specify which show he will call, it is possible that Tessitore, Graves and Barrett wind up moving to “Raw,” which moves to Netflix on Jan. 1, 2025, with Cole and McAfee shifting back to “SmackDown,” which moves to USA Network on Sept. 13.

“Whether it’s a world title fight that’s got the globe buzzing or a college football rivalry that’s grabbed the nation’s attention, Joe’s voice provides that big event feel each time he is behind the microphone,” said WWE chief content officer Paul Levesque, better known to fans as former wrestler Triple H.

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