Bengaluru, October 7: The season premiere of Friday Night Smackdown is certainly shaping up to be a shake-up for the blue brand. At least, four NXT superstars are likely to join the mainstay league to possibly change the landscape for Friday nights.
According to a report by PWInsider, the plan for tonight's episode is to let NXT stable Legado del Fantasma (Santos Escobar, Joaquin Wilde, Cruz Del Toro, and Elektra Lopez) enter the SmackDown roster and thereby make their main roster debut.
However, nothing in detail was revealed regarding the exact storyline around the group. Back in August, Escobar was banished from NXT as part of a stipulation of losing to Tony D'Angelo at NXT Heatwave.
A week later, a segment was shown where Escobar picked up the rest of the Legado del Fantasma group in the parking lot as he wasn't going to leave NXT without them. Thus, WWE made sure that the popular stable won't be split up.
Dave Meltzer previously confirmed that Legado del Fantasma was up for the main roster call. With Triple H taking over the creative team, it was only a matter of time before the Mexico-origin superstars were planned to arrive in the big league anyway.
Another former WWE NXT Superstar is gearing up for a character refresh, possibly this week and his name is Max Dupri. As seen on last week's episode of Smackdown, Max abandoned his own creation, the Maximum Male Models faction.
The incident started rumours that he'll possibly bring back his previous gimmick, LA Knight from NXT. According to a report from PWInsider, the name LA Knight is already listed on WWE's internal roster and the repackage may happen on the Smackdown Season Premiere itself.
The rest of the Maximum Male Models members - Maxxine Dupri, Mace, and Mansoor will continue to play their current roles to keep the stable intact.
The broadcasting desk as well as the backstage announcing team will also change dramatically across all three of the WWE's brands, starting with this week's Smackdown, following up with next week's Raw and NXT airing.
WrestleVotes was the first source to report that changes were expected to Raw's commentary team as the voice of the red brand, Jimmy Smith is leaving. Afterward, more information was provided by Variety before WWE finally confirmed the changes.
The biggest news in those changes is that popular broadcaster Cathy Kelley is returning to WWE and she will be a backstage interviewer on Monday Night Raw, starting next week. Also, WWE Hall of Famer Booker T will be available for the NXT commentary table.
The updated commentary teams, ring announcers, and interviewers are given below:
Monday Night Raw
Commentary: Kevin Patrick and Corey Graves
Ring Announcer: Mike Rome
Interviewers: Byron Saxton and Cathy Kelley
Tuesday Night NXT
Commentary: Vic Joseph and Booker T
Ring Announcer: Alicia Taylor
Interviewers: McKenzie Mitchel
Friday Night Smackdown
Commentary: Michael Cole and Wade Barrett
Ring Announcer: Samantha Irvin
Interviewers: Kayla Braxton and Megan Morant
Premium Live Events
Commentators: Michael Cole & Corey Graves
Kick-Off Pre-Show panel host: Kayla Braxton