Updated 02:14 AM EDT, Sat, Sep 25, 2021

WWE News & Rumors 2015: New Raw & SmackDown Announcers!

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You won't be hearing that husky voice you've associated with Raw anymore, with WWE announcing that Jerry "The King" Lawler has been transferred to SmackDown, in a major shake-up of the announcing teams.

"As SmackDown prepares to move to Thursday nights next week on Syfy, WWE Universe members will be seeing some new faces behind both the Raw and SmackDown announce desks," said WWE on its website.

Lawler's transfer could be the most glaring change, him being the "owner of one of the most famous voices in WWE history," The Bleacher Report commented.

According to the Washington Post, the change will take effect on Jan. 15, as SmackDown migrates from Friday evenings to Thursdays. Raw, from Monday, will take over Friday, still at 8 p.m.

With SmackDown an hour shorter than Raw, the longtime announcer can get the rest he needs after having suffered a heart attack during a Raw show back in 2012, said The Bleacher Report.

The decision might also have something to do with an intestinal problem.

The Inquisitr reported that the WWE Hall of Famer was absent from work on Jan. 5, because of a bout with diverticulitis, which "occurs when small, bulging sacs or pouches that form on the inner wall of the intestine (diverticula) become inflamed or infected,"causing fever, nausea and abdominal pain," per Medline Plus.

"It is quite the horrible disorder," the Inquisitr report said, explaining that it took Brock Lesnar out of the UFC's Octagon for months in 2009. It brought his weight down about 35 pounds to under 250 and ultimately cost him his heavyweight title.

Lawler was already doing well, the Washington Post said, per a WWE spokesperson, who also revealed that he, Michael Cole and NXT's Byron Saxton were getting jobs with the development arm of the wrestling franchise.

"Michael Cole and JBL [John "Bradshaw" Layfield] will be joined each week by WWE Hall of Famer Booker T, while the new SmackDown announce team will consist of Cole, newcomer Byron Saxton and incomparable WWE Hall of Famer Jerry 'The King' Lawler," the WWE announcement explained. "Cole, JBL and Lawler will continue to provide commentary during WWE pay-per-view events."

Booker T has experience with the mic, having taken on the role for SmackDown since 2011.

For Examiner there is another reason for the transfer: to lend a popular voice to SmackDown, which is a secondary show.

Citing a WWE statement, the report added that "the move was made because there is a 15 percent higher television viewing rate among young males on Thursday nights," explaining that Fridays do not do well with the young market.

TNA has also undergone a shift in announce teams, with Josh Matthews coming on board to replace Mike Tenay, said Strictly Sports

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