Pat McAfee won't be seen on WWE television for a little bit. According to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the former NFL star is going to be off 2020 after his impressive run on NXT this year. Meltzer said McAfee could return in the spring.
"We’re told McAfee will be off TV for a while," Meltzer wrote in this week's newsletter. "It was WWE’s call, not his. No exact time frame was said, but we’re told he was given the impression it’ll be the spring. He’s such a natural at this and really, if the main roster creative wasn’t such a mess, he should be there. Plus, his affiliation would get far more sports media talk if it was on Raw or SmackDown and unlike most celebrities, you don’t have to worry that his segments or his physical end will come off looking bad."
McAfee turned heads during his match against Adam Cole at NXT: TakeOverXXX this past summer. McAfee lost the match but was able to go toe-to-toe with one of the top pro wrestlers in the world. He also took part in NXT War Games and was just as impressive. What WWE could do is move McAfee to Raw or SmackDown once he returns, as Meltzer eluded to. McAfee talked to ESPN in August, and he evaluated his performance against Cole.
"I think overall, I paid respect to the business," he said. "I think I very much understood the outrage that came when my match was announced - when Triple H went on Get Up and issued me a challenge, and I accepted it from my honeymoon - the immediate reaction from the wrestling community was a negative one. And I very much understand why, because being a lifelong fan, anytime an outsider comes in [from a wrestler's perspective], not only are they taking a spot that I dreamed I was a part of, but they're also taking a spot that somebody else could potentially have."
If McAfee returns in the spring, he could be involved in a storyline for WrestleMania. This past year, fans saw Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski being the guest host at WrestleMania 36 and win the 24/7 title. It wouldn't be surprising to see McAfee put on a show at WWE's biggest event of the year.