Wrestling
exclusive

Star ESPN announcer Joe Tessitore joining WWE

WWE has added an elite sports play-by-play broadcaster to its roster.

ESPN announcer Joe Tessitore will begin calling WWE later this summer, The Post has learned.

A formal announcement is expected later Tuesday.

Tessitore, 53, is also signing an extension with ESPN/ABC to continue calling college football and Top Rank boxing, sources said.

Longtime ESPN play-by-play broadcaster Joe Tessitore is joining WWE ‘SmackDown’. Joshua R. Gateley / ESPN Images

It is unknown whether Tessitore will start on “Raw” or “SmackDown.”

What is known is that Tessitore will lead a three-man booth featuring color commentators Corey Graves and Wade Barrett.

In the latest iteration of the “SmackDown” announce team, Graves, a former pro wrestler, has been handling the play-by-play responsibilities.

Graves — previously a color guy — took over the role in late January after Kevin Patrick was let go by WWE.

Michael Cole and Pat McAfee, who currently are the announcers on “Raw,” will stay together.

A WWE spokesperson declined to comment and Tessitore could not be reached for comment.

While WWE is a different animal than standard sports because it’s a blend of athletics with surreal scripted entertainment, Tessitore is probably as equipped as anyone out there to handle the jump.

Joe Tessitore will continue to call college football and boxing for ESPN. Ed Mulholland / ESPN Images

He has an excitable broadcast voice that can match the big moments in pro wrestling and is familiar with the tenets of combat sports from his time calling boxing.

This job is something of a full-circle moment Tessitore, who was the first media client of WWE president Nick Khan.

Khan was a super-agent prior to leading the wrestling promotion.

Tessitore also has a great relationship with Paul Levesque (a.k.a. “Triple H”), WWE’s head of creative.

Joe Tessitore and Jesse Palmer at the ACC Championship game in December of 2023. David Jensen / ESPN Images

He has previously called “Monday Night Football” and College Football Playoff games.

Later this year, “SmackDown” is moving to USA, and “Raw” is heading to Netflix in early 2025.

This is the first season that ESPN will have exclusive rights to the SEC; the network also is the exclusive home to the ACC, and splits the Big 12 with Fox.

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