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5 Things you didn't know about Corey Graves 

WWE Announcer Corey Graves
WWE Announcer Corey Graves

WWE announcer Corey Graves has become a staple of WWE television since concussions forced him to retire from in-ring competition in 2014. Many wrestling fans consider Graves the voice of WWE and at only 35 years old the voice of the future.

Having announced NXT, 205 Live, SmackDown Live, and RAW, Corey Graves has cemented his legacy as this generation's great heel announcer. He has even drawn lofty comparisons to WWE Hall of Famers Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan and Jesse 'The Body' Ventura.

The former NXT Superstar is also no stranger to controversy and isn't afraid to voice his opinion both on-air and off. His outspoken nature doesn't sit well with all wrestling fans, but Graves is wholeheartedly committed to authenticity and staying true to himself.

So, just who is this Pittsburgh, PA native that is all over WWE television? Find out in 5 things you didn't know about Corey Graves.


#5 A chance encounter with Michael Cole changed his life

WWE's Corey Graves
WWE's Corey Graves

Corey Graves was not yet aware of how serious his latest concussion was or that it would forever sideline him and prevent him from ever wrestling again. He was a professional, a Pittsburgh tough guy who had overcome injuries before, but this time it was entirely out of his hands. Graves would soon be told that he would not be medically cleared to compete and that his in-ring career was finished.

A promising NXT Superstar with movie star good looks and athleticism to go with it, Graves seemed destined to be a future world champion, but fate had other plans. Despite his string of bad luck, the wrestling gods weren't done with Graves just yet. His professional wrestling career was just beginning.

Before finding out about the devastating end of his in-ring career, Graves sat at a bar next to long-time WWE commentator Michael Cole, where unbeknownst to anyone his destiny was about to unfold.

Graves told Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling,

"It was a chance conversation I had with Cole after WrestleMania 30 because it was before WrestleMania 30 at Axxess when I had my last concussion. Cole and I were sitting in a bar in New Orleans just b**ng. I had no inkling I was going to be shut down."

Graves thought he'd be back in action within a week and by mere chance mentioned to Michael Cole that he had some previous radio experience at a sports radio station in Pittsburgh. After Graves' in-ring career officially came to an end, Michael Cole remembered the conversation and went to bat for Graves. This inevitably led to Graves being given a chance on WWE's commentary team and the rest is history.

#4 Graves' on-air reactions are authentic

WWE Announcer Corey Graves
WWE Announcer Corey Graves

While WWE is often accused of being overly scripted, Graves prefers to have an authentic natural reaction while on commentary. In fact, he doesn't know what will happen during the in-ring action he calls and prefers to keep it that way.

Graves told Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling,

"A lot of that is my preference. It's not really an ordinance. It's not nothing they told me. It's not that I can't know things. I feel like it's more enjoyable for me and my ability to convey the emotions is better when I can be surprised, or be unsure, or not know what the finish is."

That doesn't mean it's the case with all of WWE's announce crew,

"Some people like to know every punch that's being thrown and every aspect of the match. I don't like that. It's just my personal preference because somehow after all these years have managed to still be a fan to an extent and I feel that's definitely lended itself to me being successful as a commentator. Obviously, I look at it with my own slant and heavy dripping sarcasm, but I don't like to know."

Throughout his two-decade professional career, Graves has managed to hold onto a childlike enthusiasm for professional wrestling which shows in his work,

"There's nothing more exciting to me to this day, after even being with WWE for however long I've been here, than being surprised. We still put up with everything, good, bad, and indifferent because we're fans and we want the good stuff. In the event that something happens, something shocking, there's still no better visceral feeling than going, 'Holy sh*t, I didn't know that was going to happen.' I love that and think everybody feels that way."

#3 Corey Graves has his own fashion line

Corey Graves: Fashion Magnate
Corey Graves: Fashion Magnate

Corey Graves has an obvious abundance of talent. Once a superb wrestler on the NXT brand and now an all-star commentator for both the RAW and SmackDown Live brands, Graves has found a new passion: fashion. He has recently partnered up with Fatal Clothing to release his own clothing line.

He told Two Man Power Trip,

"They were an established company before I ever came along. They sent me some stuff and I was wearing it non-stop. I started taking pictures and I would just be doing day-to-day things and not really paying attention...we get sent a ton of stuff...this was something I actually wore."

The rock n' roll geared clothing line is geared toward tattoo enthusiasts like Graves. Fatal kept sending Graves more clothes to wear and he loved the line so much, he gladly obliged.

Eventually, he was offered an opportunity to come up with his own line,

"It was a longer process than what I expected, but it was a natural fit. Me genuinely being a fan of what they do and wearing their stuff, it was a mutually beneficial relationship. They started drawing up designs and I get to approve everything that goes in the Stay Down line."

Graves' foray into fashion is independent of WWE and professional wrestling. The clothing isn't geared toward wrestling fans and Graves likes it that way, as it opens his line to more people outside the WWE Universe.

Readers can peruse Graves' new Stay Down Collection HERE.

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#2 Corey Graves had a falling out w/ long-time friend CM Punk

CM Punk and Corey Graves
CM Punk and Corey Graves

Just how close were Corey Graves and CM Punk? CM Punk held Graves' child even before he did. Graves happened to be on tour when his newborn came into the world and Punk, a close friend whom Graves trusted and respected, went to visit the child even before Graves.

No one expected these two to ever have a falling out, but after Punk's messy public 'divorce' with WWE, he told Graves in no uncertain terms where he stood.

Graves told Fightful,

"It kinda shocked me when I texted him about grabbing dinner because we were in Chicago and he told me he no longer had any interest in being friends with me or anybody related to WWE."

Graves was hurt and could no longer hold back. After Punk's UFC 225 loss, Graves took to social media to lash out at his former friend,

"Maybe abandoning everybody who stood by your side, even when we weren’t supposed to, only to have you turn your back on us wasn’t the right move after all? No anger. Only sadness."

Corey Graves further elaborated in his interview with Fightful,

"I’m simply hurt/pissed off that a guy that I looked like as a big brother-type has turned his back on me and everyone that loved and supported him only because of the name on my paycheck. I’m definitely not the only one. I won’t name names, but there is a large group of us to this day that inexplicably lost a solid friend because of where we work."

In the ultimate dig, Graves even questioned Punk's punk credentials,

"The first rule of “punk rock” is loyalty, and this guy betrayed it all. I still love you, “friend” and I’m sorry you got lost."

Ouch!

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#1 Seth Rollins has Corey Graves' full support

NXT Days: Seth Rollins and Corey Graves
NXT Days: Seth Rollins and Corey Graves

Former Universal Champion Seth Rollins recently came under fire after exchanging Twitter barbs with indie wrestling star Will Ospreay. Rollins, proud of his company and his own efforts, made the claim that WWE featured the best professional wrestling on the planet and that no one on earth could ever do what he does. Will Ospreay reminded Rollins that he actually still existed and the conflict inevitably devolved to the point where Rollins suggested he and Ospreay compare bank accounts. Yep, he went there.

Since then, Rollins has mended fences and apologized, but he doesn't need to make any concessions to Corey Graves.

Graves fully supports Rollins and told Two Man Power Trip,

"He stood up on behalf of everybody. That's our champion. That's our guy. Everybody in the company I guarantee you was going, 'Hell yeah, that's our guy standing up for all of us.'"

Graves gave Rollins high props as WWE's locker room leader and resident flag bearer,

"It was morale. He's a locker room leader. It's the same as in generations past. Somebody always wants to wave the flag on behalf of the boys (I also include the girls and everybody). It's even bigger than that because you don't realize (because they're not on TV) the incredible crew we have that travels just as much as we do, just as frequently as we do, and they're at the building before the talent arrives, and they're there breaking down afterwards. They care as much as we do. They happen to not be on-screen."

One thing is clearly evident, Rollins has earned Graves' respect and admiration,

"He was standing up for everybody, man, and I respect the sh*t out of that. I think everybody does and I think we need more people like that who are willing to wave the flag and just go, 'You know what? Is it perfect? No, but we're going to do our best and we still do our best night after night despite some circumstances and problems that are obvious.'"

(Please give SportsKeeda transcription credits on using the quotes).

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Edited by Anirban
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