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"He felt terrible" - Corey Graves addresses Michael Cole's WrestleMania 37 main event botch

Corey Graves and Michael Cole at the SmackDown announce desk.
Corey Graves and Michael Cole at the SmackDown announce desk.
Alex Turk

In an emotional match from start to finish in the first main event of WrestleMania 37, Bianca Belair dethroned Sasha Banks as WWE SmackDown Women's Champion.

The climax of the passion-fuelled affair was somewhat marred, though, as Michael Cole made the wrong call at the worst time possible.

When Belair hit the K.O.D. and pinned Sasha Banks for the win, Cole seemed to have thought the champion would kick out. As a result, he announced the same while the bell was tolled.

His mistake led to mass online criticism, with some fans going as far as to say Cole ruined Belair's special WrestleMania moment.

Speaking on WWE After The Bell, Corey Graves defended Michael Cole. Graves said it was an honest mistake by Cole as he didn't think it was the scheduled finish.

“If there’s anybody that’s truly unshakable, it’s [Michael] Cole. Cole felt bad, he felt terrible but I can relate. I almost thought the same thing, from our vantage point, it was not crystal clear. I’m not making excuses cause it was what it is, it didn’t take anything away from the amazing moment, it was reality. It was a very genuine real reaction, take into consideration, yes we have the monitor, yes we have audio in our headphones, but we’re also in a stadium full of 20,000 people."

Graves explained how being in the stadium is way different from being in an arena and that might have led to the unfortunate botch.

“Any wrestler’s book that you have ever read says being in a stadium is very different than an arena because it takes a second, the sound has to leave and come back before anybody can truly register. I myself, wasn’t sure. Hey, it’s the main event of WrestleMania, people have kicked out of each others finishers 35 times already tonight, why wouldn’t this be any different? It was a genuine shock after that so everyone, leave Michael Cole alone.”

WrestleMania 37 Night One was so significant: Corey Graves

WrestleMania 37 was a special night for WWE fans and and employees, as it was the first show in front of a live audience in more than a year.

In that context, Corey Graves stressed the significance of WrestleMania 37 and explained just how emotional he was.

“Night one was so significant and emotional because it was the first. You never replicate your first, it was the first time in a year, a month and a day that we got to have fans that are the lifeblood of what we do. They weren’t cheering for Vic Joseph, they weren’t cheering for Corey Graves, they weren’t even cheering for Randy Orton or Carmella or whoever else, they were cheering for WWE and for normalcy and for WrestleMania. That to me was bigger than the biggest spectacle in live entertainment, that to me was on a human being level significant. I had genuine emotion, I had a lump in my throat, I was choking back tears, chewing on my cheeks standing on the stage just going man, we’re back. That to me was why night one was more significant." (h/t Wrestling Inc.)
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Cole's mistake was memorable, but suggestions that he ruined the main event certainly seemed far-fetched. These things happen, and it didn't overshadow what was a powerful match for so many reasons at WrestleMania.


Find out the real reason why Sting came to WWE only to lose his debut match right here.

Edited by Amar Anand

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