WWE News: Corey Graves leaving NXT announce team, replacement named at NXT TakeOver
Corey Graves will be stepping away from the NXT commentary team following TakeOver in San Antonio. His full-time replacement has been named.
What’s the story?
It was announced tonight during the NXT Takeover: San Antonio kickoff show that Corey Graves would be stepping away from the NXT announce team. His replacement has been announced as the veteran pro wrestler and former Ring of Honor announcer Nigel McGuinness.
In case you didn’t know...
Corey Graves made his professional wrestling debut in 2000, working the United States and United Kingdom independent scenes before finally finding his way to WWE developmental in 2011.
He was a part of the first ever NXT television tapings and was considered one of the fastest rising stars in the promotion until he suffered a career-ending concussion in 2014.
Due to the injury, and in order to keep him with the company, Triple H offered Graves a role on the commentary team and insured that he would have a job with WWE for as long as he wanted one.
When the WWE rosters were split up in the 2016 draft, he made his main roster debut as a member of the RAW announce team.
Nigel McGuiness, on the other hand, began training for pro wrestling in 1998 and had a storied career with Ring of Honor, winning the ROH Pure Championship and ROH World Championship. In 2009 he signed with TNA Wrestling, where he worked mainly as a part of large factions and tag teams, until his release in 2011.
When his in-ring career was cut short, McGuinness returned to Ring of Honor as an on-air talent and occasional part of the commentary team, before leaving the company in late 2016 to sign with WWE.
The heart of the story
After two years at the announce booth for the NXT brand, Corey Graves will be leaving the commentary team to focus full-time on his duties as Monday Night Raw commentator, alongside Michael Cole and Byron Saxton.
20-year veteran Nigel McGuinness, who made his debut for the company at this month's WWE UK Championship Tournament, will be replacing him for weekly television tapings and TakeOver specials going forward.
Nigel made his first appearance for NXT at tonight's NXT TakeOver: San Antonio kickoff show live on the WWE Network, breaking down the match card and announcing the winners of the company's year-end awards.
Corey Graves already works a busy schedule with WWE as a part of the Raw announce team, but also does a number of short clips for their YouTube channel and the WWE Network.
The real story here is the rise of Nigel McGuinness, after being praised heavily for his work on the UK Championship Tournament.
Michael Cole, the veteran head of the WWE announce team, is said to be very high on him as a commentator, and it seems to only be a matter of time before Nigel makes his way to the main roster as well.
We've loved Corey's work in NXT for a long time now, but this had to happen at some point. NXT is the place for newcomers to hone their craft before moving up to the main roster, and that goes for the announcers as well as the in-ring talent.
Nigel McGuiness is great at what he does, and will make an excellent addition to the team.
Send us news tips at firstname.lastname@example.org