WWE star confirms Triple H made a big change after replacing Vince McMahon (Exclusive)

Vince McMahon (left); Triple H (right)
Vince McMahon (left); Triple H (right)

Triple H replaced Vince McMahon as WWE's creative figurehead in July 2022. In an exclusive interview, Corey Graves opened up about a helpful behind-the-scenes change The Game made after taking charge.

Graves recently became SmackDown's lead announcer after working as a play-by-play commentator for almost a decade. During McMahon's tenure as WWE Chairman, Graves received a lot of instructions from his former boss through a headset during shows.

Speaking to Sportskeeda Wrestling Senior Editor Bill Apter, the announcer confirmed that Triple H gives commentators more freedom to say what they like. He also referenced the 14-time world champion's old-school approach to the wrestling business.

"I think you hit the nail right on the head," Graves said. "He [Triple H] is an old-school guy. He's a wrestling historian, and he's a fan, a lifelong fan. He understands this in a way that I don't know too many people on Earth understand the sports entertainment business. It's been a breath of fresh air. He's been very easy to deal with, very easy to approach." [2:49 – 3:10]
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Graves added that WWE officials still speak to commentators during live broadcasts, but they are not micromanaged like they were in the past:

"I think the biggest change has been the amount of freedom that the talent has, myself included. I'm not micromanaged. Michael Cole is no longer micromanaged. And, of course, there are gonna be rules and guidelines. I still have various people in my ear. It's just no longer a constant stream of consciousness." [3:10 – 3:32]

Watch the video above to hear Graves' response when asked to clarify what his relationship with CM Punk is like now.


Corey Graves appreciates Triple H's trust

Before retiring from in-ring competition in 2014 due to concussion issues, Corey Graves wrestled in NXT when Triple H was the brand's booker. He went on to commentate on NXT programming before moving to the main roster in 2016.

All these years later, Graves is happy to have Triple H as his boss once again on SmackDown:

"I think Triple H has been great about placing a little bit more trust in everybody and allowing people to show what they're capable of and put their own spin on it, whether that be putting together a match or, from my perspective, commentary and how I describe things." [3:34 – 3:49]

Graves further explained how Triple H deals with commentators compared to Vince McMahon:

"It's no longer, 'This is how you have to do it, I want it done this way.' It's, 'Okay, here are the ideas we need to convey. Put them in your own words.' I'd like to think that it's a work in progress and things will continue to get better as this team overall works together and under this leadership. I think it's a really exciting time and should be an exciting time for the business as a whole." [3:49 – 4:12]

In the same interview, Graves provided an update on his wife Carmella four months after she gave birth to their first child together.

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