I did a piece earlier this week highlighting the rise and fall of Seth Rollins. Corey Graves has undergone something similar. His real-life personality has affected his on-screen character. Thus causing the fans to turn on him. Let’s take a dive into why fans hate Corey Graves.
Origins: Independent Scene
Corey Graves like most commentators once began his career as an in-ring competitor. Graves spent time on the Indy scene, making a name for himself, working under the ring name of Sterling James Keenan. Graves would work for a number of promotions including Pro Wrestling Zero1, Cleveland All-Pro, Full Throttle, International Wrestling Cartel, One Pro, even stints with the NWA and ROH.
Graves eventually got signed to a WWE developmental contract and was assigned to the Florida Championship Wrestling. FCW rebranded to the more known and popular NXT. Graves enjoyed a decent singles run that got to see him work with the likes of Seth Rollins, Yoshi Tatsu, and Alex Riley.
After his singles push flamed out Graves found himself teaming with Adrian Neville (PAC). They found themselves in a feud with the Wyatt family and would later go onto win the NXT Tag Team Championships. Their reign was short-lived as they lost the titles to The Ascension just three months later.
Graves would suffer a concussion towards the end of 2013 that put him on the shelf until early 2014. When Graves returned to NXT TV he was put into a program with Sami Zayn. Graves went onto beat Zayn on the April 3rd episode of NXT. He then worked a 6 man tag team match featuring him, Zayn, The Ascension, and The Usos. This is where Graves would suffer his second concussion.
Takeover: R Evolution
Graves would announce on the Pre-Show Panel that he was retiring from in-ring competition due to concussion-related injuries. Graves announced he would be transitioning into a commentator.
Main Roster: Debut & Career
Graves was moved to the main roster to serve alongside Michael Cole and Byron Saxton during the 2016 brand split. His career took off to the moon from there. Shortly after his main roster call up Graves would find himself as the voice of the WWE. He worked Raw, 205 Live, and Smackdown Live. The fans couldn’t get enough of him. Graves’ work even landed him a few original series on the WWE network including Superstars Ink and Culture Shock. Graves turned into the face of WWE media in record time. Graves was even given a podcast: WWE The Bump. Wednesdays on the new WWE Podcast Network. So how does a guy like Graves find himself the target of fan backlash around the world? Let’s take a look.
Now this one may seem a bit harsh especially since he often had Vince McMahon screaming in his ear but he’s progressively gotten worse over time. You know some of that is McMahon in his ear but you have to figure he had some freedom. Especially as often times he would goon Mandy Rose tangents or yell SHUT UP SAXTON!
The misplaced lines in the WWE 2K series do nothing to change our minds about the bad commentary either. As much as it sucks to admit, sometimes the game calls a better match than we get on TV and PPV.
Just like Seth Rollins, Graves is more often than not on social media being a complete Jackass. When you look at the recent exchanges with longtime wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer and fellow colleague Mauro Ranallo you can tell Graves does not care what others might think of him.
Graves recently took shots at Mauro Ranallo during Survivor Series weekend. Prompting Ranallo’s real-life friend and MMA fighter Frank Shamrock to respond. Which then led to an untimely exchange with Dave Meltzer. The exchange left a bad taste in many’s mouths.
A few days after the smoke had settled Graves went on The Bump to issue an apology but the damage had already been done.
Divorce/ Relationship With Carmella
I think this is the main thing that soured the public’s opinion on Graves. Seeing how this whole thing played itself out for the world to see. Graves and his wife Amy Schneider were allegedly separated or in the process of separating when Amy accused Graves of having an affair with Carmella. She credited the affair as the reason for their divorce.
Graves would take to Twitter to respond telling his former wife to remove the post from social media or the WWE would sue her. Given everything she had going on at the time, it was a really bad look for all parties involved.
What’s your take on him? Did we miss any reasons why fans hate Corey Graves? Please leave your comments below.