Corey Graves has revealed that he texted Dana Brooke after being critical of her while commentating on a recent episode of Monday Night Raw.
On the October 4th episode of Monday Night Raw Dana Brooke went up against a reinvigorated Shayna Baszler. Prior to facing Baszler, Brooke had been absent from Raw since June with her former tag team partner Mandy Rose moving to NXT. In the intervening period Brooke wrestled on Main Event once where she was beaten by Doudrop in September.
While the match between Brooke and Baszler went as expected with the former NXT Women’s Champion winning in short order, Graves appeared to be highly critical of the former bodybuilder on commentary. Graves suggested there was only so long someone can trade on potential before you have to “cut your losses.”
“I’m all for giving people time to develop, giving people time to realize their potential, but on a long enough timeline, you gotta cut your losses,” Graves said of Brooke. He later added, “You can give me a chest full of tools, that doesn’t mean I can build you a house, OK? It’s a matter of putting things together, and Dana Brooke, in my opinion, hasn’t exactly done that.”
Brooke appeared to hit back at Graves on social media after the show.
Appearing on the Out of Character podcast with Ryan Satin, Corey Graves has now addressed the controversy, revealing that he texted Brooke to let her know his comments weren’t personal.
“99.9% of the time everybody realizes that it’s just me doing what I do and I love walking the line,” Graves said, in regard to whether or not he receives backlash from talent for his commentary. “I love being provocative, but I also make sure and try to take great care that I don’t ever harm anybody as far as from a character perspective, I always want to make people better.
For the instance of the Dana Brooke issue, I actually sent her a text message the next morning saying ‘Hey, just so you know, no hard feelings, that was not personal.’ Full disclosure, I don’t know what is going to happen in these shows. I am reacting and that’s my choice.
“There have been times where I sat in the production meetings and I have an idea as to what’s what, I prefer to not know what’s happening because I like to think my reactions are a little more genuine, I get to use my whit a little better as opposed to saying hey I got this great line for so and so.
William Regal actually used to instil in us back in the NXT days that commentators are a great tool for a superstar in that we can tell your story sometimes better than you can.”
Corey Graves initially signed with WWE in 2011, appearing as a wrestler in Florida Championship Wrestling and later NXT. However, after a series of concussion issues, Graves moved into a role as an announcer.
Graves moved into the commentary booth on Monday Night Raw in 2016, before later also calling the action on SmackDown.
H/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.