Corey Graves Speaks On Michael Cole’s Valuable Mentorship And The Eccentric Pat McAfee

WWE broadcaster and former Corey Graves recently spoke about Michael Cole mentoring him and what it is like working with Pat McAfee. Graves has become a longstanding part of the WWE commentary team.
WWE Corey Graves

WWE broadcaster and former Corey Graves recently spoke about Michael Cole mentoring him and what it is like working with Pat McAfee. Graves has become a longstanding part of the WWE commentary team. At this point, it is hard to remember that he used to be a promising NXT wrestler.

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Corey Graves was forced to retire from in-ring action in 2014 after multiple concussions. He transitioned to being a pre-show panelist and NXT commentator. Since then he has been a part of every show’s commentary team and goes where WWE needs him.

WWE Corey Graves and Kayla Braxton
Courtesy Of WWE

Corey Graves was recently a guest on the Short and to the Point podcast where he talked about Michael Cole helping him start his new role as a WWE commentator. He stated the following:

“Cole and I, our relationship has developed so long over all these years. It was actually him who suggested that I give commentary a shot way back when. I think the night after I had my final match. I didn’t realize it was going to be final at the time, but was the one who sort of put the bug in my ear. Had he not given me that opportunity, god knows where I’d actually be. But I got to learn from him as a boss first, and as I watched him and took notes mentally and absorbed all this great stuff via osmosis from the greatest to ever do it, in my opinion.”

H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription


Corey Graves has become a very good commentator and adds a bit of humor to the team. Whenever WWE has a new commentator, the company typically likes to pair them up with Graves because they know he can carry them if he needs to. They did this with Kevin Patrick, Tom Phillips, Mauro Ranallo, and Austin Aries. Speaking of people being new to commentary, Graves spoke on Pat McAfee. He called him a “wildcard,” but in the best possible way. He said of his praise for Pat McAfee:

“McAfee’s a trip, man. McAfee is a wild card; he is as advertised. The guy you see on your TV screen for like 13 hours a day now, I believe he’s actually on television and YouTube, the guy doesn’t rest. God bless him. I’ve historically preferred a two-man booth to three, but having Pat as the third is fun for me particularly because he’s quick and it’s nice to have somebody who I can spar with and it’s nice to have somebody that I can make a joke to who very likely will fire a joke back or at least react in a way that’s entertaining.”

H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription
WWE WrestleMania 39 - The Miz and Pat McAfee
Image via WWE

Graves went on to admit that having someone he can verbally spar with helps him a lot. He admitted that in the past he has insulted someone in the hopes that they would shut him down and insult him back only to have them be silent. It made him look like he was beating a baby seal according to him.

McAfee adds a lot of energy to the commentary team and it is fun to listen to him. He has a ton of charisma and it is hard to not like him. As he is still new he is still rough around the edges as could be seen when he didn’t know who some of the people entering the Royal Rumble were. However, he makes up for it by being so entertaining. The current WWE commentary teams consist of Graves and Wade Barrett on SmackDown and Cole and McAfee on Raw. McAfee’s eccentricity to Cole’s straight man will always be a great combination. 

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Graves’ role on the commentary team has shifted recently. He has always been the color commentator in the past because of his history in the ring. However, since Barrett joined him on SmackDown his role has changed to the play-by-play guy. Barrett has a much longer tenure in the ring and achieved a lot of success in his WWE career.

Graves described the transition to his new role alongside Barrett. He credits Cole and his mentorship for why he has been successful in his new role.

“I think overall the most exciting aspect is it’s something new. I’m comfortable with it to an extent, having worked alongside Michael Cole for all these years. Cole really had me from day one as far as what he would like me to become as a broadcaster. Even back as an analyst I learned everything sort of the Michael Cole style, the outlines, the X’s and O’s.

“… The hardest thing about making this transition so far is keeping my wit in check because as a human being, if there’s a joke to be made, I’m there. It’s just kind of, it’s a curse and a blessing. But I’ve been able to still maintain a little bit of that flavor.”

H/T Wrestling Inc. for the transcription

Corey Graves also revealed that when WWE first approached him about taking on a new role on SmackDown they didn’t want him to be Michael Cole 2.0. They still wanted him to be Corey Graves. He said that made it a little less stressful, but not much because he has a really high standard for himself.

What have you thought of Corey Graves’ commentary over the years? What is the one thing he has improved upon the most? Do you think Michael Cole is the best to do it ever like Graves thinks? Do you think McAfee adds a lot to the team or is he too all over the place? Has Graves done a good job alongside Barrett or should he go back to color? Let us know on social media what Graves does that reminds you of Cole.

SOURCE: Wrestling Inc., Short and to the Point, Wrestling Inc.

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Robert Watson

Just a guy reading comics, watching wrestling, and wondering if aliens exist