Famed NXT, boxing and MMA announcer Mauro Ranallo, was forced to delete his social media account this past weekend following snide remarks and comments about his commentary from WWE colleague Corey Graves.
This will be called “banter”, but it is bullying. Especially to a man who has gone public with his battles with depression and anxiety.
And why do bullies bully? Because they see the perfect version of themselves in their victim and get jealous so they attempt to bring them down.
For those of you unaware of who Corey Graves is, and there’s a lot, let me explain. The tatted-up chap was a mediocre wrestler in NXT (he did win the NXT Tag Team Titles) before injuring his knee and being forced to retire. Triple H, seeing the passion Graves had for the business, decided to keep him around and put him behind the announce desk. Initially, Corey excelled. He was a fresh voice, who could analyse the in-ring action without being obnoxious. However, it was a false dawn as we would all find out the moment he made the jump to the main roster.
While he was at first an instant upgrade on the inane ramblings of JBL and Jerry Lawler, the shine soon faded. He became too comfortable in his new surroundings too quickly, which made him lazy and dull to listen to. Things got even worse when he was put on both Raw and Smackdown on a weekly basis as well as every PPV to boot. Talk about overkill.
Graves has a unique look that appeals to producers and Vince McMahon in particular. He has a good voice and a vast knowledge of the product. He’s also close friends with a lot of the current roster which can help when he is putting talent over. Those are his positives.
As far as his negatives, how long have you got? His constant on-air bullying of Byron Saxton. It was funny when JR and The King would argue with each other because they’re great friends, it was entertaining and you never felt any bullying was taking place. It also added to the overall product, which is more than you can say for Graves, who all too often will spend the majority of a match shouting at his colleague in order to get a juvenile joke over.
As much as Graves enjoys bashing his partners about their skill level on the mic, one has to ask the question, how many great calls has the man himself made? The answer would be zero. He adds nothing to the product anymore. Overhyped and overrated. And no, I’m not talking about his girlfriend.
Graves also has a new WWE Podcast called After The Bell, which is half kayfabe, half-real. It doesn’t make a lot of sense, and again, his talent is exposed. He’s not the most charismatic of hosts, always pushes his own agenda and opinions, and says things for controversial effect. Look to Renee Young on how to be the perfect host.
This isn’t just an article taking a shot at Corey Graves, at least I hope that’s not how it comes across. I’m sure he’s a decent guy, but not a very smart or sensitive one. What he finds as a joke, others take to heart. He has to realise this. While he’s at it, he should study tapes of past announcers to get better at his job.
Corey Graves called the majority of Survivor Series Sunday night with not a care in the world, while Ranallo was forced to sit at home following the effects of Corey’s latest lame attack. Rather than apologies for his hurtful words, Graves has gone on the defensive and slammed Ranallo for basically lying to play the victim. (He has since apologized in some form on the ‘After The Bell’ podcast)
A typical thing bullies do when caught red handed. The last time something similar happened, the accused at the time, JBL, was removed from commentary duty. Let’s see what happens with Graves. Let’s be honest, WWE wouldn’t be missing much by letting him go.
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @JK_CFC3. Thanks for reading!