Corey Graves Has A Terrifying Illness
So much has changed in the WWE landscape in 2016. A tumultuous year outside of the wrestling world has been echoed inside of it, with a host of new Superstars debuting, veterans venturing onto WWE TV for the first time, fan favourites departing, and Roman Reigns.. being… Well, some things never change. The long awaiting Draft finally took place, splitting a bursting to the seams roster directly in two. Somehow, it appears to have spread the talent too thinly, but there was one slightly quieter shake up that occurred which went relatively unheralded. The commentary team has been revamped, eviscerating perceived dead weight (Jerry Lawler) and adding ever deader weight (David Otunga). Still, there was a massive plus, and that has been the stand out inclusion of Corey Graves.
Having been forced into in ring retirement by apparent repeated concussions in 2014, Graves has since provided fresh and entertaining colour commentary on NXT, alongside his own Network show, Culture Shock. His combination of knowledge and style has endeared him to the WWE Universe, and seemingly to the top brass, as his ascension to Raw was incredibly swift in the grand scheme of things. However, since leaving the ring to pursue a career with a headset, Graves has developed a problem. A very serious problem. His hands are stuck together.
While on paper his retirement was due to WWE’s pet peeve, concussions, it has come to light that this new affliction is the true cause. As his fingers began to magnetise towards each other, it was no longer feasible for him to be a full time wrestler. You can see the transformation beginning during certain NXT matches, as Graves highlights his “STAY DOWN” tattoos, not just to pose, but to mask the oncoming infirmity. Pulling off his famed Lucky 13 was becoming impossible, and the only way to hide this most terrible of disorders was to sit The Saviour Of Misbehaviour behind a commentary booth.
Keen eyes will have noticed that most commentary tables aren’t high enough to cover the arms and hands of an announcer, so when the camera cuts to the team in between matches, proof of Graves’ disability comes to light. Granted, it’s not easy to spot. Commentators generally don’t receive much screen time, and there are always multiple people to focus on when they do. Graves also has an array of weapons at his disposal to draw attention away from those poor, surgically glued appendages. His baffling good looks; his precise, delectable hair cut; his inimitable dress sense; his mesmerising tattoos; his chocolate voice; his gift for subtle insults; his extensive wrestling knowledge… It’s a list Chris Jericho would be proud of.
It’s a phenomenal credit to WWE that they should continue to employ a man with such an unusual disability, but with Jim Ross, Hornswoggle and Zack Gowan no longer employed, it could be argued that this has more to do with meeting an equal opportunities quota. Grave’s aforementioned skill set suggests otherwise, and David Otunga’s presence can only be explained by his complete lack of talent and charisma counting as a disability, thus fulfilling said quota.
It’s typical of WWE to hide and refuse acknowledgement of the truth, but are they missing a trick? What Susan G Komen has done for breast cancer, Corey Graves could do for rare maladies, becoming a role model for anyone with atypical syndromes. As it stands, there is no cure, which must be so saddening for the father of three. He can only be the catcher when playing catch, he can’t high five, he can’t count past one, and he can’t send text messages. Not only that, but as a trained professional piercer, he can no longer put holes in people without it being potentially life threatening for the recipient. One can only hope that this unique scourge is limited only to his hands and that it won’t spread to legs, shoulders or unmentionables.
So next time you’re listening to Raw, or NXT, or 205 Live, spare a thought for one of the dulcet tones you’ll hear. For next to Michael Cole, or Mauro Ranello or the inexplicable new addition of Percy Watson, sits a man who suffers in silence. All I ask is that you do what Corey Graves is forced to do at all times, and pray.
Tags: 205 live, Break The Walls Down, Corey Graves, David Otunga, Hornswoggle, Jerry Lawler, Jim Ross, Michael Cole, NXT, percy watson, RAW, WWE, Zack Gowan