WWE Raw announcer Corey Graves has opened up about a potential in-ring return and what his advice would be to his younger self.
Graves started as an in-ring competitor on the independent scene with the ring name “Sterling James Keenan”. He suffered a series of concussion in NXT that led to his transition to the commentary table.
As previously mentioned, the Raw color commentator was recently cleared to return to the ring and has expressed interest in returning if the story was the right one.
Speaking with The Illuminerdi, Corey Graves discussed the possibility of never returning to the ring if the right circumstances are never presented to him.
“There are no plans. I mean, I’m not going to spoil anything. I don’t have any sort of like immediate goals to accomplish. It was just something that I’ve wanted to do and I’ve accomplished so much in this role as a commentator, which is a role I never in a million years expected to have in the first place. So now I’m like, ‘Okay, I feel like I’ve got the commentary thing down. Now, what else can I do?’ I’m constantly — I mean, behind the scenes trying to learn and learn the business side of the wrestling business. I always want to have irons in different fires, just because otherwise I feel like when I get complacent, I get bored. I just keep thinking to myself, that is the one thing that I was right there. I was right at the peak. I fell down the mountain and now it’s like, wait, I can get medically cleared. Maybe get myself back into shape, which has been the hardest part. Because I really enjoy sitting and sitting ringside not having to do that. Yeah. But it’s just always that what if and this is a what-if that I think I can potentially answer instead of having to wonder forever. So, it may happen six months from now, it may happen next year, or it may not happen at all, but I’m just trying to get myself physically and mentally into the best shape possible for whatever the world may have waiting for me.”
When asked what advice he would give to a young Sterling James Keenan, Graves answered:
“Slow down. Slow down. All the madness that I experienced on the indies prior to arriving in WWE? I wouldn’t have changed for the world. Stylistically speaking, [I would have changed] a little bit. I would have taken a little bit better care of myself. I felt like I was invincible. If I got a concussion? ‘That’s no big deal, I’ll be fine.’ Well, no, you need to take the week off. ‘What do you mean, I need to take the week off, I’m fine.’ I was so driven and goal-oriented that I had blinders on. The only thing I could focus on was making it to WWE, and I was right there. I think in hindsight if I had slowed down a little bit, taken a little bit better care of myself physically and mentally, maybe I wouldn’t have hit that roadblock when I did. Not to say it wouldn’t have come another year or two down the road, but at that time, I was burning the candle at both ends constantly. I was training trying to balance everything. Trying to make it and I think, a little bit older, wiser version of me, I would just tell myself to slow down and take it easy, because as we can see, I eventually got here in some capacity.”
Corey Graves previously discussed the possibility of transition to a backstage role when he is done with the commentary booth, which you can read here.
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