In an industry known for its high-octane drama, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) often brings the spectacle from the ring to the production booth. Corey Graves, a prominent figure among WWE's commentators, recently shared a stirring tale on "The Kurt Angle Show" that showcases the pressures of live television and the formidable presence of the company’s former chairman, Vince McMahon.
During a special Christmas Day broadcast of WWE Raw in Chicago, Graves encountered what many in the industry refer to as being 'Vince’d' — a direct and intense reprimand from McMahon himself. It's a type of experience that has become part of the lore among WWE announcers, illustrating the perfectionist drive behind the brand’s televised success.
Graves recalled the 2017 incident, detailing the moment he and veteran announcer Michael Cole were positioned on the stage to welcome the audience to the show. Cole’s seemingly innocuous greeting of "Happy Holidays" triggered an immediate and vehement reaction from McMahon through the announcers' headsets.
The WWE patriarch emphatically corrected Cole, insisting on a "Merry Christmas" salutation instead, leaving Graves momentarily stunned as the admonishment played out live. This backstage anecdote offers a glimpse into the exacting standards McMahon held for his on-air talent, a standard that famously led to the departure of WWE Hall Of Famer Mick Foley in 2008.
Foley cited creative differences at the time, which he later attributed to the unyielding oversight from McMahon.
Vince McMahon's Unexpected Jest
Yet, Graves’ recollection ended on a lighter note, revealing McMahon's capacity for jest, even in moments of high tension.
Following the incident, McMahon commended the announcers, to Graves' relief, who feared his on-air career might conclude on the holiday. As the landscape of WWE’s creative direction shifts, it's reported that such stringent monitoring from McMahon has come to an end.
With Triple H now helming creative operations, facilitated by entertainment powerhouse Endeavor’s Ari Emanuel, a new era of leadership is poised to redefine WWE's narrative course. This change could signal a new level of autonomy for WWE's on-air talent and perhaps a less intimidating headset experience.
As the organization adapts to these leadership adjustments, fans and commentators alike are likely to witness an evolution in the WWE's storied and vibrant spectacle.