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Corey Graves, during an appearance at the start of Booker T’s “Heated Conversation” podcast this weekend addressed the controversy stemming from Booker T’s comments on his podcast last week that he was upset that Graves cost him his job as Raw color commentator. Booker said he was kidding all along, they have no heat at all, and he just smiled at the controversy his comments created. Graves said the same thing.
[NOTE: Vote in our poll at the end of the story regarding where you think the truth lies.]
Graves said he found out about what Booker said last Sunday afternoon before the Super Bowl. He said Big E texted him and asked him about it. Graves hadn’t heard about it yet, so he asked for a link. He listened and said it sounded to him like Booker just joking around “like we do hours every week trying to make ourselves laugh.”
Booker said last week he only got into it because “we had nothing to talk about” with a few minutes left to fill on the show. “We made up a quick story,” he said. He even noted that he said last week that he felt his comments “would be picked up by the dirt sheets.”
Booker said he is one of Graves’s biggest fans. “I love you, brother,” he said. Corey said, “I love you too, Book.” Booker said people can think what they want to think now, but they’ve now “heard from the horse’s mouth.” Graves said, “We can always talk about the time we had the hottest angle in WWE.”
Graves said the best part is Michael Cole was the most worked up about it. He said Cole asked him if things were cool between him and Booker. When Graves said they were cool, Cole asked what the end game was. Graves said there was none. “We’re just messing with people,” he says he told Cole.
Graves said none of the journalists called him to ask his thoughts. The producer of Booker T’s show said even Tazz and Vince Russo weighed in on it. Graves said, “Personally, I was entertained by how we were able to work the entire universe.”
Graves also said Booker was happy to be moved off of the Raw color commentary job. Booker said, “People don’t know how hard I was smiling when I was told I was going to move back to my old position.”
Last week, Booker said he and Corey were known to throw jabs at each other. He said Corey is college educated and his “vernacular is a little different than mine.” He said he was pulled from Raw because people in WWE saw the tension between them and thought Booker was getting too hot and needed to “take a step back and regroup and press the rewind button, send [me] back to the Kickoff Show and cool you down because we don’t want you to do anything to Corey Graves.”
Booker said Graves is the reason he wasn’t on Raw any more. “Corey Graves knows it,” he said. That’s when he said if he caught him on the street, he’d “do something to him.” He started to joke that he’d rearrange his hairdo or tattoo him at Starbucks and get “caramel hot mocha” all over him.
“Me personally, everybody knows my reputation,” Booker said last week. “I get mean when you mess with my green. Right now, my green is being messed with.”
Then he said he wanted Graves at WrestleMania for a fight, “not a pre-show posedown,” but “a man-to-man fight.” He told Graves to walk it like he talks it.
Keller’s Analysis: By the way these two interacted, you would think there aren’t two better pals in the wrestling industry than Booker T and Corey Graves. That is not the reputation they had in recent months. Our sources say they didn’t like each other and there was tension which boiled onto the air. That’s why Michael Cole and others they worked with or knew them bought into Booker’s “venting” as being a legit expression of frustration with the situation, as “playful” as he worded it at times about beating him up at Starbucks or messing up his hairdo. Letting it go a whole week as all of these stories were written, and claiming they were laughing all along seems like a stretch. A big stretch. This came across as damage control and an escape hatch from a controversy that I doubt WWE brass were enjoying as much as Graves and Booker said they were. It was a distraction from other things WWE was trying to get across all week and did turn into the most talked about story in the industry. But that’s their story, and by being all chummy with each other and laughing about the media attention from Forbes, Sports Illustrated, and USA Today gives them a way to move past this and put an end to people being concerned that Booker will be punished for what some in the industry perceived as real threats or at least joking threats inspired by legitimate frustration.