Corey Graves never shies away from the opportunity to offer WWE some constructive criticism on his podcast, “After The Bell.”
During the latest episode of the show, Graves discussed the current product over on WWE NXT, and what he believes it’s lacking. Graves pointed out that the program contains, possibly, the greatest in-ring work going at the moment within the business. However, he doesn’t feel like fans know who this current crop of NXT stars actually are. Graves went on to compare how stars of NXT’s past; such as Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Bayley, and more had established characters during their respective runs on the show.
“A lot of people just watch NXT for in-ring action, and if that’s your vibe, if that’s your flavor of ice cream, cool. I understand it. I’m just saying, for Corey Graves, the wrestling fan, knowing what I know and knowing the way my mind works obviously with RAW and SmackDown that I’m focused on now, I think we need to know who these people are a little bit more,” Graves said (via NoDq.com).
“When I compare everything to NXT, I think back to my time there. You knew who Bayley was. You knew what made Seth Rollins tick. You knew what The Wyatt Family were about. Adam Rose, for goodness sake, he was this party animal. It didn’t translate, obviously, to major success on RAW or SmackDown, but you knew who these people were.
“I regularly watch NXT, but I don’t study it like I used to. I don’t follow every bit of it. So, when I sit down and watch TakeOver, I look at it thinking, as a general wrestling fan who may not know who all these people are, in this case, it was me, what could they show me to make me care a little bit more and to hook me a little bit deeper?”
Graves himself was one of the Superstars who was with NXT during its inception after it evolved from Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) in 2012. His run with the brand as an in-ring talent was short-lived, however, as he was forced to retire due to concussion complications in December of 2014. Since, Graves has established himself as a tremendous broadcaster for the company, currently working on SmackDown Live.