Jimmy Smith weighs in on Corey Graves’ social media exchanges concerning his commentary.
Several weeks ago, Monday Night Raw commentator Corey Graves replied to a tweet from fellow commentator and host Alyssa Marino that had to do with announce teams focusing on the physical appearances of talents. This led to the exchanging of several tweets between both parties.
Graves’ broadcast partner Jimmy Smith weighed in during his ‘Unlocking The Cage’ show and expressed that Graves is playing a character on television. Smith said Graves is constantly referencing Carmella’s looks because it falls in line with both of their on-screen characters and Graves followed the same formula with Eva Marie.
The reason I pointed out that Corey Graves’ real name — and it says so in the article — is Matthew Polinsky. I am the only commentator on Monday Night Raw who’s using his real name. I hate to break it to you, Byron Saxton’s real name is not Byron Saxton. Corey Graves’ real name is not Corey Graves. Me, Jimmy Smith, the guy sitting in the middle is the only one using his real name. What does that tell you? I’m the only one who doesn’t have a character, period. The only one, that’s it. Corey, to my right, is a heel. He is supposed to be an a-hole. He’s supposed to be sarcastic and he’s supposed to break my balls all the time, he’s supposed to jump down my throat, he’s supposed to get distracted by not just Carmella who’s whole shtick is that she’s super duper beautiful. He did the same thing with Eva Marie, who’s whole shtick is that she’s super duper beautiful. To my left, Byron Saxton is a face, he’s a good guy and part of the shtick if you notice on Monday Night Raw, Corey goes off about how gorgeous Carmella is and, ‘She’s the greatest thing ever’ and we are like, ‘Corey! Get back to the match. You’re an idiot, focus.’ We’re supposed to do that. He is playing a character and Byron Saxton is playing a character and when they’re making comments about someone’s attractiveness or beauty, the fact that I’m the straight-man, I don’t have a character, I’m kind of in the middle and I say, ‘Corey, let’s get back to the actual match’ or whatever we say. We are part of the show, we are part of the entertainment. To even call it commentary, it’s not inaccurate, but it’s not 100 percent accurate either. I’m not doing commentary when I do WWE like I do commentary for fight sports. Boxing and MMA, it’s totally different.
Well then, I suggest you find a different field than sports entertainment.
If you can’t differentiate between a TV character and an ACTUAL journalist, then I don’t trust anything you have to say.
— Corey Graves (@WWEGraves) December 8, 2021
Smith then reacted to some of the criticism of the commentary team or elements of the commentary that are viewed as weak spots. Smith brought up when a talent comes in from NXT, another company or promotion, the directive that is given to the commentary team is that this is a fresh start for said talent.
With WWE, I’m part of the show. I’m part of the show. So things that you may see as weakness in commentary are things they want from us. When a character does a character reset coming up from NXT or some other organization, and I pretend to not know who they were or any of their accomplishments before they got to Monday Night Raw, I’m doing what I’m being told. It’s not that I didn’t do my research, it’s not that I didn’t know who Piper Niven was. Of course I did, I did my homework like I was supposed to. But when she came to Raw from NXT UK, they reset her character and called her Doudrop. So the directive was, ‘All right, we’re kind of resetting the character here.’ So people — and people did by the way get pissed online like, ‘Ah! Jimmy Smith and Corey Graves didn’t even know who Piper Niven is.’ Of course we know who Piper Niven is! But we’re part of the show and part of the show is, ‘We’re resetting her character’ and to not recognize when Corey Graves is talking about his fiancée or going off about Eva Marie which is another one he went off about or when he praises one heel typically over another, he’s doing his job. His job is to be an a-hole, douchebag character.
Graves, Smith and Saxton will be on the call for the 12/20 edition of Monday Night Raw from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Following the show, POST Wrestling is scheduled to go live with our recording of Rewind-A-Raw.
If the quotes in this article are used, please credit ‘Unlocking The Cage with Jimmy Smith’ with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.