Booker T seems to have some heat with Corey Graves following his departure from the announce table on Raw.
This past Monday on Raw, one name was noticeably absent from the show. WWE Hall of Famer Booker T had been on the announce table the last few months, yet did not appear on Raw after being replaced. Former ESPN SportsCenter anchor Jonathan Coachman has now taken on the babyface commentary role, and clearly, this was a big pick-up for WWE. Coach worked for WWE in the past, and fans know he worked on the announce table before, but as a heel commentator.
The removal comes after Booker T was filling in for David Otunga. What seems to be lost on some is that Otunga was supposed to be in this spot for Raw when Byron Saxton was transitioned to SmackDown Live during the shake-up of the announce table months back. Saxton came in immediately, but Otunga was filming a movie at the time. This meant WWE had to have someone in his spot until he returned, which is why Booker T went there.
The original reason Booker T was removed from the table really had to do with how bad he was at the job. WWE realized they had better people for it, and that allowed for them to replace him with others. When he returned to the desk, people would be annoyed at the mere thought that he had to be added back. The thought was that he would be replaced by Otunga eventually, and while Otunga may also not be the greatest at the job, he was at least better than Booker. WWE instead went with Coach coming in for the job.
Booker T Blames Corey Graves For His Raw Removal
Due to how good Graves is, he's going to call out people for saying skeptical things. Saxton played into the jokes for Graves very well, and so did Tom Phillips in NXT. Today even Michael Cole feeds into the talent of Graves and allows him to work. So why is there such hostility toward Graves by Booker T?
Booker T would spout off about how he feels Graves is the reason he is no longer on Raw. He would claim on his Heated Conversations podcast:
“If I got Corey Graves into a fist a cuff, I would beat him down like he stole something. I would be whipping his ass all day long.I’m a nice guy until you get on my bad side. Corey Graves right now, I wouldn’t necessarily say he’s on my bad side [but] he’s the reason that I’m not on Monday Night Raw right now.”
Booker T Actually Threatens Corey Graves And Challenges Him To A Fight
“He’s sitting there for a reason and Corey Graves knows it. This will probably make all the dirt sheets like Meltzer and those guys. But if I catch Corey Graves on the street, I’m gonna do something to him. I won’t do it at the office or anything. I’m not gonna do it at the airport.”
Interesting threats, considering Booker T is a current co-worker with Corey Graves. Threats like these are against company policy. The real bylaw is that anything in entertainment is different from the real-life form. People have been fired over this in the past. Matt Hardy notably would be fired and re-hired over a beef with Edge that is well-known. Booker T still was not finished with Graves and his thoughts, saying about Graves:
“[He] is one of those guys that’s gonna have to walk it like he talks it. Everybody knows my reputation. I get mean when you mess with my green and my green is being messed with.”
Booker T actually said there’s room for a match at WrestleMania between the two of them. Ignoring that, of course, Graves is on the announce table because of a forced retirement. Saying regarding a match:
"I’m calling Corey Graves out to a fight – man to man, you and I. Can you handle that?”
The Real Reason Booker T Isn't On The Announce Table
Coach was also instrumental in getting ESPN to cover WWE events like SummerSlam and WrestleMania. When an opportunity came up to leave ESPN, WWE knew they could bring him back on board. The company then decided to have him go to the desk. This had been in planning for some time it appears, and now that Coach's no-compete clause was up, he was able to go back to television for WWE.
Booker T was never known to be great on the table, and multiple fans have stated this in the past. From saying inaccurate things to spouting off often undetermined things that made no sense, fans felt things could be better. Coach coming back helped Raw commentary immensely and he was able to instantly make it better, and he worked well with Graves on day one.
The question for WWE is, will they put up with this being said by Booker T? It does seem that they cannot have Graves and Booker in the same place at the same time. It also appears Booker T has no idea how bad he was or that Coach was planned to replace him. Nor does he seem to get the fact he was there to fill-in for someone else in the first place, and that this was never a permanent role.