WWE Announcer Corey Graves Critical of CM Punk Following Punk’s Second Loss in UFC

Corey Graves, a WWE announcer on Raw, Smackdown, PPV events and more, went on Twitter last night to open up about a former WWE superstar and close friend of Graves, CM Punk. I’ll get to what Graves said shortly, but first a recap of former WWE Champion CM Punk’s night.

Last night was CM Punk’s second UFC fight at UFC 225 in Chicago, which is Punk’s hometown. Punk got a nice ovation from the crowd after walking to the song “Cult of Personality.” Punk was in the opening fight against Mike Jackson, who went into the show with a 0-1 UFC record just like Punk. In the first round, Punk did okay and held his own, but Jackson won the round. In the second and third round, Jackson controlled the fight by connecting with several hard punches to the face. Punk was a bloody mess. As the fight went off, UFC’s commentators led by Joe Rogan talked about how Punk was not at the level of UFC fighters and shouldn’t have been fighting in the UFC based on his performance in his two fights. Punk should be respected for stepping into the cage because that’s not easy to do, but he certainly looked out of place during most of the fight. As for Jackson, he was criticized for not trying to finish off Punk when he had the chance.

Following his loss, Punk was taken to a hospital to be checked out. Punk was released shortly after, so the damage was not that bad.

After the show, UFC President Dana White said that he thinks Punk should stop fighting:

“It should be a wrap. The guy is 39 years old. I love the guy — he’s the nicest guy in the world. We gave him two shots, and he had a lot of heart tonight in this fight. And, yeah, I think he should call it a wrap.” (Wrestling Observer)

White was also very critical of Mike Jackson, noting that Jackson was a “goofball” and he called Jackson a “complete f**king idiot” that would not be back in the UFC.

It was about 30 minutes after that Punk loss where Graves took to Twitter to air some grievances he had about Punk, who was a close friend of his. Here’s what Graves tweeted last night:

Graves didn’t mention Punk by name in those tweets, but we all could tell what he was referring to by referring to his WWE bosses.

Four hours later, Graves tweeted this.


Graves also opened up in an interview with Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com to explain why he tweeted what he did. Here’s what Graves said about Punk giving some ultimatum to WWE friends about how they could leave WWE or lose Punk as a friend.

“Well, to be honest, I’d never heard or been given that ultimatum. It kinda shocked me when I texted him about grabbing dinner because we were in Chicago and he told me he no longer had any interest in being friends with me or anybody related to WWE.”

Graves explained what made him angry about Punk’s behavior:

“What really set me off was this week when he essentially disowned the business that made him. My only issue with him was that he turned off people that actually loved and supported him. Beyond “the business” and he never wanted anything to do with us…yet continued to present himself as this “Punk” hero.”

Graves clarified that it isn’t about Punk’s recent court victory over WWE’s Dr. Amann this past week. To Graves, this was about being friends with Punk.

“Dude, this has ZERO to do with court, or testimony or any of the above. Nothing that I tweeted was corporate. I’m simply hurt/pissed off that a guy that I looked like as a big brother-type has turned his back on me and everyone that loved and supported him only because of the name on my paycheck. I’m definitely not the only one. I won’t name names, but there is a large group of us to this day that inexplicably lost a solid friend because of where we work.”

Punk did not reply to any of Graves’ tweets. Punk did tweet later on Saturday evening about how he was doing okay after the fight.

Props to Punk for the Shawshank Redemption GIF. Love that movie. It should be pointed out that Punk was apparently paid about $500,000 for this fight plus bonuses. It’s not a bad payday for getting punched for 15 minutes.

TJR Thoughts: I don’t think it’s smart for Graves to do this, but it’s his life and we don’t know the nature of his friendship with Punk. I think the fact that Graves said Punk was there when Graves’ son was born shows that they were very close. That friendship likely meant a lot to Graves, so for Punk just to throw it away because of where Graves works is petty on Punk’s part.

Where I think Graves made a mistake is by how he handled this. I think if you have a problem with a friend or a former friend, there are better ways to deal with it. Contact a mutual friend of you both to air your grievances. Putting it on Twitter isn’t wise even if Graves is a “I don’t give a f**k” kind of guy. Based on the Graves comments, it seems like he went this route because Punk stopped responding to Graves, so Graves felt he wanted to get the message out. I just don’t know if the timing was right when Punk just lost a fight in the UFC.

I doubt Graves will get any “heat” with management for what he wrote. I think that maybe Triple H may have called or texted him after what Graves said because it makes WWE look bad to have one of their performers ripping on Punk like that. Will Punk fire back? No idea. I assume he’ll ignore it and move on with his life.

I hope Punk finds happiness in whatever he does next. I don’t think UFC is the best career for him especially at 39 years of age. Yes, he deserves credit for stepping in the cage because a lot of us never would, but just because he’s a fan of it and likes it doesn’t mean it’s meant for him. Does this mean he’s going to return to wrestling? I doubt it. He seems like he has moved on based on the comments he made during the week. A return to WWE seems very unlikely, but we all know to “never say never” in wrestling. If he did come back in the near future it would probably be with Ring of Honor, New Japan or something like that. I don’t see it being WWE. The reality is Punk has millions in the bank and he can relax for years if he wants to. Maybe he will want to start a family with wife April (AJ Lee) and disappear out of the public eye. I like him, respect him and just want him to be happy.

That’s a wrap on this story for now. We don’t cover UFC on here and I don’t even write that many news stories, but I felt like this was worth writing about. I’m hopeful to get the NJPW Dominion review up later today. It’s a five hour show, so it takes time.