Corey Graves was interviewed this week on The Pat McAfee Show. McAfee and Graves talking about being commentators in WWE. They also talked about Vince McMahon being in their ear during broadcasts.
McAfee said, “I know from following the business, Vince likes talking to his commentators. He was once a commentator. It’s his show. The commentators are describing the show. They are setting the tone of the show, so he’s very invested in that. I thought to myself, I’m going to get the chance to have a billionaire, one of the greatest minds in the history of entertainment and business, spill his brain through his mouth directly into my ear, I want to be a part of that. Everybody was like, ‘It’s going to be terrible. You’re going to hate him.’ I think I have a respect for Vince McMahon. When he says stuff, I understand the why of what he wants me to say. I feel like that’s a big part of it.”
Graves agreed with McAfee and explained that the commentators are basically relaying to the audience what McMahon is thinking in his brain.
Graves said, “That’s what it is. You’re playing a guessing game trying to think of what he is trying to see, or what he wants to see. You have to remember Pat, we’re basically the last line of defense from what’s going on in his brain, his vision for his company, for his empire that he built. He sees things happening a certain way, and if they’re not happening the way he wants to see them, or, he feels as though something needs to be tweaked or changed, you and me, and Cole and Adnan and Byron are the last defense for him to say, ‘No, make sure they understand this.’
So, there are a lot of times we will say something, or you’ll hear him tell you something that might not even make sense to you in the moment, but you’re going, ‘Ok, he sees where this is supposed to be going. He knows. I don’t.’ We think we do, but that’s why when he comes in, it’s not that he doesn’t trust us. We’re the last panic button for him to go, ‘Pat, say this.’ Ok, we saved it. If something goes wrong or awry on the show or in the ring, to be able to think on the fly and pivot and get us back to where we need to go on track. We’re the last line of defense for his vision.”
There has been a lot of criticism about McMahon constantly being in the ear of the announcers. Jim Ross has spoken about this and Mick Foley quit but apparently, the dissatisfaction with McMahon’s style does not apply to everyone.