Corey Graves is not the only member of his family who has worked for WWE. His younger brother, who now works as Sam Adonis in CMLL, briefly had a WWE developmental deal in 2011.
Graves recalled the circumstances of his brother's signing, and exit, during an appearance on a recent episode of Edge and Christian's E&C's Podcast of Awesomeness.
Graves recalled that, at the time, he and his wife had had their first child with another on a way. As a result, he took a job as a 911 dispatcher to provide a steady source of income. Meanwhile, his brother, a relative rookie in the business, had been booked as an extra by WWE for the first time.
"He calls me like a week later and he goes, 'Dude, they're sending me to Florida for a tryout.' Calls me a week or two later, 'Dude, I got signed!' " Graves recalled.
While happy for his brother, Graves, who had been an extra for WWE repeatedly in the past, described the news as "the biggest kick in the nuts in the world." After that, Graves started to come to terms with winding down his wrestling career, then saw that Raw and Smackdown were coming to Pittsburgh -- Graves' hometown -- and nearby Cleveland. Graves reached out to the WWE office, got booked as an extra, and showed up to Raw with a different look from his days when he was wrestling full-time on the independent circuit.
'"I was probably 15 pounds lighter than the last time, I had grown my hair out, I was probably the most regular looking I had been in m entire life," Graves noted.
A talent relations executive talked to Graves in the hallway and complimented him on his current look. A week later, Graves said, WWE called to offer him a developmental deal. Two days later, WWE fired Graves' little brother.
Graves got to WWE's developmental, then FCW in Tampa, about the same time as Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and other current fixtures on WWE programming, where Graves got wise to a rumor making its way around the locker room.
"Rollins told me that there was some speculation within that they had signed the wrong brother," Graves said. "As we have the same last name and at the time I think we had the same address. I'm like, well, this is the company that often does things as much. They signed the wrong one-legged guy. The wrong brother, not out of the realm of possibility."
Adonis subsequently has found success as a rudo in CMLL, working a pro-Trump gimmick, while Graves is a fixture on WWE commentary working Raw and Smackdown every week.