Corey Graves talks Saudi Arabia trip and more.
This Thursday, Oct. 31, WWE once again heads to Saudi Arabia for WWE Crown Jewel. The Saudi Arabia events have come under heavy scrutiny due the Saudi government's oppressive views and not allowing women to compete on the shows. The travel schedule can also be tough as the flight can last upwards of 18 hours depending on the departure location.
Despite the tough travel, WWE SmackDown announcer Corey Graves reveals talent doesn't mind for one big reason.
“It’s a long, grueling trip over there, but most of the talent like it because it’s a pretty good pay day,” Graves told Sports Illustrated. “To me, it’s super exciting to have these totally unusual attractions like Cain Velasquez-Brock Strowman and Tyson Fury-Braun Strowman. If you take any sort of political feeling out of the equation, aren’t you, as a fan of WWE, aren’t you curious and excited to watch these attractions? It is what it is. This is not about politics for the talent, it’s about doing what we do best on the planet all over the planet. Everyone that works for any company has things they love and things they don’t love, but what we’re all focused on is having to fly back to SmackDown in Buffalo the next day.”
It's a big week for Graves as he'll not only be part of the commentary team for Crown Jewel and SmackDown, but his new podcast "After The Bell" launches on Wednesday. It will be the first podcast under the WWE banner and Graves promises to discuss all topics.
“Nobody else has this access,” said Graves. “If it’s relevant, I can say, ‘Hey Triple H, what did you think of the competition on Wednesday night?’ I’m not going to make it my point to talk about everything beyond WWE, but if it’s relevant to what’s going on and it’s hot in the business, then we’ll discuss it. I can give a perspective that won’t be available anywhere else. I’m most excited to give current superstars a bigger platform to show who they are as people beyond characters.
“Most of the podcasts I’ve heard are from people who left WWE, but this is different. I’m working from the inside and I have access to the talent. Look at Seth—he’s had some social media speed bumps recently and got in a few spats that painted him in less than a great position, but you’re dealing with Twitter and 140 characters. Now we’ll have time for an actual conversation without an agenda, and I’m really excited to see where it goes," he said.
Fightful will have live coverage of WWE Crown Jewel beginning at 1 p.m. ET on Thursday.