Details Behind Corey Graves Being Cleared For In-Ring Return

Corey cleared.

Fightful has learned that longtime color commentator Corey Graves has had a major status shift over the last year. We've spoken to sources in WWE and close to the situation that claim that Graves was actually cleared by WWE doctors at some point in 2021, though the company has not confirmed that to us. Graves briefly won the WWE 24/7 Championship in 2021, despite previously being on a strict internal "no contact" list that the company keeps. We can confirm that he was not on that list any longer. We reached out to both Corey Graves and WWE, who responded but would not confirm or deny.

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We've heard of several pitches internally that have been made -- though we're sure if those were from creative or Graves himself -- but none have made it through that we've heard of. We've heard from one person near creative who wasn't made aware of the situation, but noted that Graves is off the "no contact" list. At one point names like Paige and Scott Hall were both on said list in 2019.

Graves retired from in-ring wrestling in late 2014 and made a transition to broadcasting full-time, in which has been massively successful for both he and WWE. Since then, he's not had any wrestling matches. During that time, Bryan Danielson, Christian and Edge have all been cleared after being sidelined for years.

Seeing Edge's return seemed to have motivated Graves, according to a podcast the two were on.

“Watching it, honestly, man, it was inspiring,” Graves told Edge on After the Bell last year. “I would say at two or three different points I went, ‘Man, I live in Pittsburgh now. I should go find Dr. Maroon.’ It just gave me that urge to do this all over again, and I don’t know whether or not that’s a possibility, but the thought was planted in my brain for quite some time.”

Fightful will work to learn more about this situation.

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