As noted, Corey Graves opened this week's After The Bell podcast by issuing an apology for the tweets he made about Mauro Ranallo's WWE NXT "Takeover: WarGames 2019" commentary, which led to Mauro deleting his Twitter account, missing Sunday's Survivor Series pay-per-view, and missing tonight's NXT TV episode.
In an update, Graves reportedly made the tweets about Mauro as a way to play into the brand warfare element of the Survivor Series Weekend, according to Ryan Satin of Pro Wrestling Sheet. Graves reportedly planned to bring the tweets up in a joking manner on Sunday when he was joined by Mauro on commentary. WWE had previously confirmed that Mauro would be calling some of the matches at Survivor Series.
Graves confirmed on his podcast that he made the tweets from his hotel room while watching Takeover on Saturday night. His tweets are still live.
We don't know what happened at the Allstate Arena on Sunday but Mauro did show up, with friend Frank Shamrock, who defended him against Graves on Twitter, and then left before the event began. It was noted on commentary by Michael Cole that Mauro got so excited at Takeover that he blew his voice out, but that he would be back for tonight's NXT TV episode. It's been revealed since then that Mauro will not be working tonight's show. There's no word yet on Mauro's status and return, but he has not re-activated his Twitter account as of this writing.
For those who missed it, Graves took to Twitter on Saturday night and referenced how Mauro was talking over Nigel McGuinness and WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix during "Takeover: WarGames 2019" commentary, something some fans were also saying on Twitter.
He wrote, "Just for the record guys, I know you wouldn't know it, but there's actually a WWE Hall of Famer AND a former Ring of Honor Champion on commentary. I'd imagine they have a lot to offer. #NXTTakeoverWarGames"
Another fan tweeted on the number of Chicago hip-hop references Mauro made during the show. Graves wrote back, "Far, far too many."
Corey's apology from the podcast released this morning reads like this:
"What's up, everybody? Welcome to After The Bell, I am Corey Graves. A ton to get to this week as we do every week but before we go any further, on a personal note, I needed to address something. This past Saturday, during the 'Takeover: WarGames' event, I sent out a tweet. It was an unpopular opinion, as I often do with the intention of just stirring up a little controversy, maybe have something fun to talk about on TV or here on the show. It was maybe not the most professional way to go about things, and it was never meant to offend or disrespect or disparage anybody. That was never my intention. If it was taken as such, I apologize deeply. That was not my intention. I would never intentionally cause anybody undue stress, especially a co-worker. So, I apologize."
Stay tuned for updates on the situation and Mauro's status.
Just for the record guys, I know you wouldn't know it, but there's actually a WWE Hall of Famer AND a former Ring of Honor Champion on commentary.— Corey Graves (@WWEGraves) November 24, 2019
I'd imagine they have a lot to offer.
Far, far too many.— Corey Graves (@WWEGraves) November 24, 2019