Corey Graves Cleared for WWE In-Ring Return After Missing 7 Years with Injury

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 12, 2022

Photo credit: WWE.com

WWE announcer Corey Graves has been medically cleared to wrestle again, according to Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp.

Graves hasn't wrestled in an official match since March 2014. WWE announced later that year he was retiring because of issues stemming from the concussions he had suffered throughout his in-ring career.

The timing of his retirement meant he was unable to enjoy NXT's rise as a member of the active roster. Instead, he thrived in the announce booth and became one of the brand's signature voices.

Graves' work got him a promotion to the Raw commentary team in 2016. He has also worked on SmackDown before becoming a permanent fixture on Raw earlier this year.

Although the Pittsburgh native has carved out a big presence on WWE programming, he has discussed his desire to resume wrestling:

Corey Graves @WWEGraves

I was put on this earth to do something. What I’m doing is not it.

Corey Graves @WWEGraves

I kinda wanna wrestle again.

Bryan Danielson, Edge and Christian Cage have all returned after what were originally thought to be career-ending injuries. As with Graves, a history of concussions were large factors in why Danielson and Cage walked away.

But their comebacks likely provided the 37-year-old with some hope he'd get the green light again.

It will be interesting to see where Graves enters the picture as a wrestler. Prior to signing with WWE, he cut his teeth on the independent circuit and likely would've continued climbing the ranks of NXT and the main roster were it not for his abrupt retirement.

However, many WWE fans are unfamiliar with Graves' work in the squared circle and have largely known him as an announcer. This isn't like Samoa Joe briefly working as an announcer on Raw, only to show up at NXT again to eventually capture the NXT Championship.

Graves could return to NXT as part of its continued transformation or feature on the mid-card for Raw or SmackDown. Either way, he'll might need to prove himself all over again.