SmackDown commentator Corey Graves caused a stir over Survivor Series weekend, when he posted a poorly conceived Tweet during TakeOver: WarGames, lampooning colleague Mauro Ranallo for his apparent propensity to hog the airwaves.
On Sunday, Ranallo opted out of calling Survivor Series, and was replaced by Tom Phillips on last night's episode of NXT. He also deleted his social media accounts in the wake of Graves' comments.
On this week's episode of his After The Bell podcast, Graves issued an apology to his broadcast colleague, claiming the Tweets were taken in the wrong spirit, and that he hadn't intended to cause any offence:
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.
According to sources via Pro Wrestling Sheet, Graves had hoped to spin his comments into Survivor Series' brand warfare, and was planning to bring them up in a "joking manner" during his broadcast alongside Ranallo the next day.
Ranallo has been open in the past about his battle with bipolar disorder. He took a leave of absence from WWE's commentary desks in 2017, after his struggles with depression were allegedly exacerbated by backstage bullying from co-worker JBL.
It's not presently known when Ranallo will return to the NXT announce table.
Benjamin was born in 1987, and is still not dead. He variously enjoys classical music, old-school adventure games (they're not dead), and walks on the beach (albeit short - asthma, you know).
He's currently trying to compile a comprehensive history of video game music, yet denies accusations that he purposefully targets niche audiences. He's often wrong about these things.