Booker T and Corey Graves supposed troubles had the whole industry talking. Everyone from high profile publications such as Forbes and Sports Illustrated to well-known guys within the business such as Taz, who spoke of the incident on his Taz Show podcast, everyone was talking about it.

A week after Booker first dropped a bomb of words on Graves, Corey himself was invited onto Booker’s podcast, Heated Conversations, to clear the air. It was here that Booker T and Corey Graves shocked almost everyone by exposing the seemingly real feeling of hatred as a total work.

Booker T and Corey Graves working the fans during a commentary session
Booker T and Corey Graves have fun working the fans: “I tell you, if I got Corey Graves into fisticuffs, I would beat him down like he stole something. I would be whooping his ass all day long.”

The Original Tirade with Booker T and Corey Graves that Started the Rumours:

Here is the original tirade that Booker went on which was filled with what appeared to be really passionate feelings of disdain towards his former commentary partner:

“People ask me about Corey Graves. Corey Graves is good at what he does, you know? Corey Graves, he’s thrown jabs at me, I’ve thrown jabs back, you know? And you know, the thing is, Corey Graves, of course, yeah, he’s a college educated young man. His vernacular is a little different than mine. You see that word I just used? Threw that out there – just want you people to know, I ain’t studied this, it’s just something that we just threw out.

But I tell you, if I got Corey Graves into fisticuffs, I would beat him down like he stole something. I would be whooping his ass all day long. Because that’s the thing – my thing is this. I’m a nice guy until you get on my bad side. Corey Graves, right now, I wouldn’t necessarily say he’s on my bad side, but he’s the reason that I’m not on Monday Night Raw right now. Because, you know what, a lot of people in the company thought I was gonna jump on him, I was gonna do something bad to him, I was gonna drag him, I was gonna take him out to the woodshed, I was gonna beat that man so bad, I was gonna beat him until this man say, ‘Please, please, please, just don’t beat me anymore!’

That’s how hot I was getting. That’s how close I was getting. So, they said, ‘Hey, Book. We’re gonna take a step back a second, alright? We’re gonna regroup, alright, we’re gonna press the rewind button. We’re gonna send you back to the Kickoff show of SmackDown and Monday Night Raw pay-per-views and cool you down for a second. ‘Cause we don’t want you to do anything to Corey Graves because we know what you could do to him. We know what Corey Graves could do… he’s sitting there for a reason, man. He’s sitting there for a reason, and Corey Graves knows it.

You know what? I’ll tell you this here. I want all you people out there to know, you heard it right here on Heated Conversations, Sports Radio 610, it’s probably gonna make all the dirt sheets like Meltzer and all those guys. But if I catch Corey Graves on the street, I’m gonna do something to him. Alright? I ain’t gonna do it at the office or anything like that. But if I catch him… not gonna do it in the airport, nah, I’m not gonna do that. But if I catch Corey Graves on the street? You see that little bouffant hairdo he got? I’m gonna rearrange it for him. Alright? I’m just saying. I’m just saying… Let me catch him at Starbucks. I’m-a tattoo him…

He’s one of those guys gonna have to walk it like he talk it… Me personally, everybody knows my reputation… I get mean when you mess with my green. And right now, my green is being messed with, you know what I mean? So, me and Corey Graves… WrestleMania coming up, right? There’s room for one more match. Right now, on my show, Heated Conversations, Sports Radio 610, I’m calling Corey Graves out to a fight. Not a match. Not a pre-show posedown or anything like that. I’m calling Corey Graves out to a fight.”

It wasn’t just these words which made this Booker T and Corey Graves feud so believable. It was little things like Corey joking around on the Edge & Christian’s Pod of Awesomeness with quotes like, “When you’re working with Booker, you’ve got to keep yourself sane,” which had people worked, too.

Related: Booker T’s Red Bulls: A Story about Locker Room Etiquette

Moments on-air, too, such as shown below with Booker T staring down Corey very intensely, made it seem like something was legitimately brewing between the two of them.


Corey Graves and Booker T Feud: Corey’s Response

In zen-like fashion, Corey Graves responded to Booker T’s heated diatribe on February 5th, 2018 with a quote from the ancient Chinese military strategy and philosophy classic The Art of War:

“‘Thus the expert in battle moves the enemy, and is not moved by him.’

-Sun Tzu

(Yes, this is what you think it is)”

The majority of people by this point had believed in the hate on display between the two. That was until the February 10th edition of Heated Conversations, Booker T and Corey Graves lifted the veil on this supposed feud to the wrestling world:

“A lot of people don’t know how hard I was smiling when [WWE] told me I was going to be moving back to my old position,” said Booker in reference to moving away from the commentary role.

“I’m one of those people because I saw you walk in the locker room grinning ear to ear and I said what are you so happy about,” Graves said.

Corey Graves continued to give out more details exposing it as a work:

“That’s why when all of this blew up and I heard it, I was getting phone calls and text messages. ‘You gotta hear this, Booker said this!’ As soon as I heard it, knowing you like I know you, I was like, ‘Oh, that’s just Book working.’ So I figured, you know, just being in the old-school mentality, I’m like, ‘Let’s have fun with this.’ Did it take off!”

Booker later asked Corey how it feels to be covered by so many big media outlets, along with the fact that none of these outlets bothered to call either of the two to confirm if the animosity was real:

“First of all, like personally, I was entertained by how we were able to work the entire wrestling industry,” said Graves. “Somehow, nobody bothered to call or anything, and it just took off like crazy. My Twitter was on non-stop refresh for like two days. Some of the fans were so mad. I was getting some terrible, terrible Twitter and Instagram messages and all that. And I’m laughing about it, [and I’m like], ‘But what do we do with this?'”

Their commentary partner, Michael Cole, approached Corey Graves about the situation. Corey explains:

“I told [Michael] Cole the other day after we talked on Monday, and he goes, ‘So this thing with you and Book, it’s cool?’ I go, ‘You know Book. We’re just goofing around.’ He goes, ‘Okay, well what’s the end game? What are [you two] trying to accomplish?’ I said, ‘We’re not trying to accomplish anything! We’re just having fun! We’re just messing with each other like we do every day, constantly, and somehow, the world picked up on it.”

Graves gave out more fascinating information about the successful work, stating that Big E was the first one to send him a link and inform him about Booker T’s original comments of animosity towards him. Corey immediately knew Booker wasn’t serious and just went with it.

Both Booker and Graves laughed about references made about it the following week on Monday Night RAW, and the New Day references on Smackdown Live. Booker T along with his co-host admitted they had gone over all their planned topics for the podcast with time left to kill, so they decided to talk about this Corey Graves situation and get people talking, which they definitely accomplished. They fooled media outlets, talent, fans and even their commentary partner, Michael Cole. According to Graves, Cole was even willing to step in the ring with Booker T as a payoff for the situation seeing as thought Graves is retired from in-ring competition. If Cole’s match against Jerry Lawler at Wrestlemania XXVII was anything to go by, perhaps we’re lucky this never had to go down!

If you weren’t worked by this, we congratulate you.

Related: IT’S A WORK: Becoming a Wrestler the Hard Way


Braeden Farrell is a long-time contributor for Pro Wrestling Stories and can be reached on Twitter @braedenfazza.