Corey Graves was reportedly cleared to return to in-ring action at some point in 2021.
A new report from Fightful Select notes that sources close to Graves claim he was actually cleared by WWE doctors at some point last year. WWE would not confirm the report, so it’s largely based on behind-the-scenes discussions.
Graves briefly won the WWE 24/7 Title on the November 8, 2021 RAW, despite previously being on a strict internal “no contact” list. It’s now been confirmed that Graves was no longer on that list when he won the 24/7 Title.
There have been several internal pitches made for Graves, but it remains to be seen if those were from WWE creative or just Graves himself. It was noted that none of the pitches for Graves have made it through creative. One source close to the WWE creative team said they were not aware of Graves being cleared, and confirmed that he is off the “no contact” list.
After a run on the indies, Graves signed a WWE developmental deal in August 2011. He suffered two concussions between late 2013 and early 2014, and then announced his in-ring retirement in December 2014. Graves has been a member of the WWE NXT and main roster announce teams since then.
Graves spoke about wanting to come out of retirement during an April 2020 podcast, after being inspired by the WWE 24 documentary on WWE Hall of Famer Edge. In May 2020 he then stepped in the ring to train for the first time since retiring, with his brother Sam Adonis, which you can see in a tweet below. Graves fueled the rumor mill again back in July 2021 when he tweeted, “I was put on this earth to do something. What I’m doing is not it.” He then tweeted about wanting to wrestle again in late November 2021.
Graves stated earlier this month that he wants to declare his spot for the 2022 Men’s Royal Rumble Match.
There’s no word on if WWE will allow Graves to return to the ring, but we will keep you updated. You can see the aforementioned tweets below:
I kinda wanna wrestle again.
— Corey Graves (@WWEGraves) November 12, 2021
I won a Championship in @wwe without ever stepping into the ring.
(I also lost it the same way, but let’s not focus on minutiae.)#NeverForget
— Corey Graves (@WWEGraves) November 11, 2021
I was put on this earth to do something. What I’m doing is not it.
— Corey Graves (@WWEGraves) July 3, 2021