Mauro Ranallo Announces His WWE Departure, Comments on JBL


Mauro Ranallo officially announced that he and the WWE parted ways in a statement.

On the Mar. 14 episode of SmackDown Live, play-by-play man Mauro Ranallo was noticeably absent from the booth. It got explained as being due to the snowstorm. However, he also missed the following show, due to being sick. That’s when allegations of SmackDown commentator John “Bradshaw” Layfield bullying Ranallo, leading to his absence from the announcer’s table, began.

Well, after over one month of discussion about Ranallo’s status, he confirmed it in an official statement to Newsweek:

"“WWE and I have mutually agreed to part ways. It has nothing to do with JBL,”"

JBL also sent in an extended statement on the matter, admitting to “locker room pranks” that took place years ago. He noted that WWE “addressed” his behavior then, but questioned the rumors that have arisen about him:

"“Admittedly, I took part in locker room pranks that existed within the industry years ago,” JBL said. “WWE addressed my behavior and I responded accordingly, yet my past is being brought up because of recent unfounded rumors. I apologize if anything I said playing ‘the bad guy’ on a TV show was misconstrued.”"

Whatever the case may be, this ends Ranallo’s year-plus stay on SmackDown Live. He had been brought in when the show moved to the USA Network in January 2016, presenting a new look, feel and sound to it. This continued with the WWE Draft, and the announce teams being designated to a brand.

Ranallo led the commentary booth for last summer’s WWE Cruiserweight Classic. He teamed with Daniel Bryan.

Ranallo’s style was different from Michael Cole or Tom Phillips, who don’t call as many wrestling moves in the ring. There’s no word if this had anything to do with his departure, but Ranallo notably said in a recent broadcast that he’s excited to be able to say “pro wrestling” again.

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The 47-year-old will move on, while Phillips officially becomes the lead commentator on SmackDown, something he had been already for the past month. It’s always unfortunate to see someone depart WWE, so there will be plenty that misses Ranallo’s work on Tuesday nights.