Mauro Ranallo has been off of WWE airwaves since March and on Saturday Ranallo confirmed his departure from WWE, as had been reported previously, to Newsweek. There was a great deal of speculation that Ranallo’s absence had been due to comments made by JBL about Mauro being named “Best Television Announcer” by Wrestling Observer, but Ranallo insisted in his brief statement to Newsweek that wasn’t the case.
“WWE and I have mutually agreed to part ways. It has nothing to do with JBL,” Ranallo told Newsweek by email. A WWE spokesperson confirmed Ranallo’s exit and said he will remain under contract through August 12.
The JBL rant about Ranallo rekindled the conversation about whether WWE has a problem with bullying. However, whether there needs to be a change in WWE culture or not, in this instance, it appears as though JBL’s comments were not the catalyst for Ranallo’s exit from the company. This brief statement, which lacks another reason for him leaving aside from the two sides mutually agreeing to part ways, won’t stop speculation about why the beloved play-by-play man left, but at least it provides some public closure on the JBL debate. JBL likewise offered a statement to Newsweek.
“Admittedly, I took part in locker room pranks that existed within the industry years ago,” Layfield 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.”
While Ranallo won’t be back on WWE broadcasts, fans of the energetic announcer can still catch him calling MMA events — he most recently was on the call for the Japanese promotion Rizin Fighting Federation — and he will remain the lead announcer on Showtime Boxing, including the upcoming mega-fight between heavyweight stars Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko.