The JBL Bullying Stories Have Even Gotten The Attention Of Hollywood

Former WWE Champion and longtime announcer JBL has a very, very long reputation of being a locker room enforcer and, in the opinion of a great many wrestlers in interviews and books over the past two decades, a bully. Wrestling fans have been hearing and reading these stories for many years, but they are once again coming to light thanks to two events that happened during WrestleMania week.

The first event is that Justin Roberts, who spent a dozen years as a ring announcer for WWE, released his memoir, which details extensive instances of him being bullied by JBL. The second event is the departure of Mauro Ranallo, whose last mention on WWE television was a possibly-but-maybe-not-entirely-in-character tirade delivered by JBL on a WWE Network panel show. Ranallo is not expected to return to WWE before his contract expires in August.

There is rampant speculation that JBL bullying Ranallo behind the scenes is one of the key factors that contributed to the play-by-play man’s departure, and the story is beginning to get mainstream media coverage. Sports Illustrated has covered the story, in an article that was cross-posted to the front page of Yahoo. Fans have taken to social media to call for JBL’s dismissal, and there were even “Fire JBL” chants during Tuesday’s Smackdown.

The story is now beginning to extend beyond the sports and wrestling worlds, as Adi Shankar, executive producer of hits The Grey, Dredd, and Lone Survivor, and the producer for Netflix’s upcoming Castlevania animated series, released a statement on his Facebook page Wednesday, calling for WWE to fire JBL, and for the Hollywood trades to report on the story.

For his part, Ranallo has begun to be active on social media again, and has heaped nothing but praise upon WWE performers. He also called for fans to support the wrestlers, and not be concerned about him.

After the story broke, JBL stated on Twitter that he was merely playing a heel, and that he sincerely wishes Ranallo nothing but the best. WWE has yet to comment on the situation.