Mauro Ranallo spent years cultivating a fanbase with his commentary on MMA and boxing events, and through his work calling New Japan events for AXS TV. Wrestling fans clamored for a long time to have him make the jump to WWE, and in late 2015,it was announced that he would do just that.
Ranallo became the lead announcer for the Cruiserweight Classic last summer, and became the play-by-play man for Smackdown and 205 Live following the WWE Draft. However he has been off WWE television since mid-March, right around the time that Smackdown color commentator JBL publicly lashed out at Mauro on an episode of WWE Network’s Bring It To The Table.
Since that time, reports indicated that friends close to Ranallo said the announcer was dealing with bipolar disorder and depression, conditions which he has been very outspoken about throughout his career. This past week, JBL’s bullying ways (which have been well-documented over the years) once again came to light through the release of Justin Roberts’ book, and he took to Twitter, in part, to talk about Mauro.
But on Saturday, a new report from CBS Sports stated that Ranallo, whose contract is up in August, is not expected to return to WWE television again. At some point this weekend, Ranallo removed all mentions of “WWE” from his social media accounts and deleted all tweets referencing WrestleMania. He returned to retweeting fans’ support on Friday and also mentioned that he will be returning to boxing commentary for Showtime in April and hopes to return to MMA soon.
Tom Phillips has been the lead announcer for Smackdown since Ranallo’s absence.