ONE OF WWE’S BEST LOVED COMMENTATORS SHORT LIVED TENURE WITH THE COMPANY HAS COME TO AN END.
SmackDown Live lead commentator Mauro Ranallo has left the company, following an absence from television from March 7th.
In a statement to Newsweek, Mauro has confirmed his departure, whilst also stating that his exit has nothing to due with alleged animosity with fellow commentator John Bradshaw Layfield.
Mauro Ranallo said to Newsweek:
“WWE and I have mutually agreed to part ways. It has nothing to do with JBL,”
A WWE spokesperson confirmed Ranallo’s exit and said he will remain under contract through August 12. The 47-year-old—a veteran of mixed martial arts and boxing commentary joined WWE in December 2015. He was very popular amongst fans and his departure will further fuel issues between the fanbase and JBL, who has come under fire by former employees, including ring announcer Justin Roberts, in the past for his alleged hazing of WWE talent.
Layfield spoke aggressively about Ranallo on the March 13 episode of Bring It to the Table on the WWE Network. JBL scolded Ranallo for acknowledging the results of a fan-voted poll naming him announcer of the year in 2016. Ranallo then missed the March 14 episode of SmackDown Live , stoking internet specualation that Layfield’s remarks were responsible for his absence. Layfield said he was just playing up his character as a bad guy.
Since Ranallo’s final WWE appearance on March 7, the animated announcer returned to the commentary booth for Japanese mixed martial arts promotion Rizin Fighting Federation on April 16. He has also tweeted he will one day call the action for a wrestling event again.
Tom Phillips, JBL and Byron Saxton will continue as the commentary team for WWE SmackDown Live.