It looks like Mauro Ranallo is returning to WWE after all. Months after the popular Canadian announcer had decided to mutually part ways with WWE amid bullying allegations against his SmackDown Live colleague John Bradshaw Layfield, aka JBL, Ranallo will be calling matches for the company’s developmental brand after coming to terms on a new deal.
For a refresher on what happened prior to this new development, controversy shrouded the SmackDown Live announce team when Ranallo begged off from a March episode due to weather-related reasons. Ultimately, it was alleged that Ranallo had suffered a bout of depression after being called out by fellow blue brand announcer JBL on the WWE Network show Bring it to the Table. Ranallo continued missing SmackDown episodes as more stories of JBL’s alleged bullying emerged or re-emerged, and on April 22, Newsweek reported that Ranallo and WWE had “mutually agreed to part ways,” with Mauro denying that JBL was the reason for his departure.
Fast forward exactly two months later, and Mauro Ranallo has returned to the WWE, as the 47-year-old announcer confirmed on an Instagram post. But this time, he won’t be calling matches on the main roster, but rather on WWE’s developmental brand NXT, where he will be joining Nigel McGuinness and Percy Watson behind the announcer’s desk.
THE NXT CHAPTER BEGINS! WWE and I mutually agreed to end my responsibilities on SmackDown having nothing to do with rumors about disputes. As I remained under contract with WWE, we discussed a variety of options. Despite originally agreeing to part ways, there was always a desire to continue working together. We have come to terms on a new agreement that benefits both WWE and me, and I am thrilled to announce I will now be part of the NXT broadcasting team.
At the time of his original announcement, Ranallo didn’t mention when he would be starting up at NXT. But as Wrestling Inc. noted, Mauro added on Twitter that he will be debuting at Friday’s tapings at Full Sail University. He also took the opportunity to thank WWE Executive Vice President of Talent Paul “Triple H” Levesque, Monday Night RAW lead announcer Michael Cole, and other WWE executives for giving him a chance to work for the company once again.
Mauro Ranallo won’t just be returning to WWE on the next set of NXT television tapings, as the announcer confirmed on another tweet. As it appears, he’ll still be allowed to call play-by-play for Showtime Boxing and Bellator MMA, on top of his NXT duties. The Showtime Boxing gig notably includes the upcoming August 26 boxing match pitting reigning UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor against multi-titled boxing champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
— FightBook MMA™©® (@FightBookMMA) June 22, 2017
The possibility of Mauro Ranallo returning to WWE’s main roster in the future is still up for any manner of speculation. But fans appear excited for the prospect of Ranallo calling matches on NXT, and believe that he’s just the right fit for the developmental brand, with the potential of thriving away from JBL’s alleged bullying and WWE Chairman Vince McMahon’s apparent attempts to tweak Mauro’s distinctive style of announcing.
“I also think Triple H will let Mauro be Mauro,” said one commenter, reacting to Fightful‘s report on Ranallo’s WWE return.
“One of the biggest downfalls of his last run was that Vince didn’t understand Mauro and wanted him to plug his s**t in. Plus, JBL will be nowhere near NXT. Mauro is in good hands with Trips and I look for good things to happen in the near future.”
Wresting fans, do you think Mauro Ranallo’s return to WWE should eventually include a return to the main roster? Do you believe he could indeed thrive in his new role as part of NXT’s announce team?
[Featured Image by WWE]