WWE SmackDown Live commentator Mauro Ranallo is reportedly done with WWE, and it seems he’s leaving over a depression caused by announce partner John Bradshaw Layfield (JBL) bullying him. Known for being WWE’s go-to stooge when it comes to various media material, JBL is responsible for the bullying of several WWE Superstars. In fact, WWE did an entire storyline around the angle with The Miz promoting that JBL was terrible to him at the beginning of his career.
JBL claims the Miz situation was a storyline, and it was. However, he did mess with Miz a lot earlier in his career as did many. JBL is a veteran in the business and comes from an old school philosophy, which pushed him to mess with other WWE Superstars to see if he could get to them. The idea is that you have to have thick skin to make it in pro-wrestling. If JBL got to you, then you were not fit for the job, which only meant the bullying would get worse until you responded or retaliated.
The old school philosophy is old school for a reason, as this type of behavior is not correct anymore. This is not due to a fragile nature in people, but rather because it only caused problems. Only a few veterans were remembered for it because of how far they would go to torture people. WWE is on the road a lot, so pranks are often pulled out of fun. However, usually wrestlers do it all in the name of fun and both sides know this.
Meanwhile, you had others go too far and that seems to be the case with JBL. Mauro Ranallo is a gifted commentator. His knowledge on wrestling and combat sports is known, and many fans absolutely love the real feel he brings to WWE action. He added a ton of energy to the product and gave us a great show to listen to with him at the head of it that was on par with the likes of Jim Ross. Incidentally, JR is coming back to WWE due to the company realizing his amazing use to the business.
Mauro is exactly like him, which helped him with WWE fans. Fans felt that since someone as close to JR was with WWE, then it meant that things would be great to listen to on the “wrestler’s show” known as WWE SmackDown Live. His energy to the product and ability to make wrestlers matter and even give them nicknames was literally just like JR of the past. Fans could not help but love what Mauro brought to the table each week, and everyone looked happy he was there.
WWE seemed to not be as thrilled, however. Shortly into the brand split, Tom Phillips was added to the desk as the “host” of the show. Vince McMahon apparently did not like how Mauro did the promotion parts of the show and knew Tom could do it better in his eyes. Mauro still called the matches and did a great job with it in spite of WWE seemingly pushing Tom in to replace him.
Mauro suffers from bipolar disorder and has had troubles with depression in the past. This was known, and perhaps it was not something he advertised for the likes of JBL to know right off. However, JBL most likely would have been told. It is rumored but not proven that JBL was told by management to bully Mauro. It may have only been for the announce booth during shows to help a dynamic. However, we do not know how much further it went. The two are even blocked from talking on Twitter after JBL apparently blocked Mauro.
On television, people understood the banter with Mauro that JBL pulled as he did the same with Michael Cole. However, away from the desk we don’t know how much further it went. If WWE were to lose Mauro over this, many fans would be devastated. It is said that Mauro is going to remain under contract until it expires in August, and he will not be on television for the rest of the deal.
Many fans feel the best move to do is to either fire JBL or remove him from WWE SmackDown Live. Even a hashtag #FireJBL is going around on social media. With the WWE Superstar Shake-up coming up next week, WWE could switch Corey Graves and JBL from their shows and allow Graves to end up on the blue brand and JBL on the red. Now JBL is back with Cole, and Graves works with Mauro yet again, and their chemistry has always been good.
While it is unknown if WWE will ever fire JBL, it does seem like it would be unlikely. They tend to speak through JBL on television and the WWE Network. His view is WWE’s view, and he does well as their mouthpiece. It is not shocking that JBL was seemingly used to push down Mauro, but it is sad that Mauro could be gone over such a thing when he’s truly one of the best in the world at his job.
[Featured Image by WWE]