Mauro Ranallo's style of announcing is an acquired taste. It's not for everyone.
According to a report in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, it wasn't for Vince McMahon.
When Ranallo was hired last year, WWE wanted him to be himself in order to separate SmackDown from Raw, and give the blue show a distinctive and different voice. However, after a few months, Vince became frustrated by Mauro’s style and the days of "being himself" were over. The days of "being like Michael Cole" had just begun. Apparently, when Tom Phillips was added to the SmackDown commentary table, creating the much-derided four man announce team, that was the first public sign of Vince’s frustration.
From there, it only got worse in private. Mauro was made the butt of jokes and viewed as “weird” backstage. It was reported that “the production room was filled with a lot of people who were emotionally still in high school.” On the now infamous episode of Bring It To The Table, when JBL clowned Ranallo for publicly acknowledging and celebrating his Best Announcer WON award, that was the proverbial straw breaking the proverbial camel’s back. Apparently the burial of Mauro was planned ahead of time as a way to further get under his skin.
The WON related another story, unrelated to Mauro, but indicating how vicious the practices of bullying still are backstage. Unsurprisingly, the story involved JBL. A non-wrestling WWE employee was going through a very rough time. The person had a close family member who was very sick and close to death, and also had to miss a couple of weeks of work to recover from a minor operation. This apparently resulted in JBL laying into the person backstage for taking time off, shaming him or her with the fact that JBL didn’t miss shows after he had had hernia surgery. The employee told JBL that this wasn't the best time, on account of the dying family member, but that didn't matter to JBL. The harassment continued, unabated, until the aggrieved person was in tears.
However, in a recent statement given to Newsweek and reported on here, JBL said this:
"Admittedly, I took part in locker room pranks that existed within the industry years ago. WWE addressed my behavior and I responded accordingly, yet my past is being brought up because of recent unfounded rumors. I apologize if anything I said playing ‘the bad guy’ on a TV show was misconstrued.”
It is unclear if JBL was 'playing the bad guy on a TV show' when he made a WWE employee cry backstage for taking time off work to recover from surgery and deal with a dying relative.
Meanwhile, Ranallo remains under contract with WWE until August 12th. He is returning to commentating for Showtime boxing and has worked for Rizin recently, but his contract stipulates that he may not work for another pro wrestling company until his contract is up.
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