According to Newsweek.com, Mauro Ranallo and WWE have agreed to part ways.
Ranallo, who made a statement to Newsweek, stated that his departure had nothing to do with reports of animosity between him and fellow Smackdown Live commentator JBL. “WWE and I have mutually agreed to part ways. It has nothing to do with JBL,” Ranallo told Newsweek by email.
While WWE has yet to make any announcements on their webiste, a spokeperson from the company confirmed the exit, adding that Ranallo will remain under contract until Augst 12th, 2017.
WWE also denied any allegations of wrongdoing by JBL, saying “As part of our commitment to creating an inclusive environment, in April 2011, WWE launched our anti-bullying campaign, Be a STAR, which encourages young people to treat each other with tolerance and respect.
“As a publicly traded company, that mantra carries forward in our corporate culture. As such, we fully investigate any allegations of inappropriate behavior including the recent alleged situation with John Layfield (aka JBL), despite no formal complaint having been submitted.”
Ranallo has not been on WWE television since March 7th, 2017. The following week he was reported out due to a blizzard in the northeast, and the following week, for an undisclosed illness. Ranallo, a long time advocate for mental health, has been open about his own troubles with mental illness.
JBL has been accused by fans of causing Ranallo’s departure after an episode of Bring it to the Table saw JBL being extremely vocal about Ranallo winning Commentator of the Year by the Wrestling Observer. He has denied any wrong doing, and stated he’s playing a character.
“Admittedly, I took part in locker room pranks that existed within the industry years ago,” Layfield said. “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.”