Veteran combat sports play-by-play commentator Mauro Ranallo has officially parted ways with WWE after joining the organization in 2015.
News about Ranallo’s departure has been swirling for weeks amidst rumors that he was engaged in a battle with color commentator John “Bradshaw” Layfield, who was accused of bullying the 47-year old Canadian.
Ranallo has now addressed his exit from WWE while also putting to bed any rumors about why he left the organization in a statement sent to Newsweek.
“WWE and I have mutually agreed to part ways. It has nothing to do with JBL [John “Bradshaw” Layfield],” Ranallo said.
WWE also confirmed that Ranallo is no longer part of the company although he would remain under contract until Aug. 12.
Ranallo has been a stalwart of combat sports commentary for most of his career with stints at PRIDE Fighting Championships, Strikeforce as well as Showtime, where he still currently works calling boxing matches.
The rumors about Ranallo’s exit began back in March when he missed a television appearance due to bad weather, but then was off the air again the following week. Ranallo, an advocate for mental health, has dealt with bi-polar disorder throughout his career and there was initial speculation that played a part in his absence from WWE.
Then came the rumors about Layfield, who has come under scrutiny recently from several backstage incidents documented by former WWE commentator Justin Roberts in a book he recently released.
Layfield also issued a statement regarding his alleged role in Ranallo’s exit from WWE.
“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.”
Ranallo joined the WWE in 2015 where he became the voice of “Smackdown Live” as the program moved from a taped format to a live broadcast on Tuesday nights.
Following Ranallo’s exit from WWE programming, he has returned to the booth to call mixed martial arts for a promotion in Japan and he’s expected back on Showtime on Saturday night to call the fight between Andre Berto and Shawn Porter.