Mauro Ranallo has set the record straight on what led to his departure as the lead announcer of WWE SmackDown Live.
Ranallo, who is one of the best announcers in all of pro wrestling and combat sports, signed with the WWE in December 2015 where he made his promotional debut as the lead announcer of SmackDown Live on the USA Network in January of that next year.
Ranallo was absent from commentary beginning with the March 14, 2017 episode of SmackDown Live including missing WrestleMania 33, which was a goal of his to call. At the time, WWE claimed it was due to illness.
Moving along to April of that year, it was reported that the sports entertainment company and Ranallo had mutually parted ways. It was rumored to be due to his issues with fellow commentator JBL. However, Ranallo denied that speculation at the time.
Fast forward to June, it was revealed that Ranallo decided to return to the WWE to be the lead announcer for the NXT brand.
During a recent interview with Ariel Helwani of The MMA Hour to promote his upcoming documentary on Showtime, Ranallo addressed his departure from the blue brand and how it did not have anything to do with JBL but rather it was because of the tough WWE schedule.
“I was on the road every week. You add MMA and boxing and kickboxing to it. The road travel destroyed me. So, rumors and all this other stuff, what happened, honestly — and Ariel, you know how honest I’ve been in this thing — I had a breakdown in the Chicago O’Hare airport on my way to Pittsburgh to do SmackDown Live. And again, Frank Shamrock … God bless him … Bas Rutten, man. Guys who fought each other are my biggest supporters. But, I had to phone them and I said ‘I’m done. I cannot do this anymore. It’s going to kill me.’ And I thought I was done with the entire company.”
“As much as there’s two sides to every story, the actual truth from me was my mental health wasn’t going to allow me to maintain that schedule much longer.
H/T to Pro Wrestling Sheet for the transcribed quotes.