NXT lead announcer Mauro Ranallo has departed WWE, effective immediately, citing both personal and professional reasons for the departure.
Ranallo joined WWE in 2015, making his debut on the first SmackDown of 2016.
He worked on the brand until 2017 when a bullying row with fellow commentator John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield saw him leave his main roster position and eventually take the lead commentator role on the NXT brand.
He also provided commentary for the Cruiserweight Classic tournament alongside Daniel Bryan and initially at least, on 205 Live.
Various sites report that Ranallo gave his notice up to a month ago which may explain his absence from NXT Takeover XXX. He was replaced by Corey Graves.
He also missed last week’s NXT where he was replaced by Wade Barrett who is said to be in negotiations for a full time role with WWE for a position which has now become publicly available.
Both sides issued amicable statements on the departure with Ranallo stating on Facebook:
“I appreciate the opportunity I had to realize my childhood dream of working in sports entertainment, and I wish WWE well in the future. Now I want to direct my focus and devote my time to my other projects and to my mental health charitable activities and the well-being of my mother and myself.”
WWE’s statement reads:
WWE and Mauro Ranallo have mutually and amicably agreed to part ways. Mauro’s passion and enthusiasm left an indelible and exciting mark with WWE and its fans, and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.
It is expected that Ranallo will continue his work for Bellator MMA and various boxing promotions.