As noted, Mauro Ranallo signed a two-year contract to provide commentary for NXT. As part of his deal to return to the company, he’ll report directly to Triple H, who runs NXT, and Michael Cole, who produces NXT.
It was reported in the latest issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that comments made by John “Bradshaw” Layfield on the March 13, 2017 episode of “Bring It To The Table” on the WWE Network were “the straw that broke the camel’s back” and led to Ranallo leaving WWE and “suffering a severe breakdown.”
However, in the same report, it’s noted JBL was not the reason Ranallo left. There were problems between the two where it got to the point where JBL would block anyone that wished Ranallo well on his health or praised his work outside of WWE. But his comments on “Bring It To The Table” were not done on his own, which explains an issue that went deeper than a beef between two co-workers.
Ranallo’s statement on his return to WWE read as follows:
“WWE and I mutually agreed to end my responsibilities on Smackdown having nothing to do with rumors about disputes. As I remained under contract with WWE, we discussed a variety of options. Despite originally agreeing to part ways, there was always a desire to continue working together. We have come to terms on a new agreement that benefits both WWE and me, and I am thrilled to announce I will now be part of the NXT broadcast team.”
Ranallo’s contract replaces his old agreement with WWE. He’ll report directly to Hunter and Michael Cole, who were the two who made the original push to bring him to SmackDown when WWE was looking to make changes to the show for the move to live on the USA Network early last year.
It was Triple H that re-introduced Ranallo to the live NXT crowd at Full Sail, calling him the “Bipolar Rock’n’Roller,” a nickname he used years back but had not used previously in WWE.
Ranallo’s WWE NXT contract is for approximately 18-20 dates per year, opposed to the roughly 75-80 dates he had as the voice of SmackDown. His new deal includes NXT television tapings and the TakeOver shows, while his old deal had pay-per-views and his work on main roster television.
Ranallo has a studio in his Los Angeles home where he can do changes to his original commentary so he won’t have to fly to Florida or Connecticut for post-production work. His new deal with WWE is not exclusive as he’ll continue to work for Bellator MMA and Showtime Boxing.
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