- The story with Smackdown commentator Mauro Ranallo is turning into a complicated situation that might actually involve his broadcast partner JBL.
- We briefly alluded to something amiss earlier this month, but the story goes that JBL reportedly went off on Ranallo for missing his first show on 3/14, suggesting that everyone else in the company made it to the arena despite the weather (which is the reason WWE gave at that time for Mauro’s absence). JBL then took the tweet down and hasn’t said anything about Ranallo since.
- While Ranallo himself has kept his online presence limited except for a few tweets thanking everyone for the support, his friend Bas Rutten has made not-so-subtle hints about JBL’s role in all of this, at one point tweeting “JBL, please. I mean he was a pro wrestler, but please, you always take care of your broadcast partner. Always.”
- Those in the know about the situation have indicated that tension has been building between the two, especially since Ranallo in early March tweeted the results of a WON Announcer of the Year awards, where he won for the second straight year.
- JBL apparently did not like this at all, as there is a bit of an unwritten rule that you don’t acknowledge awards unless they are from your promotion. JBL had previously mocked Ranallo for being so active on Twitter and even said that he blocked him at one point. It is also possible that JBL said something further to Ranallo in private which caused Ranallo to then tweet that “jealousy is one hell of a drug.” While he did not specifically mention JBL, pretty much everyone figured that is who he was talking about.
- JBL reportedly then continued his with his anger on the next edition of Smackdown on 3/7 after the initial Ranallo tweet about his awards win, criticizing some of Ranallo’s commentating and pop culture references. Most took it as “mean spirited” and “vicious” and given Ranallo’s ongoing battle with depression and bipolar disorder, it certainly sounds like it has at least contributed somewhat to his absence since.
- WWE has made no comment on the matter and the situation is complicated because if and when Ranallo returns – he will be working in close quarters with JBL – and that puts the company in a no-win situation.
Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Subscription information & prices available at f4wonline.com