NXT Announcer Mauro Ranallo, WWE Mutually Agree to Part Ways

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 1, 2020

Equipment trailers are lined up at the entrance road to the WWE Performance Center Tuesday, April 14, 2020, in Orlando, Fla.  Florida’s top emergency official last week amended Gov. Ron DeSantis’ stay-at-home order to include employees at the professional sports and media production with a national audience, if the location is closed to the public. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
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NXT lead announcer Mauro Ranallo is leaving WWE, the organization announced on Monday night. 

The WWE released a statement, noting it was a mutual agreement: 

"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."

Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Dave Meltzer provided a statement from Ranallo: "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."

Working on SmackDown at the time, Ranallo had taken a leave of absence from the company in 2017 amid rumors he was the victim of bullying by coworker John Bradshaw Layfield. He later explained he felt exhausted by the WWE travel schedule.

WWE moved Ranallo to the NXT broadcast team, where his more demonstrative style was a perfect fit. His "Mamma mia!" catchphrase became a trademark for all of NXT's wildest moments.

Former WWE wrestler Wade Barrett worked on commentary for the most recent edition of NXT, and it's unclear whether his return coincides with Ranallo's departure. Barrett, Beth Phoenix and Vic Joseph could be the brand's broadcast trio going forward.

Meltzer noted Ranallo will continue his duties with Bellator and for Showtime's boxing events.