Former WWE Smackdown Live announcer Mauro Ranallo is returning to the company just months after departing in April in the wake of the JBL bullying scandal. Ranallo, who suffers from bi-polar disorder.
"WWE and I have mutually agreed to part ways," Ranallo publicly stated at the time. "It has nothing to do with JBL."
"Admittedly, I took part in locker room pranks that existed within the industry years ago," Layfield also publicly stated at the time. "WWE addressed my behavior and I responded accordingly, yet my past is being brought up because of recent unfounded rumors. I apologize if anything I said playing 'the bad guy' on a TV show was misconstrued."
But for weeks prior, pro wrestling dirt sheets and major sports websites were reporting on rumors that Ranallo's absence from WWE programming was the result of depression spurred on by JBL's abuse of Ranallo on the WWE talk show Bring It To The Table, said to be a company-encouraged response to Ranallo thanking fans for voting him best wrestling announcer of the year in the Pro Wrestling Observer newsletter. In the wake of the story, other former WWE employees stepped forward to speak out about JBL's alleged bullying, itself a remnant of the pro wrestling industry's deeply ingrained carny culture. Fans at live shows even chanted "fire JBL" as public outrage over the situation grew, while JBL blocked journalists who wrote about the story and anyone who interacted with Ranallo on Twitter.
In any case, it looks like WWE and Ranallo have mended fences, or at least the faction of WWE controlled by Triple H has, as Ranallo will be returning sometime in the near future to join the NXT commentary team:
With Triple H commenting as well:
— Triple H (@TripleH) June 22, 2017
Whatever happened in the first place, and whatever happened to smooth things over, we're just glad to have Ranallo back on commentary, where fans can enjoy his passion for pro wrestling and skills as a broadcaster once again.