Mauro Ranallo not expected to return to WWE TV through remainder of contract – CBSSports.com
Mauro Ranallo’s run as the voice of WWE’s “SmackDown Live” and “205 Live” shows appears to be be over.
Ranallo, a decorated combat sports analyst who is currently the lead play-by-play commentator for Showtime Championship Boxing, deleted mention of his WWE affiliation from his Twitter account on Friday, along with a noticeable amount of WWE related retweets.
A source close to the situation told CBS Sports that Ranallo, 47, is not expected to appear on camera for the remainder of his WWE contract, which he signed on Dec. 15, 2015.
WWE would not confirm this but did tell CBS Sports in a statement that Ranallo remains under contract with the company until Aug. 12, 2017.
Ranallo did not appear at WrestleMania 33 and has been absent from WWE television since it was announced on a March 14 episode of “SmackDown Live” that he would miss the show due to inclement weather on the East Coast. The following week, WWE announced that Ranallo was off television due to an illness.
Ranallo has been credited with injecting incredible energy into everything he broadcasts and was a big reason why many fans flocked to “SmackDown Live” following WWE’s brand split last last year. Tom Phillips has taken over main play-by-play duties for Ranallo, and WWE recently signed Hall of Fame broadcaster Jim Ross to a two-year contract that will likely result in sporadic on-air appearances.
An advocate for mental health who has been outspoken about his lifelong battle, nicknaming himself “The Bipolar Rock and Roller,” Ranallo tweeted out the following message on March 24 that has since been deleted: “I’m deeply touched by your tweets of support. My doctor wants me to stay off social media for now but I wanted to thank you.”
Ranallo, who has previously worked as the voice of Glory kickboxing and mixed martial arts promotions Pride and Strikeforce, also removed a March 29 tweet in which he wished his “@WWE family another AMAZING #WrestleMania.” He has remained active on Twitter over the past week.
A native of British Columbia, Canada, Ranallo began his pro wrestling broadcasting career in Vancouver at the age of 16 with NWA All-Star Wrestling. Before coming to WWE, he was the American voice of New Japan Pro Wrestling on AXS TV.