JBL has addressed reports that he bullied former co-commentator Mauro Ranallo, saying that he regrets the whole situation.
John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield and Mauro Ranallo were the commentary team for WWE SmackDown for several months from the end of 2016 and in to 2017. Ranallo stepped away from WWE in April 2017, however he made a point that this was not because of the rumoured bullying he received from former World Champion JBL.
Speaking on The Hannibal TV, the Hall Of Famer looked to clear up some confusion about comments he made towards Ranallo, saying that his comments were made completely in character rather than with any malice.
They [WWE producers] said, ‘Hey, there’s this internet poll that makes Mauro the number one announcer. Can you do something on that?’ I said, ‘Yeah, of course.’ So when we went on the show, I did a rant on the show about, ‘They’re calling Mauro the number one announcer? He’s retweeted it, blah, blah, blah.’ One hundred percent in character, and people talk about that poll that I was so jealous of that poll that I went on TV and talked about it. I didn’t know the poll existed until right before we went on the show. And that was me, I just assumed Mauro knew that that was something I had done in character.
A few weeks later, everything fell out and I became the bad guy with everything. I saw he was standing for a car and he was on his phone. I think it was New Orleans. Anyway, I walked across the parking lot. He was on his phone so I couldn’t talk to him, but I shook his hand, just went across, shook his hand, and he said, ‘How you doing, man?’ I said, ‘It’s good, brother,’ and left, just to let him know that there was no ill intent, at least of me toward him. I regret the whole situation.
Ranallo did return to the company for a further three years when he joined the commentary team on NXT. He would go on to leave the company again at the end of August 2020.
With thanks to Sportskeeda Wrestling for the transcription.