Mauro Ranallo and WWE have mutually agreed to part ways, Ranallo revealed to Newsweek in a new story posted today by Tufayel Ahmed. He will still remain under WWE contract through August 12th.
As noted, Ranallo was rumored to have had issues with JBL, which reportedly escalated after Ranallo tweeted out results of him winning the "Wrestling Observer Announcer of the Year" award for 2016. JBL was visibly frustrated with Ranallo and went on a public rant on Bring It To The Table in March, stating that Ranallo "has a hundred and 80 something thousand tweets, and by the time this show airs, maybe 2 hundred something thousand."
"That is a problem, okay? And he [Ranallo] retweets some Internet poll," JBL said on Bring It To The Table. "We have, what, two million people who watch SmackDown in the United States alone, and you have some Internet poll with 12 people on it?"
Tension had reportedly been building between both men up until that point. Ranallo missed the following SmackDown tapings on March 14th, and has not appeared on WWE television since. Several past stories of JBL's behavior resurfaced. JBL issued a statement to Newsweek, noting that he would take place in locker room pranks in the past, but WWE addressed his behavior.
"Admittedly, I took part in locker room pranks that existed within the industry years ago," JBL said. "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."
WWE also issued a statement to Newsweek stating that they "fully investigate any allegations of inappropriate behavior," including the JBL situation, however it was not clear if the investigation was ongoing. Below is their statement:
"As part of our commitment to creating an inclusive environment, in April 2011, WWE launched our anti-bullying campaign, Be a STAR, which encourages young people to treat each other with tolerance and respect.
"As a publicly traded company, that mantra carries forward in our corporate culture. As such, we fully investigate any allegations of inappropriate behavior including the recent alleged situation with John Layfield (aka JBL), despite no formal complaint having been submitted."