Earlier this summer, Mauro Ranallo announced he was departing WWE after a near five-year run with the company. Ranallo initially worked as the lead play-by-play man for WWE SmackDown, but he eventually transitioned to NXT due to issues with a main roster co-worker. Despite enjoying his time on the black and yellow brand, Ranallo said he was ready to move on because the gig was hurting his mental health.

Speaking on The Arn Show, former WWE road agent Arn Anderson spoke about Ranallo’s departure. According to Anderson, he believes some of the locker room was intimidated by the Bipolar Rock-n-Roller because he came in with an already established reputation.

“He made a couple of mistakes. He was d–n good at what he did. He came in and kept his mouth shut,” Anderson said. “He was on time and he had a reputation that came with him, which I would think some of those guys sitting there with headsets must have felt threatened by. That would be my best guess because that’s probably why you pick on the new guy – when you see a threat in him. And he was d–n good, and he is d–n good at what he does. Very intelligent, his pacing.”

Anderson went on to praise Ranallo’s commentary style, mentioning how he was completely unique from all other announcers.

“When he does commentary, [he] is totally different than anybody else you’ve ever heard,” Anderson said. “He lends excitement to what he’s talking about. It sounds and feels legitimate.”

Because of WWE’s power structure, many people enter the company walking on egg shells. The coach of the Nightmare Family says he thinks Ranallo kept to himself because of that dynamic, which allowed him to occasionally get walked on.

“I think he had a run-in with a couple of the guys and didn’t know he could fight back, if that’s in him. Because it’s a definite shark tank, this business,” Anderson said. “You better have thick skin and you better know when the cutoff point is. When some guy’s on your shoulder giving you a bunch of s–t, that’s when it’s time to pop them in the mouth with an elbow and look after yourself. You figure that out in the business. I don’t think that Mauro got that far. It was unfortunate. I thought it was a loss for the company because the guy did a great job. That’s my best recollection of what happened.”

When asked if stories like Ranallo’s reinforce the idea that WWE needs a culture change, The Enforcer believes the answer is obvious.

“Well, of course it does,” Anderson said. “I’ve always come from a man’s world. Wrestling, for me when I started, was a different cutthroat. It is way more cutthroat than it is now. No one was helping you along gently by the arm. There was no such thing as ‘Cut, let’s do that again.’ None of that existed.

“It was a tough business, and the one thing you learned right away is you are respectful of every single person that had been in the business before you and is in the business currently. You showed that respect, and when somebody stepped on your neck, you didn’t wait to see if it was okay to get their foot off their neck. You bit the frigging ankle off. That’s the world where I came from.”

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit The Arn Show with an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

Mehdy Labriny contributed to this article.

Mehdy Labriny contributed to this article.