Mauro Ranallo is widely recognized as one of the most passionate and energetic combat sports commentators around. He currently calls the action for the mixed martial arts organization Bellator, as well as providing play-by-play during major boxing events for Showtime. Ranallo, who is a longtime pro wrestling fan, has previously commentated for New Japan Pro-Wrestling, WWE, and Impact Wrestling, but has a stint with AEW ever been on his radar?
“There was a conversation with Ranallo’s management some time back,” Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer revealed on Twitter earlier this morning, responding to a tweet asking him about the potential of Ranallo joining Tony Khan’s promotion. Meltzer did not provide any further details about the apparent talks, but fans responded favorably, with one replying, “I would love to hear Mauro on AEW!”
There was a conversation with Ranallo's management some time back. https://t.co/P8YvlwrOJw
— Dave Meltzer (@davemeltzerWON) July 21, 2022
Ranallo began his wrestling career at the age of 16 after securing his first gig with All Star Wrestling, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He would later go on to commentate for Stampede Wrestling between 1999 and 2000 before entering the world of combat sports. Ranallo later linked up with NJPW in 2015 to become the voice of their content in the United States, until he received a call from WWE to join the sports entertainment giant as the voice of “SmackDown.” In 2017, reports emerged that Ranallo was being bullied by fellow “SmackDown” commentator John “Bradshaw” Layfield behind the scenes. Ranallo ultimately parted ways with WWE following the allegations, but returned a few months later to become the lead commentator for “NXT,” a position he held until 2020. Ranallo would reappear the following year for Impact Wrestling, calling the main event match between Rich Swann and Kenny Omega at Rebellion. This particular bout was a title vs. title match involving the Impact World Championship and the AEW World Championship.
Ranallo, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 19 following the death of his best friend, is also a mental health advocate. The struggles he’s faced throughout his life were chronicled in a documentary by Showtime, “Bipolar Rock ‘N Roller,” while Ranallo was still under contract with WWE. Ranallo continues to challenge the stigma surrounding mental illness through his work.
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