Mauro Ranallo

Mauro Ranallo Opens Up On Reason He Left WWE: “I Didn’t Like What Was Happening …”

In a rare interview with postwrestling.com, Mauro Ranallo talked about his career as a WWE commentator, including making the decision to leave the company. Ranallo, who spoke positively of his experience in the company and those he worked with, while alluding to his mental health as one of the main reasons he had to step down:

“WWE is one of the most mentally grueling places. And that’s not necessarily a criticism, by any means. There’s a reason Vince McMahon has built a multi-billion dollar empire. Is it perfect? Not by any means, but neither am I. And I chose at a late age in life, 46, to go to WWE when they courted me, and it was a dream come true. I wanted to work with WWE as a play-by-play announcer, because I thought it would be not only an affirmation of my accomplishments, and my achievements and who I am as a broadcaster, but because of the connection I had with pro wrestling going back to the very beginning of my life. One of the few things that my father, mother, and my siblings really bonded around. And so pro wrestling has always had a special place in my heart … Making [it to] WWE was very special to me for many reasons.”

“Now, I thought Jerry Lawler and Byron Saxton and I had instant chemistry, but they made the changes they felt they had to make. It’s their company, I’ve proven I can work with almost anyone as a broadcaster. But yeah, there were many times where I’m like, ‘What is going on here?’ Like a four-man booth, an eight-man — there was a picture someone had on Twitter where there were literally eight people on headsets. I get it, but that’s not what I want as a commentator. I get the stressful situations, I get the changes on the fly. It’s just the system there. But for me and my mental health — even moving to NXT where, when we were live it was the best experience I could ask for. And that’s a testament to what Triple H and everyone down in NXT has done. I just felt, for my own mental health — and it was becoming more and more apparent, doing the show even from home.”

“I know many people [were like] ‘How the hell can this guy quit a high-paying gig, high-profile gig of which there are so few in this world? How could he leave?’ it was to the point where I would have panic attacks in the morning of the recordings of the last few months. And I didn’t like — with all due respect, I didn’t like what was happening with who was involved. And all respect to all announcers, but I also believe in chemistry. And maybe I was the problem. On show day, I’m not a great guy to be around because I’m completely effing focused. I’m prepared, and I expect everyone else to be the same. And there was another reason. I’m a play-by-play announcer. I think I’m one of the better ones in the business. And I need to be left alone at times.”

“I want to thank WWE for everything. They have improved my standing in the world. They have allowed me, I believe, to get other opportunities. The fanbase and their treatment of yours truly, their support of my documentary … it was, like my life, filled with highs and lows, trials and tribulations. Sometimes, you know, when the dream comes true it doesn’t necessarily remain a dream. Sometimes you’re not supposed to meet your heroes. I am blessed I met everyone. I am so thankful I got to work with one of the most creative minds, one of the greatest promoters ever in Vince McMahon. Did we see eye to eye? No, but I think that was also a respect he had for me, and the one I have for him. He has his vision, and I have my vision. And NXT was my vision. And unfortunately like everything else, it just became too much for me. And I’m at a stage where I need to be comfortable. Needless to say, I need to be comfortable. And the only place really right now that I’m comfortable is with people that I’ve known a long time [in Showtime].”

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