Mauro Ranallo's absence from WWE television reportedly won't last much longer. According to Pro Wrestling Sheet's Ryan Satin, Ranallo has told WWE officials that he plans on returning from his brief hiatus for this week's episode of NXT. Following NXT TakeOver: WarGames, Triple H stated during a media conference call that all three members of the NXT broadcast team would be involved the following day at Survivor Series, given that NXT was going head-to-head with Raw and SmackDown in a battle for "brand supremacy." But before the show Ranallo deleted his Twitter account, and missed both the pay-per-view and the next episode of NXT.
While he's remained silent on the matter, many fans and reports pointed at Corey Graves as the culprit for Ranallo's absence. During TakeOver: WarGames, Graves posted a pair of tweets subtweeting Ranallo, which reportedly upset the boxing and MMA commentator.
"Just for the record guys, I know you wouldn't know it, but there's actually a WWE Hall of Famer AND a former Ring of Honor Champion on commentary," Graves wrote. "I'd imagine they have a lot to offer."
Graves initially lashed out at people reporting he was responsible for Ranallo's hiatus, but he later deleted the tweets and gave an apology on his After The Bell podcast.
"This past Saturday, during the TakeOver: WarGames event I sent out a tweet," Graves said. "It was an unpopular opinion, as I often do with the intention of just stirring up a little controversy, maybe have something fun to talk about on TV or here on the show. It was maybe not the most professional way to go about things, and it was never meant to offend or disrespect or disparage anybody. That was never my intention. If it was taken as such, I apologize deeply. That was not my intention. I would never intentionally cause anybody undue stress, especially a co-worker. So, I apologize."
Ranallo first started working as a WWE commentator for SmackDown in January 2016. He initially stepped away from the company in March 2017, but returned in June in his new role on NXT.
This week's NXT will feature Killian Dain vs. Damian Priest, Dakota Kai vs. Rhea Ripley and the fallout from Finn Balor's win over Tommaso Ciampa and subsequent attack on NXT Champion Adam Cole.