NXT Commentator Mauro Ranallo Leaving WWE

NXT play-by-play commentator Mauro Ranallo has been absent from WWE programming since just before NXT TakeOver: XXX. And now, according to Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer, Ranallo is on his way out of the company. Meltzer tweeted on Monday night, "Mauro Ranallo and WWE are parting ways," then stated more details would be on the way shortly. He later reported that the two sides parted ways on good terms and received confirmation from Ranallo.

"I appreciate the opportunity I had to realize my childhood dream of working in sports entertainment, and I wish WWE well in the future," Ranallo told the outlet. "Now I want to direct my focus and devote my time to my other projects and to my mental health charitable activities and the well-being of my mother and myself."

Ranallo initially signed with WWE in December 2015 and took a full-time role as the play-by-play commentator for SmackDown, though he initially left the position in March 2017 due to a battle with depression. He and the company agreed to mutually part ways, but signed a new deal in mid-2017 that had him take on a new role as the play-by-play commentator for the Black and Gold Brand.

When NXT made its two-hour live debut on the USA Network in October 2019, Triple H spoke with ComicBook and sang Ranallo's praises as a commentator.

"I had seen a lot of his commentary in boxing and in MMA, and people complain, Oh my God, this guy's so over the top. He's such a gimmick. It's too much.' But then other people were like, 'He's the greatest commentator in the industry. He brings an excitement level and so much passion to it.' I saw it, I loved what he did. I loved the excitement and the passion that he brought to it, and the entertainment component to it," he said. "I laughed at things he said, and found them entertaining for me. So when we started to work together, to me, it was just this crazy thing, and the truth is, when we brought him in and then he ended up going to SmackDown for a little bit, the whole time I was like, 'This isn't the right place for him. It's the wrong fit."

"And it ended up being the wrong fit for a lot of reasons," he continued. "This is the fit. This is his wheelhouse. He's an encyclopedia of knowledge that for hardcore or for passionate fans, man, he's got it all. To the casual fan, he almost overwhelms you with like, I don't even sometimes know what he's talking about. Sometimes, I don't know what he's talking about it... Or sometimes he brings up these terms from Japan or something, and I'm like, 'Can't you just call it a suplex or something,' right? Like it's just easier. But he's awesome, and the thing that I love about him, I love to watch... We have a spycam on Mauro, and I love to watch him... Sometimes we put them up on YouTube. His excitement to me, and the brand is contagious. His passion for it, man, when he is talking, and when he's into it, yeah, it's crazy. He's also aware of when he's over the top, and there's moments in time where sometimes I see him be over the top, and I will say to him, 'Oh my God Mauro, you're going to have a stroke or something.'

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He concluded — "And he will look at me in the spycam. He can't see me, but he knows I'm looking, and he'll be like *shrugs.* He knows he's doing it.'"

Ranallo is the third major WWE employee to depart from the company in recent weeks. Renee Young announced her final day with the company during the SummerSlam kickoff panel, while news broke on Monday afternoon that Brock Lesnar's WWE contract had expired.