JBL has addressed the allegations that he bullied fellow WWE commentator Mauro Ranallo and says he regrets the entire situation.
John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield worked with Ranallo at the announce desk on SmackDown for several months between 2016 and 2017. In April 2017, Mauro Ranallo announced he was stepping away from WWE but Ranallo said at the time his leaving had nothing to do with JBL after rumours emerged that JBL had allegedly treated Ranallo poorly.
Speaking about the situation on The Hannibal TV, WWE Hall Of Famer JBL sought to clear up the confusion and says his initial comments on Mauro Ranallo that aired on the WWE Network were all in character:
“They [WWE producers] said, ‘Hey, there’s this internet poll that makes Mauro the number one announcer. Can you do something on that?’ I said, ‘Yeah, of course.’ So when we went on the show, I did a rant on the show about, ‘They’re calling Mauro the number one announcer? He’s retweeted it, blah, blah, blah.’ One hundred percent in character, and people talk about that poll that I was so jealous of that poll that I went on TV and talked about it. I didn’t know the poll existed until right before we went on the show. And that was me, I just assumed Mauro knew that that was something I had done in character.”
“A few weeks later, everything fell out and I became the bad guy with everything. I saw he was standing for a car and he was on his phone. I think it was New Orleans. Anyway, I walked across the parking lot. He was on his phone so I couldn’t talk to him, but I shook his hand, just went across, shook his hand, and he said, ‘How you doing, man?’ I said, ‘It’s good, brother,’ and left, just to let him know that there was no ill intent, at least of me toward him. I regret the whole situation.”
Mauro Ranallo returned to WWE two months after his initial exit, this time as the voice of NXT. He held this role for three years before leaving WWE once again at the end of August 2020.