In a new interview with POST Wrestling, former NXT announcer Mauro Ranallo has discussed the reasons for his departure from WWE in August.
Mauro Ranallo joined WWE in late 2015, debuting on television in January of the following year as the lead announcer on Friday Night SmackDown. Ranallo left the SmackDown announce team in March 2017, before returning to become NXT’s lead commentator in June of the same year.
At the time of his departure from WWE, Ranallo noted that he wanted to spend more time on “my other projects and to my mental health charitable activities and the well-being of my mother and myself.” While he most recently appeared as a commentator on the Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr pay-per-view in November.
Speaking on his departure Ranallo said;
“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. I chose to go to WWE and it was a dream come true. I wanted to work with WWE because I thought it would be an affirmation of my achievements as a broadcaster, but because of the connection I had with pro wrestling. I thought Jerry Lawler and Byron Saxton and I had instant chemistry, but they made the changes they felt they had to make. I’ve proven I can work with almost anyone as a broadcaster, but there were many times I was like, ‘what is going on here?’ Four-man booth, an eight-man booth. I get it, but that’s not what I want as a commentator. I get the stressful situations and the changes on the fly and the system, but for my mental health, even moving to NXT — when we were live, it was the best experience I could ask for, and that’s a testament to what Triple H and everyone in NXT has done.”
He went on to reveal that he would suffer from panic attacks before recording, and that he “didn’t like what was happening” at the time.
“I just felt, for my own mental health, even doing the show from home, it was to the point where I would have a panic attack in the morning of the recordings in the last few months. All respect, I didn’t like what was happening and who was involved. All respect to all announcers, I believe in chemistry. Maybe I was the problem. On show day, I’m not a great guy to be around because I’m focused. I’m prepared and I expect everyone else to be the same. I’m a play-by-play announcer, and I think I’m one of the best in business, I need to be left alone at times,”
The NXT announce booth is currently occupied by Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett and Beth Phoenix, who called the brand’s most recent TakeOver special, WarGames on 6th December.
h/t to Fightful for the transcription.