Mauro Ranallo: WWE ‘Became Too Much For Me,’ Calls NXT His Vision
Photo by Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for WWE
Former WWE announcer Mauro Ranallo recently spoke with POST Wrestling, and he reflected on his departure from WWE. He left the company, after a nearly five-year long run, earlier this year. During the interview, Ranallo said that he left WWE because the environment was detrimental to his mental health.
Here are some highlights:
On leaving WWE:
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, it was a dream come true. I wanted to work for WWE as a play-by-play announcer because I thought it would be not only an affirmation of my accomplishments and my achievements and what and who I am as a broadcaster. But because the connection I had with pro wrestling going back to the very beginning of my life. … Pro wrestling has always had a special place in my heart.
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, and I know god bless his soul, Jim Cornette and many people, how the hell can this guy quit a high-paying gig, high-profile gig, of which there are so few in this world, and actually he could do the show from his home, they’re allowing him to do the show from home remotely, how could he leave?
It was to the point that I would have panic attacks in the morning of the recordings of the last few months. And I just 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. … I need to be left alone at times. So I want to thank WWE for everything. They have improved my standing in the world, they’ve allowed me I believe to get other opportunities.
The shoot is this: it was like my life. [t was] 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 that I met everyone [in WWE].
On his frustrations with the company:
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 these stressful situations, I get the changes on the fly, or it’s just the system there.
On working with Vince McMahon:
I am so thankful I got to work with one of the most creative minds, one of the greatest promoters ever, 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 had 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 now where I need to be comfortable.
The full interview is available here: