We noted before how JBL surprisingly announced that he will be stepping back from his weekly broadcasting duties on Smackdown Live to dedicate more time to at-risk youth and communities in Bermuda.
His sudden departure kicked off all kinds of rumors and many wondered if it has something to do with the recent allegations of bullying on the former WWE Champion involving former SmackDown commentator Mauro Ranallo. Though apparently, that’s not the case.
Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated is reporting that JBL’s departure is not abrupt and it’s something he had planned in advance, even before the bullying allegations came to light.
According to the site, it started almost 11 months ago back in October last year, when his contract expired and he put in his notice with the company at that point.
Another reason why he decided to leave was travel issues with the company. WWE’s travel arrangements used to bring him on board on Sunday, while he had nothing to do till the SmackDown episode on Tuesday nights.
So JBL reportedly changed his travel arrangements to arrive on Tuesday, just in time for SmackDown Live. He was burnt out from the travel and when he was confronted about it, the Smackdown star decided to leave.
Though as we noted before, John’s departure appears to be on friendly terms as he is still expected to work on Marquee WWE shows such as WrestleMania or Tribute To The Troops. Corey Graves has been announced as the replacement for JBL on SmackDown.