According to a report from NewsWeek, WWE SmackDown Live commentator Mauro Ranallo and the company have decided to part ways. Ranallo issued the following statement to announce the news:
“WWE and I have mutually agreed to part ways. It has nothing to do with JBL,” Ranallo told Newsweek by email.
JBL also got the opportunity to respond to the news in a statement to NewsWeek:
“Admittedly, I took part in locker room pranks that existed within the industry years ago,” Layfield told Newsweek in a statement. “WWE addressed my behavior and I responded accordingly, yet my past is being brought up because of recent unfounded rumors. I apologize if anything I said playing ‘the bad guy’ on a TV show was misconstrued.”
The WWE had this to say as it regards to JBL:
“As part of our commitment to creating an inclusive environment, in April 2011, WWE launched our anti-bullying campaign, Be a STAR, which encourages young people to treat each other with tolerance and respect.”
“As a publicly traded company, that mantra carries forward in our corporate culture. As such, we fully investigate any allegations of inappropriate behavior including the recent alleged situation with John Layfield (aka JBL), despite no formal complaint having been submitted.”