JBL has commented on the controversy between himself and former WWE commentator Mauro Ranallo.
John Bradshaw Layfield allegedly bullied former WWE commentator Mauro Ranallo prior to his exit, despite a statement from Ranallo claiming that his departure was ‘nothing to do with JBL’.
JBL has now addressed the rumors during an interview with The Hannibal TV, where he stated that his comments were never meant with any malicious intent, and that some of it was him being in character.
“I could have deserved it, I don’t know you know. We were younger we broke balls and I was a loud guy from the south, and a lot of people, I think, took that wrong. I can tell you like with Mauro there was never any malicious intent ever toward anything I said to Mauro anything I said on camera, that was all in character. But you know, some of it can be deserved. I’m not trying to rewrite my history. I wasn’t a saint. We drank a lot, we ran the roads, and we always love to crack on each other. It was just part of what we did. I think a lot of people took that wrong, and some of it could have gone too far. I’m not trying to excuse anything I’ve done.”
“When we started, we protected the business 24/7. So I wrestled in Europe for Otto Wanz. We had to be in character 24/7, we lived on the parking lots outside of the carnival tents and had to wrestle and so he wanted us in character all the time, not just in the ring, you know? Some guy tries to get an autograph from you, you bark at them, you know, and that kind of carried forward. I don’t think there’s any doubt that some of that went too far, and some of it was me being in character. Again, I’m not trying to excuse myself. I’m just kind of explaining, from my perspective, kind of how it happened.”
JBL continued by talking about WWE Network series ‘Bring It To The Table’, where he ranted about Ranallo winning announcer of the year award.
“We did this show called Bring It To The Table and everybody points to that show being the point of me taking a shot at Mauro. Well, on that show, before we did it, There were about three to five minutes we needed for the show. They said, ‘What can we do?’ They 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 I went on the show. I did a rant on the show about how they’re calling Mauro the number one announcer. He’s retweeted it, and blah, blah, blah, 100% in character, and people talk about that poll, and I was so jealous of that poll that I went on TV and talks about it. I didn’t know the poll existed until right before we went on the show and I just assumed Mauro knew that that was something I had done in character. “
“That was just me being JBL on camera. I think Mauro took that the wrong way. I hope now he realizes that that was something that I did that was 100% in character. I saw Mauro a few weeks later, everything fell out and I became the bad guy with everything, and I saw him standing by his car on his phone. I think it was New Orleans. Anyway, I walked across the parking lot and he was on his phone so I couldn’t talk to him. But I shook his hand. I just went across, shook his hand and he said, ‘How you doing, man?’ I said, ‘Good, brother, and I just left. [I wanted to] let him know that there was no ill-intent, at least me toward him. I regret the whole situation. I wish that Mauro had known for sure. I think that was one of the things that was really upsetting. I know it was upsetting to a lot of fans because they all talked about that show.”
Following his WWE hiatus, Ranallo made his return to commentary on NXT, where he stayed until his official departure in 2020.