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By Mike Johnson on 2017-04-07 10:00:00

I was reading about Mauro Ranallo's depression issues and was wondering if WWE should just let him go so he can concentrate on getting well?  I saw that Bas Rutten has blamed JBL for the depression problem and was wondering if that means that should Mauro come back, if that team should be split.  There was a story going around that Mauro was being bullied by JBL because he won The Wrestling Observer announcer of the year award - if that is true, how can WWE allow JBL to remain employed?  Is it possible JBL's WWE Network series was canceled as punishment for this?

You are throwing a lot at me here, so let's break this down as easily as we can.

1 - WWE cannot fire Mauro for a health issue.  That's illegal and if they did so, they would certainly be left in an actionable position.  Doing so would also paint them out to be the worst place imagineable.  Mauro could certainly ask to be released so he can concentrate on his health, but WWE letting him go because of his issues would be beyond screwed up.

2 - If JBL heeling Mauro on the air on Smackdown is an issue, that's going to be something Mauro will have to decide he wants to allow himself to be around.  Mauro is an excellent broadcaster and I've always liked him, but at some point, whether its JBL or Charlotte Flair or Corey Graves, someone is going to insult the babyface announcer over the course of a broadcast.  That's how wrestling works.  It's not like calling another sport.  There are announcers who are antagonists.  Mauro is a pro and I doubt he really took such on-air jabs to heart, but if he did, that is something he is going to have to deal with.

3 - I've heard the Wrestling Observer story mentioned as well.  I don't think there was bullying in terms of JBL cornering him and berating him.  That story apparently originated out of JBL mocking Mauro for winning an "Internet award" on "Bring It To The Table."  Is it true?  I can't say 100% but this is how I look at it: until or unless Mauro disavows that version of the story, it's important to note that MMA star Bas Rutten was the one knocking JBL for causing Mauro's bout with depression.  Rutten has never come off like someone who is going to throw things out there just to create problems and is close friends with Ranallo.  So, all that lends credence to the story.  If Rutten is correct, JBL does come off like a complete bully and jerk.  To me, if JBL is insulting Mauro to help get over an angle or a story while on Smackdown, that's fair game and should be fair game.    If he's crapping on the guy because Mauro is so good that a group of fans vote he's the best, well, that's just comes off ill-advised at best and shallow, jealous, and pathetic at worse.  Honestly, WWE should edit it out of the episode immediately out of respect for Mauro, even if the story isn't true.  Why leave it sitting there for people to speculate?  Plus, even if JBL personally didn't think the award is worthwhile, knocking a guy for winning it comes off really bad.  But, this is a guy who physically assaulted The Blue Meanie live on PPV, so I doubt he cares whether he comes off really bad to begin with.  All that said, JBL has never publicly acknowledged the situation, so we don't know what his side is.  But, Rutten's claims made JBL look REAL bad. 

Update - since I initially wrote this response, JBL did respond to the situation, writing:

4 - Unless the story blossoms into something that is going to garner the company negative publicity within mainstream media stories, nothing will be done, unless if Mauro returns and asks to not have to work with JBL.   WWE management has always liked JBL and I don't see him getting let go, not over the comments about Mauro or even the allegations Justin Roberts laid out in his autobiography.   It's possible they could (and probably should) change the commentary team.  I can see the company telling JBL to lay off Mauro but beyond that, I don't suspect there will be any major ramifications.  I think the company is hoping Mauro returns to his duties and everyone moves on.   That's the best case scenario for the company.  The worst case scenario is the issue blows up, especially given all the Be A Star rallies and other community outreach they do.

5 - I don't believe the cancellation had anything to do with any Mauro issues.

With WWE always looking for a way to attract younger viewers and with WrestleMania being in Orlando, why didn't WWE partner with Walt Disney World or Universal in the mainstream media?  They already do stuff with ESPN, which is owned by Disney and also NBC. 

WWE already partners with Universal as they are owned by Comcast.  In the past, they have done AXXESS at Universal Orlando.  They weren't going to push fans to go to those parks as they want their audience spending their money at WWE events.

My question is regarding WWE broadcast television (Raw and Smackdown live).I want to know that even if the shows are live,are they broadcast on a slight delay.I ask this due to the "F.U." chants hurled at Roman reigns,and the "F-that owl"chants during the Hardys match.Were the censors asleep,or does the show not air on a slight delay,and do you think its possible for chants like these to out live again in the future?

They could have bleeped it, but my guess is that since it was the crowd doing it, someone didn't catch it or feel it was important enough of an issue to hit the button.   The show airs on a short delay, as in less than a minute.

 Do you remember a short run character before the attitude era named Waylon Mercy (I believe Dan Spivey played him)?  I liked the character and looking back now I think it might have worked had he debuted during the attitude era.

That as Spivey.  Issues with his knees caused the character, loosely based on Robert DeNiro's character in Cape Fear to have its run canceled.

Has there been any announcement regarding WWE network adding tiers with independent wrestling etc.??

Not yet, but it's coming.

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