As was recently announced, long time Smackdown announcer JBL is leaving the company, at least on a full-time basis, so that he can work more with at risk children and other projects outside the WWE. While many have said that his leaving the company is related to the rumored issues between JBL and former Smackdown/ Current NXT announcer Muro Ranallo, a new report says that wasn’t the case.
Sports Illustrated has published a report saying that JBL has been planning on leaving the company for nearly a year now. SI reports that JBL’s contract with the WWE ended in October of last year and that he had given his notice, well before any of the alleged bullyings of Ranallo had taken place. Ranallo has denied the bullying took place, but not all the fans believe him.
The main reason for JBL leaving seems to be the travel. JBL is located in Bermuda now and has to fly out of there to make the Smackdown tapings. The WWE requires that talent is in town at least the day before, and with flights and connections he has to take from Bermuda, it means sometimes JBL has to leave on Sundays for Tuesday tapings. Combined with the fact that JBL really doesn’t need to do this as he is pretty much financially set for the rest of his life, it seems he’s stayed with the company this long just because he likes it, despite the travel. There have been calls in recent months for the WWE to dismiss him in the wake of the bullying stories and allegations, but the company stood its ground and refused to punish JBL or take him off TV.
Regardless of the Mauro Ranallo rumors, JBL has long been known as a bully of the WWE locker room. There are stories of him bullying referees, wrestlers, and even announcers going back many years with the company. However, despite these rumors, he was always seen as one of Vince McMahon’s favorites. Some have even accused of JBL’s bullying to be at McMahon’s orders or insistence, even after the company became a publically traded business. Wherever the truth lies, it seems those days are being put to a rest with JBL’s announcement.
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