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REPORT: The real reason why JBL is leaving WWE Smackdown

Sports Illustrated has more details on John Bradshaw Layfield’s departure from WWE. Despite some speculation online, his departure had nothing to do with Mauro Ranallo. There was speculation that the reason given (leaving to work with at-risk youth in Bermuda) was a cover story but that is not the case.’s Justin Barrasso reports that the decision for JBL to exit WWE began last October when contract expired. He put in his notice well before the Ranallo allegations began. The story also states that JBL was not the primary person of interest in the Ranallo story and Vince McMahon’s stubbornness and refusal to cave into public pressure meant that JBL would not be disciplined for his actions. However, there were people on WWE’s Board of Directors that were appalled that JBL was able to keep a high-profile on-air position with the company after the Ranallo story gained steam in the media.

The SI story goes on to say that travel was another issue for JBL because, as arranged by WWE, he was scheduled to arrive on Sunday’s but would not be on-air until Tuesday’s Smackdown Live. Later, JBL would, on his own, change the travel plans so that he would arrive on Tuesday’s, just in time for Smackdown Live. This, according to Barrasso at, was going on for two months and JBL surprised executives by giving his notice when he was confronted about the flights being rescheduled.

Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton will remain on the announce team but, as of this writing, there is no word on who will replace JBL. There were rumors going around this weekend about Renee Young but she has already shot that down.

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