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The real reason why Tom Phillips was added to the Smackdown announce team

Mauro Ranallo’s time in WWE may have been limited even without the John Layfield (JBL) issues. Vince McMahon was said to be getting frustrated at Ranallo’s announcing style and that’s when he brought in Tom Phillips to be the 4th man at the announce table. I think most people saw the writing on the wall and the feeling was that Ranallo’s days were numbered.

Ranallo’s hip hop references or references to wrestlers like Kazuchika Okada were not going to help his cause. I think that if someone would have pulled him aside and told him to tone down on the references then he would have done so. Keep in mind, when Ranallo was first brought in, he was told to call the action as if he was calling a sport and to be himself because McMahon wanted Smackdown to feel different than Raw. McMahon got tired of Ranallo’s style after a few months and that’s when the problems picked up.

There have been several people in WWE, including wrestlers, that have reached out to Ranallo to offer support. There were some wrestlers that preferred having Ranallo calling their matches because, like Jim Ross, he would do a better job than most at getting the match and the performers over.

Michael Cole had put together a list of rules for announcers. One of the rules was that the heel announcer could not publicly emasculate the lead announcer. Those rules never applied to JBL.

In a recent interview with Under The Mat Radio, former WWE announcer Rich Brennan said the following on JBL: “JBL was difficult to work with as a broadcast partner, it’s nothing you can do about it because that’s Vince’s (McMahon” guy. With this whole thing going on (Mauro situation) I don’t know but it seems like he’s entrenched there. He basically violates all rules when it comes to broadcast announcers in how we are trained to be announcers because he can. Difficult to work with part of that is his heel persona, some of that is if he (JBL) doesn’t like you or respect you then it’s dialed up little bit. At times I felt like he really didn’t work to make the product better he was just there to get himself over. Backstage he was ok to me, can I see him giving Mauro a hard time? Absolutely I can …”

As of this writing, WWE has not commented on any of the JBL stories. If you haven’t read the JBL-Lilian Garcia story then click here to check it out.


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