Fans were surprised when WWE let NXT and SmackDown announcer Rich Brennan go a few weeks back, shortly before the slew of releases now being called "Black Friday 2016".
Apparently, Brennan himself was caught off guard. Combine that with a Tweet from his wife which pointed fingers at the still-employed (and in one of Rich's old jobs as NXT play-by-play voice) Tom Phillips, and the whole thing got a lot more interest than the typical departure of a backstage interviewer.
One person we hadn't heard from was the man himself. Brennan, who's real name - and the name he'll be doing hockey and other announcing under - is Rich Bocchini, gave the following statement to Uproxx's With Spandex:
As someone who grew up as a wrestling fan, I'm beyond appreciative to have had the opportunity to do something so many dream about.
I'm incredibly grateful to have learned from so many great minds in the business. In particular, I will always cherish learning from and getting to know Dusty Rhodes.
Calling the action for some of the cornerstone moments of NXT as it grew was amazing. Hopefully my enthusiasm and passion translated to viewers.
I'm proud of what I accomplished during my run with WWE. I know I grew as a wrestling announcer, and definitely got better as an all-around play-by-announcer and TV presenter.
I can hold my head up high knowing I worked hard, treated everyone with respect, and generally went about my business quietly behind the scenes.
There's excitement for what the next chapter brings. I have a passion for hockey and would enjoy calling games again, and feel my style of calling wrestling could fit somewhere if the opportunity arises.
Classy stuff from Rich. Regardless of what led to his exit, here's hoping he gets another chance to call wrestling down the line, and lots of work at ice rinks until then.