Last night (March 14) on SmackDown, the announce team was half its normal size thanks to a variety of factors. Tom Phillips & JBL were the only two members of the usual staff present, as David Otunga was away filming a movie, and Mauro Ranallo’s travel plans were done in by Winter Storm Stella.
The change was noticed by viewers, and a few folks who’ve worked as WWE commentators in the past. The latter group especially seemed to be critical of Ranallo, comparing it to times they made shows in conditions similar to the weather which has hit the Midwest and Northeast United States this week.
Taz brought it up today on his radio show:
You can not miss a show. You can’t. You can’t miss a show. When you miss a show - in no order of preference - you get heat with the locker room, you get heat with your boss, you get heat with your broadcast colleagues. It’s just not a regular job. You are there once a week, and you are making a lot of money with a massive, massive platform. You’ve got to be there. You’ve got to make the shot. No matter what happens. Mauro is from Canada, okay, so he’s well-versed when it comes to weather and snow. People knew the storm was coming for days.
He’d go on to say it was especially bad to miss a show so close to WrestleMania, and intimate it could mean Tom Phillips is another step closer to taking Ranallo’s job while speculating Mauro might not be focused on WWE because of side-projects.
For all we know, Mathews is still in his heel character, and Taz has been known to create some controversy to get some press. Worth noting, however, that while he hasn’t said anything, Jim Ross has been reTweeting Taz’s criticisms, lending credence to the idea Ranallo might have broken one of wrestling’s many unwritten rules here.
What do you think? Anything to this announcer drama?