During TakeOver: WarGames last night (Nov. 23), SmackDown commentator and After The Bell host Corey Graves sent and replied tweets which were critical of NXT lead announcer Mauro Ranallo’s performance:
Just for the record guys, I know you wouldn’t know it, but there’s actually a WWE Hall of Famer AND a former Ring of Honor Champion on commentary.— Corey Graves (@WWEGraves) November 24, 2019
I’d imagine they have a lot to offer.
Far, far too many.— Corey Graves (@WWEGraves) November 24, 2019
They earned a reply from Ranallo’s friend, MMA legend Frank Shamrock, which was actually a screenshot of something Graves had re-tweeted earlier in the day:
Ranallo deleted his Twitter account a short time later. He did not work tonight’s Survivor Series show, despite the fact he was in Rosemont, Illinois as of last night. His usual NXT partners Nigel McGuinness & Beth Phoenix did work the show. Michael Cole said of Mauro’s absence that he was so “emotional” and “passionate” calling WarGames he “blew his voice out”.
Cole reported that Ranallo would be back when NXT returned this Wednesday from Full Sail. Wrestling Observer notes that at one point, Triple H had said Mauro would be part of the Survivor Series team.
Hanging over this story is Ranallo’s bipolar diagnosis, and reports - which Mauro publicly denies - backstage and on-mic bullying from other announcers caused or exacerbated a depressive episode which ended his run on SmackDown and led to time off from WWE before he joined NXT.