Following the announcement that JBL would no longer be part of the SmackDown commentary team, our sources have revealed that, much like wrestling itself, his exit was predetermined ahead of time.
Following the Mauro Ranallo scandal, where JBL was accused of bullying Ranallo leading to Ranallo leaving SmackDown on March 7th, many fans were calling for the WWE to fire the controversial announcer, with chants of “fire Bradshaw” loudly audible on the Raw after WrestleMania. Bradshaw even volunteered to resign his position at the time. However, Vince McMahon, a close friend and advocate of Bradshaw, insisted that Bradshaw stay 6 more months, in order to let the scandal blow over. This is said to not only be due McMahon’s relationship with Bradshaw. Had the company fired him, they would have been acknowledging the claim he was a bully, thus, essentially and metaphorically, throwing Bradshaw under the bus.
Instead, the company laid out a plan where Bradshaw would leave quietly, with his credibility intact, which was successfully implemented this week.
The WWE.com released the following statement relating to Bradshaw’s departure:
“In a tweet posted Friday evening, JBL announced that he is stepping back from his weekly role as SmackDown LIVE announcer to focus on his new role as a Beyond Sport Global Ambassador. The longest-reigning WWE Champion in SmackDown history will continue his more than 20-year relationship with WWE by appearing on events such as WrestleMania and WWE Tribute to the Troops – which JBL inspired in 2003.
WWE admires JBL’s continued determination to make a difference in the lives of at-risk kids in Bermuda and around the world.”
JBL’s tweet announcing his departure:
After much consideration, I will be stepping back my weekly role as Smackdown Announcer to dedicate more (cont) https://t.co/An7zuYRFmV
— John Layfield (@JCLayfield) September 1, 2017