Since his debut Mauro Ranallo has been a breath of fresh air to the WWE broadcast team. His calling of the action is reminiscent of the golden days of wrestling, it’s really music to the ears of the WWE Universe. He brings out the best in his broadcast partners in just a matter of weeks he has helped bring new life into The King and is truly the best mentor to Byron Saxton. Ranallo has a vast level of experience and is a walking book of knowledge in all forms of combat sports. Excluding NXT just listen to the difference between a Raw call and one from Smackdown. You may never have thought about it but the differences are night and day.
With over twenty years in sports journalism, he’s called everything from hockey games to boxing bouts. Now he’s fulfilling his life long dream to work for the monopoly of sports entertainment. To listen to him you can tell a dream has come true, he just sounds like he’s having so much fun out there and it’s us the fans who benefit from him. The following is why Mauro Ranallo is “Best for Business:
He Lives Combat Sports
Whether it’s legit or rehearsed the guy is not just a professional of the art of combat sports, he really is just simply a fan. You can tell when someone comes to something like WWE and just isn’t comfortable. Tom Phillips is improving but you can tell he’s green in the game still at this point–and he’s not the only one! Take a guy like Ranallo he’d hands down beat other combat sports announcers in a trivia game around the subject. Not just because of his many years calling the action but because I could also see him and his buddies having a few Canadians, ordering in a pizza and watching some mixed martial arts.
When someone is not just a professional but a fan too you can hear such enthusiasm and decorum in his call. Watching Smackdown is now like watching a sport, and nothing like listening to a Shopping Channel pitch for three hours with a lot of replays. I listened to some of his old Fight Network wrestling analysis here in Canada back in the day and boy this guy hasn’t missed a step. Even with creative and booking decisions that were questionable over the years, I truly believe he remained a fan of the WWE to this very day.
The SmackDown Announce Team
Jerry Lawler has been as stale as he ever has been in WWE, for years you can tell he just didn’t care anymore. Then you listen to Byron Saxton on Raw with Cole and JBL, he just isn’t very interesting unless JBL or a heel guest is tearing him down. Enter Mauro Ranallo, what do you have? A resurrection of the King one of the best heel colour commentators of all time, behind only Bobby Heenan and Jesse Ventura. What about Saxton? Well say what you want I feel Saxton is a solid analyst, perhaps because he’s with a guy who can mentor him properly.
I’d much rather these three broadcast the Rumble yesterday over the Raw announce team. Hearing Saxton and Lawler bicker for comic relief, while a competent play-by-play guy with a distinctive voice is calling the action–it would be a blessing! Ranallo should have really called the Rumble well, could you imagine if Ranallo called AJ Styles debut?
His Cult Following
Most often times WWE signs new announcers they don’t have much of a social media following. They are actually never even really known by anyone, marks or smarks alike. That is certainly not the case with Ranallo! Sure a few younger members of the WWE Universe probably had to ask their old man who Ranallo was, but aside from them you know Mauro. He’s had years of television exposure, a solid social media following and has been the topic of Apter pages and forums for a decade or more. Most announcers who come to WWE would kill for that kind of background, it would make their lives so much easier.
He has followers from the world of MMA, boxing and pro-wrestling. He’s popular in his home country of Canada, the United States, Japan and the UK. Just basically, we have here a distinctively known voice heard from around the world. Ask someone in the UK if they’d heard of Rich Brennan upon his WWE debut. They will say Rich who? But you say do you know Mauro Ranallo chances are the answer will be “damn right”.
He’s Always on Point
Maybe one, two at most $9.99 pitches will be heard from Ranallo. Maybe a joke or two that would make my grandfather laugh. It’s entirely possible he may get caught up in heel Lawler and Saxton’s rants back and forth at each other. But for the most part, he’s not a car salesman or a washed up comedian–he’s a wrestling commentator! He never misses a near fall, he’s never delayed on a power move and his voice is just phenomenal to hear during a spot. Ranallo won’t be tripped up from a diving elbow or a flying elbow drop, a Frankensteiner is not a Hurricanrana, he simply know’s his stuff.
On top of all that his timing and vocal range is alway on key. He assists greatly in the storytelling. Look at the tables match a few weeks ago between the Dudley Boyz and the Wyatt clan. He pointed out the tables match is the Dudleyz signiture match, and yes most wrestling fans know that but to add it is a simple layer of storytelling. When the Dudleyz won Ranallo chimed in, “The Dudleyz have won their signature match” it was really refreshing to hear that and not just see a replay. The aftermath with the Wyatt’s beating the ECW originals down was also great to hear. He had no small part in adding a tidbit to the Wyatt’s dominant and ruthless behaviour post-match.
Simply put Ranallo is like the Paul Heyman of the announce team. Just as Heyman can put over a match or rivalry on his lonesome, so can Ranallo from the announce table. If that doesn’t make him great let’s move on to something I’ve touched on already but will go more in depth…
Little known fact if a Natalya match is ever called by Ranallo it will not be the first time. When Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling based in British Columbia had their show on the Fight Network here in Canada, who was the play-by-play announcer? Why that would be Mauro Ranallo! Now known as Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling, they used to have a half-hour spin-off of their females called SuperGirls which Natalya used to be a part of as Nattie Neidhart. Also, adding to that Becky Lynch under Rebecca Knox also had Ranallo call her early work in this promotion. Fast forward some years he’s already called two of her matches on Smackdown.