– As noted, WWE has hired Mauro Ranallo as the new lead announcer for SmackDown when the show moves to the USA Network in January. Ranallo called the international feed for the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight and has done boxing, kickboxing and MMA, plus New Japan Pro Wrestling on AXS TV.
Ranallo spoke to Sports Illustrated and said Michael Cole emailed him about a month ago to see if he was interested in working with the company. Ranallo sent the company some of his work, including a promotional piece he did for Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, where he called a mock fight between billionaire Warren Buffett and Floyd Mayweather. This impressed Vince McMahon, among others. He commented on getting the job:
“This was an opportunity I did not think I would get at this point of my career and I jumped on it. I have been a lifelong fan of the product. Michael said that when Vince saw the Warren Buffet video, it seemed to cinch it. They believed I could sell the entertainment part.”
Ranallo will be a full-time WWE employee, calling SmackDown on Tuesday nights but also being backstage at RAW events on Mondays and pay-per-view events. Ranallo will continue to call boxing events for Showtime and GLORY kickboxing. No word yet on who Ranallo will be calling SmackDown with. He also commented on possibly taking bumps:
“I’m 45 but I’m definitely open-minded about that.”
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