MAMMA MIA — Mauro Ranallo is getting back in the booth to call one of professional wrestling’s most anticipated matchups.
According to a report from ESPN’s Marc Raimondi, Ranallo will be calling the ‘Title vs. Title’ match between Rich Swann and Kenny Omega at the Rebellion pay-per-view on Sunday, April 25. Ranallo has been working regularly for Showtime Boxing and Bellator MMA, and called the Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. exhibition fight in November.
Ranallo worked for WWE from 2015 until 2020, getting his start calling the Cruiserweight Classic and working on SmackDown before leaving his position on NXT last August.
Ranallo spoke with POST Wrestling in December and explained the decision to leave WWE, citing concerns for his mental health as why he chose to leave.
But for me and my mental health, even moving to NXT where when we were live, it was the best experience I could ask for, and that’s a testament to what Triple H and everyone down in NXT has done. I just felt for my own mental health, and it was becoming more and more apparent, doing the show even from home, and I know god bless his soul, Jim Cornette and many people, how the hell can this guy quit a high-paying gig, high-profile gig, of which there are so few in this world, and actually he could do the show from his home, they’re allowing him to do the show from home remotely, how could he leave?
It was to the point that I would have panic attacks in the morning of the recordings of the last few months. And I just didn’t like, with all due respect, I didn’t like what was happening with who was involved. And all respect to all announcers, but I also believe in chemistry. And maybe I was the problem. … I need to be left alone at times. So I want to thank WWE for everything. They have improved my standing in the world, they’ve allowed me I believe to get other opportunities. The shoot is this: it was like my life. [t was] filled with highs and lows, trials and tribulations. Sometimes, you know, when the dream comes true, it doesn’t necessarily remain a dream. Sometimes, you’re not supposed to meet your heroes. I am blessed that I met everyone [in WWE].
UPDATE: IMPACT Wrestling has confirmed the news, issuing the following press release:
PLAY-BY-PLAY LEGEND RETURNS TO PRO-WRESTLING FOR HISTORIC IMPACT TITLE VS AEW TITLE SHOWDOWN
NASHVILLE, TN – (April 16, 2020) – In news sure to stun and excite hardcore wrestling fans around the world, IMPACT Wrestling is proud to announce legendary play-by-play commentator Mauro Ranallo will be part of its broadcast team for the REBELLION© Pay-Per-View next Sunday (April 25).
Possessing an immediately recognizable voice, a sui generis style and an encyclopedic knowledge of combat sports, Ranallo is widely considered one of the best play-by-play announcers of all time.
REBELLION will be available on Pay-Per-View in North America on SUNDAY, April 25 at 8pm ET/5pm PT on InDemand, DISH, DirecTV, Vubiquity, Rogers, Bell, Shaw, Sasktel. It will be available around the world digitally via FITE TV (pre-order NOW).
The self-identified “Bipolar Rock ‘N Roller” has lent his voice and enthusiasm to the biggest events in combat sports history, including Showtime Sports Mayweather vs McGregor PPV, PRIDE Fighting Championships and New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Ranallo is the first person to call boxing, MMA, pro-wrestling and kickboxing on American network television.
On Sunday, April 25, Ranallo returns to his first love to call the epic collision between IMPACT champion Rich Swann and AEW champion Kenny Omega.
“Swann vs Omega, champion vs champion, title vs title – this match represents everything I love about professional wrestling,” said Ranallo. “I have been fortunate to call these two superstars matches in the past and I’m very excited to be part of this historic encounter.”
IMPACT Wrestling executive Scott D’Amore said: “This once in a generation title vs title showdown deserves to be called by the once in a generation play-by-play announcer. I’ve known Mauro for over two decades. There are very few people in the world who are as passionate about or know their wrestling history as well as Mauro. This is an historic main event, the world champions of two major organizations putting everything on the line. I’m thrilled that April 25th, at Rebellion, fans will have Mauro’s legendary voice proving the soundtrack to history!”