"I Regret The Whole Situation" - JBL Addresses Mauro Ranallo Bullying Allegations
JBL has long had a reputation in WWE
John 'Bradshaw' Layfield has opened up on allegations of bullying against former SmackDown announcer Mauro Ranallo, claiming that anything he ever said was '100 per cent in character' and there was never any malicious intent to anything he said to Ranallo on camera.
JBL has a reputation in some quarters of engaging in bullying behaviour backstage in WWE, while the WWE Hall Of Famer himself believes he simply had an old-school mentality when it comes to breaking into professional wrestling.
However, the former WWE Champion admits he sometimes went to far, something he regrets.
In a new interview with Hannibal TV, when asked about his reputation, JBL said: "I could have deserved it, I don't know you know. We were younger we broke balls and I was a loud guy from the south, and a lot of people, I think, took that wrong.
Ranallo departed WWE in 2017 but denied his exit was related to any accusations against JBL.
JBL continued: "I can tell you like with Mauro there was never any malicious intent ever toward anything I said to Mauro anything I said on camera, that was all in character. But you know, some of it can be deserved. I'm not trying to rewrite my history. I wasn't a saint. We drank a lot, we ran the roads, and we always love to crack on each other. It was just part of what we did.
"I think a lot of people took that wrong, and some of it could have gone too far. I'm not trying to excuse anything I've done."
Speaking further on the situation with Mauro Ranallo, JBL said he regrets what happened between them, and also noted that he was asked to cut a promo on his SmackDown broadcast partner during an episode of Bring It To The Table on the WWE Network, because they needed to fill an extra five minutes.
He continued: "We did this show called Bring It To The Table and everybody points to that show being the point of me taking a shot at Mauro. Well, on that show, before we did it, There were about three to five minutes we needed for the show. They said, ‘What can we do?’ They said, ‘Hey, there's this internet poll that makes Mauro the number one announcer. Can you do something on that?’ I said, ‘Yeah, of course.’
"So I went on the show. I did a rant on the show about how they're calling Mauro the number one announcer. He's retweeted it, and blah, blah, blah, 100% in character, and people talk about that poll, and I was so jealous of that poll that I went on TV and talks about it. I didn't know the poll existed until right before we went on the show and I just assumed Mauro knew that that was something I had done in character. That was just me being JBL on camera.
"I think Mauro took that the wrong way. I hope now he realizes that that was something that I did that was 100% in character. I saw Mauro a few weeks later, everything fell out and I became the bad guy with everything, and I saw him standing by his car on his phone. I think it was New Orleans. Anyway, I walked across the parking lot and he was on his phone so I couldn't talk to him. But I shook his hand. I just went across, shook his hand and he said, 'How you doing, man?' I said, 'Good, brother, and I just left. [I wanted to] let him know that there was no ill-intent, at least me toward him.
"I regret the whole situation. I wish that Mauro had known for sure. I think that was one of the things that was really upsetting. I know it was upsetting to a lot of fans because they all talked about that show."