If you don’t know who Mauro Ranallo is, he is currently the lead commentator for WWE’s Smackdown Live; alongside David Otunga, Tom Phillips and John “Bradshaw ” Layfield. I am going to give to you why I believe he is the modern day Jim Ross.
Ranallo would get into the sport of Pro Wrestling at the age of five and later on would graduate from WJ Mouat Secondary School in Abbotsford. Ranallo would begin his career in professional wrestling as a Commentator and Manager at the age of 16 for Vancouver based Pro Wrestling company All-Star Wrestling, which was a national television show throughout Canada from 1986 until 1989.
Later on, he would provide Commentary/Announcing duties for Muay Thai/Kickboxing events and King of the Cage mixed martial arts shows on TSN.
From 1999 to 2000, Ranallo would serve as the commentator for the Stampede Wrestling TV show in Calgary, which was owned by Stu Hart. Ranallo’s color-commentator partner was the late Bad News Allen. Ranallo was also the commentator for KVOS-TV’s Top Ranked Wrestling for most of that program’s run from 2005 until 2006.
In 2006, Ranallo was made the lead news anchor for the Canadian combat sports channel The Fight Network, and featured on “Fight Network Radio” through Sirius Hardcore Sports Radio Channel 98. From January 2009 until 2011, he hosted “The MMA Show” weekly on The Score as well.
Ranallo was also one of three analysts on The Score’s show “Right After Wrestling”, now called “Aftermath”, which airs after The Score’s airing of WWE SmackDown and the replay of WWE Raw. Following the demise of the MMA Show and leaving The Score, Ranallo hosted “The Show with Mauro Ranallo” Podcast, which was similar to his previous show, though this podcast also became defunct in 2012.
Going back to his Commentary career, Ranallo became most prominently known among MMA fans as the voice of Pride Fighting Championships PPV broadcasts in North America from 2003 until October 2006. He was initially paired with friend, longtime-PRIDE commentator, and MMA legend “El Guapo” Bas Rutten.
After Bas Rutten had departed the broadcast, he was replaced by Frank Trigg. Ranallo continued to commentate on MMA as part of the EliteXC and ShoXC broadcast team from 2006 until their closure in October 2008. Ranallo continued to be the voice of MMA on Showtime by becoming the mainstay of the commentary team for Strikeforce until that organization’s acquisition and eventual merger with the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 2013. He was also the lead announcer of the Muay Thai Premier League.
Ranallo continued to work as a broadcaster for Showtime Networks, and provides commentary for three major combat sports; Showtime Championship Boxing, Glory Kickboxing, and Invicta Fighting Championships.
Ranallo returned to his pro-wrestling roots when he became the voice of New Japan Pro Wrestling in the U.S, alongside MMA legend and former NJPW wrestler Josh Barnett.
Ranallo signed a contract to WWE on December 15, 2015, and made his WWE debut as the lead play-by-play commentator for the SmackDown broadcast team for its premiere on USA Network on January 7, 2016, thus being dubbed “The Voice of SmackDown”.
On his first night providing commentary, Ranallo’s commentary was highly praised by fans and critics alike, who claimed he “brought back seriousness” into the commentary team, unlike WWE Raw’s, and was described as “the best announcer since Jim Ross”.
Mauro Ranallo has given all his time and work into providing commentary from Mixed Martial Arts to Professional Wrestling, where he is widely known as one of the top commentators currently in pro wrestling. It is no doubt that if you provide a main event to either Jim Ross or Mauro Ranallo, that not only will that main event steal the show, but their commentary will also steal the show. Both men started young in the Pro Wrestling scene, and both men are well respected in the pro wrestling world.