The commentary team on SmackDown Live is going to look a little different moving forward because WWE Hall of Famer JBL recently announced that he’s stepping down from his commentary job to focus on other projects.
According to Sports Illustrated, Layfield made the decision to step down 11 months ago when his contract expired last October. JBL gave his notice to WWE long before rumors regarding the WWE Hall of Famer and Mauro Ranallo started making the rounds.
When the Mauro Ranallo story started getting attention from the public a few months ago, certain members of the Board of Directors were said to be appalled that JBL was able to keep his high profile on air position after he was accused of backstage bullying. However, Vince McMahon refused to cave to the pressure, and waited for the controversy to die down, and it seems that it has now that Mauro Ranallo has joined the NXT commentary team.
Travel was another issue for JBL, as WWE arranged for him to arrive in each city on Sunday despite the fact that SmackDown Live airs on Tuesday. Layfield then began to change his travel arrangements so that he would arrive for SmackDown on Tuesday, and he reportedly did this for two months before anyone confronted him about it. Company officials believed that Layfield was burnt out from traveling so much.
JBL left on his own terms and noted in his statement that he will still be part of the WWE family, and he plans to appear on marquee shows such as Tribute To The Troops and WrestleMania.