JBL Leaves WWE as a Full Time Announcer, Details on his Departure
Friday, September 1, 2017
It has been announced that John "Bradshaw" Layfield will no longer be serving as a full time announcer on Smackdown. In fact, Layfield confirmed that he is not going to be involved with the company as an announcer at all going forward. He released a statement on his social media pages today announcing his decision to step away from the announcer's booth. He added that his relationship with WWE is not over by any means, instead he is going to be working with the company on a limited basis. He'll most likely show up as an announcer occasionally, much like Jerry "The King" Lawler and Jim Ross currently do. His full statement can be read below:
John "Bradshaw" Layfield has been a longtime friend with the WWE company, He began appearing for the company as a wrestler starting in 1995. He went on to achieve success as part of the Acolytes Protection Agency (APA) with Faarooq (Ron Simmons). He branched out on his own eventually, and he found himself in the main event picture once he began portraying the rich Texan character that he is best known for. He even held the WWE Championship for 280 days before losing the title to John Cena at Wrestlemania 21. He retired from in-ring competition in 2009, but re-signed with WWE as a commentator in 2012, which he had been doing up until now.
The reasons JBL gave for his sudden departure included his desire to help out causes in Bermuda. JBL was at the epicenter of controversy earlier this year when he allegedly bullied fellow Smackdown announcer Mauro Ranallo. Multiple personalities have shared stories of JBL hazing them in the past, but Mauro's story gained a ton of negative attention due to his mental health issues. Ranallo did re-sign with WWE as an announcer for NXT this past summer. Pro Wrestling Sheet claims that a representative told them back in May that JBL was told that the company would not be re-signing him as a full time announcer once his deal expired. It is unclear if the bullying allegations played a role in his departure, nor has anyone been named as his successor on Smackdown as of yet.