Write & Earn
Favorites Edit

WWE Rumors: Reason why Mauro Ranallo and David Otunga missed the latest episode of SmackDown Live

Half of SmackDown Live's commentary team wasn't able to make the show in Pittsburgh last night.

News 15 Mar 2017, 14:10 IST
Two of these men didn’t make the show last night

What’s the story?

Fans of Mauro Ranallo and David Otunga were left disappointed last night when SmackDown Live went on air, as neither man was able to take their usual place at the ringside commentary table. John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield and Tom Phillips called the show as a two-man team as opposed to the usual four-man booth, leading JBL to talk of how much he enjoyed the extra space.

Ranallo and Otunga were both missing from the show for entirely valid reasons, although each man had a different excuse, with Mauro falling prey to weather conditions and Otunga busy filming a movie.

In case you didn’t know...

Winter Storm Stella is the latest blizzard to cause havoc across the United States with thousands of flights cancelled in the wake of the blizzard. It takes more than heavy snowstorms and record winds to stop the WWE juggernaut, however, and with two live television shows every single week, the wheel keeps turning regardless of the weather.

On a small number of occasions in the past, this has led to performers not being able to make it to tapings, however, with Maura Ranallo the latest to miss out because of Mother Nature.

The heart of the matter

Ranallo had already posted on Twitter that it was touch-and-go whether he was going to be able to make the show, and as it transpired the weather got the best of the man voted Best Television Announcer by Wrestling Observer Newsletter readers.

Tom Phillips confirmed during the show that Ranallo was absent because of the weather, and as conditions improve, Mauro will be back in his rightful position at the head of the team.

As for Otunga, is reporting that the weather had nothing to do with his absence. Otunga was missing due to prior commitments, as The Harvard Law Graduate is currently filming a movie. Details are scarce regarding the movie, but Otunga isn’t expected to miss too much time. 


John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield and Tom Phillips were subsequently left to call the entire show as a two-man team, and in truth, the duo did a good job. Whilst Mauro was undoubtedly missed, the same can’t really be said for Otunga, and with less voices fighting for attention, the commentary came off a lot more fluid and smooth.

It is unlikely that WWE will consider a two-man booth moving forward, but the extra breathing space was a positive for one night at least.

Author’s take

Stella really is playing havoc with the people of the US, and whilst Mauro’s calls were missed last night, being stranded in an airport doesn’t seem fun in the slightest. These things are always going to happen in the modern world, and as such, it was novel to be able to enjoy an episode of SmackDown Live with a relatively fresh commentary pairing. 

Send us news tips at

Fetching more content...