Brian Fritz of the Sporting News interviewed WWE’s new voice SmackdownMauro Ranallo. Ranallo revealed we was contacted by Michael Cole to gauge his interest on working for WWE. Below is an excerpt from his comments:
Yeah, this has been an expedited process to say the least. About a month and a half ago, maybe even less — it's been a whirlwind — I was contacted by Michael Cole. In addition to being the voice of the WWE, he also oversees all of the on-air talent. He emailed me to gauge my interest in working for the company, which I found to be flattering and very surprising at this stage of my career (at age 45). Needless to say, I said I was very interested because anyone who knows me and has followed my career knows how much sports entertainment — WWE — has been a big part of my life as a fan. Even in my combat sports commentary, the myriad of references I've made to my first love are very evident. After I contacted Michael Cole and talked to him in person and understood exactly what they were offering and what they wanted me to do with the company, it really took off from there.
I received a call from Triple H and, obviously, Vince McMahon had to give his blessing. After I sent them a demo reel of some of my New Japan Pro Wrestling stuff and included a video, I was fortunate enough to do the voiceover for the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting where Warren Buffett "fought" Floyd Mayweather. It was directed by John Landis, who is an acclaimed Hollywood director. They wanted me to be Mauro Ranallo, the Showtime Championship Boxing announcer, and I called it like I would any other combat sports event, and I think that really piqued Vince McMahon's and Kevin Dunn's interest in terms of "This guy can sell what needs to be sold and put over everything as a legitimate enterprise.”
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Ranallo will make his WWE debut on the January 7, 2016 episode of Smackdown on the USA Network. That show will be taped on Tuesday, January 5, 2016 from the Laredo Energy Arena in Laredo, TX.