Mauro Ranallo On Being Himself In WWE, Smackdown’s New Identity, Feeling The Pressure

New WWE Smackdown lead announcer Mauro Ranallo recently spoke with Bleacher Report’s Johnathan Snowden about his new career in WWE.

 Ranallo talks about his move to WWE, what to expect from Smackdown in 2016, how he will integrate himself into the comapny, and much more. You can read a few excerpts below:

On being himself with WWE:

” I truly believe they hired me. And from everything I’ve heard, they want me to be me with some tweaks. That’s to be expected. No matter what job I’ve undertaken, whether it was Glory Kickboxing or Strikeforce or Pride Fighting Championships or Showtime Championship Boxing, you have to play by the rules of the company you work for. 

In terms of my style, I believe they want me to be a hybrid of Michael Cole and Jim Ross, which suits me fine. I know SmackDown, moving forward in the next year, is going to be about the talented Superstars and Divas and what they can do in the ring. “

On Smackdown possibly getting a new identity:

“I’m getting that feeling. It’s a brand-new platform, and it’s great to have both programs under one umbrella at the USA Network. I get the sense they want to make it kind of a hybrid between Raw, the flagship show with all the storylines and great performances from our Superstars in the ring, and what’s happening in NXT. That’s really been a phenomenon, and I’m a huge proponent of that style of storytelling. 

I think if SmackDown can become a hybrid of the two, we’ll have a winning formula regardless of who’s on the microphone. But since it’s going to be me, I love that it’s playing to my strengths. I think they want to set us all up to succeed. It’s going to be a new look and a new sound with the move to USA on Thursday, January 7.”

On if he feels any pressure making the move to WWE:

“I do. But I’ve been able to call the highest levels of combat sports, whether it was mixed martial arts in Japan, which has many similarities to the pomp and pageantry of WWE or whether it was calling Floyd “Money” Mayweather pay-per-views with everything he’s borrowed from WWE and sports entertainment.  

I think it’s going to benefit me that it’s happening now and not sooner. Because of my past experience, and dare I say, the credibility I might bring to the broadcast from being a legitimate combat sports announcer.

It’s sports entertainment, and I love both aspects. I’m a huge sports fan, and I’m a huge entertainment fan. As you know, I’m a bit of a ham. I am a bit of a dynamic personality and have the ability to use my vocabulary in some creative ways. I think this is a perfect fit.”

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