News recently came down that JBL will be leaving SmackDown Live to focus on other projects. He announced on Twitter that he would be limiting his role in an effort to spend more time helping at risk kids and communities.
After much consideration, I will be stepping back my weekly role as Smackdown Announcer to dedicate more (cont) https://t.co/An7zuYRFmV
— John Layfield (@JCLayfield) September 1, 2017
Some immediately saw this news as a way to remove JBL from commentary after the cries for his termination when it came to light that he was a major force behind the bullying issues in the WWE, specifically as it came to Mauro Ranallo. The reality seems to be that JBL’s contract came due and both sides decided it best to take on a more limited role in the company.
So, with JBL on his way out, who will be replacing him at the SmackDown Live commentary table? Here are five names we think deserve consideration?
5. Jerry Lawler
Jerry Lawler has a ton of experience and he did an admirable job this past Monday on Raw as Booker T was back in Houston dealing with the effects of Hurricane Harvey. Lawler is a veteran of the announce team and was a color guy for Jim Ross and Michael Cole for years.
4. Jim Ross
This is a long shot thanks to the unwillingness of Jim Ross to work a full-time WWE schedule. But, with the passing of his wife, perhaps he’ll consider the gig on a temporary basis. He’s said he likes to work to keep busy. Is this too much for him to handle?
Of all the announcers to potentially take this role, Ross has the most experience, and he would immediately make the SmackDown Live team the best.
3. Mauro Ranallo
In what would have to be a lovely sense of irony, it would be fitting if JBL’s replacement was the announcer rumored to be the reason he was on the outs with the WWE in the first place. Ranallo returned to the WWE and took over the lead announcer role on NXT. He used to be the announcer alongside JBL on SmackDown Live.
2. Renee Young
She needs a bigger role in the WWE after they canceled her shows Talking Smack and Unfiltered and she’s way too strong a talent to simply have conducting backstage interviews and the odd documentary piece on the WWE Network.
If the WWE isn’t careful and doesn’t give her a more suitable role, she could take off and head to ESPN or Fox, where she’s been offered work in the past but turned it down as her role in WWE was getting bigger.
1. Enzo Amore
Sometimes WWE talents make for the best commentators. Look at Corey Graves, JBL, Jesse Ventura, Booker T, Jerry Lawler, Gorilla Monsoon and others who took their gift of gab and made it a career outside the ring. Not everyone could do it, but one person who might be able to is Enzo Amore.
Enzo is currently still a wrestler, but he’s on the verge of losing his job due to issues with the talent in the back. It’s a wacky idea, but what if the WWE removed him from wrestling and made him an announcer, would he be able to control himself long enough not to overtake the show and make it all about himself?
Related: Enzo Amore Heat: Backstage Details
Obviously, the WWE has its work cut out for itself in trying to replace JBL. As much as some may have despised the former champion, his presence brought credibility to the commentary booth with his years of experience. Maybe the WWE decides they don’t need a three man team and continues to go with who they have, and we wouldn’t be against that either. Regardless, whoever does replace The Wrestling God will have some big shoes to fill.
Who would you like to see replace JBL on SmackDown Live?
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