The WWE has announced that it has decided not to renew longtime Ring Announcer Justin Roberts' contract. He has officially been released. His last show was this past Monday Night Raw.
The WWE have released this statement:
"WWE has chosen to not exercise its option to renew ring announcer Justin Roberts’ contract. Effective immediately, Roberts is released from WWE. WWE wishes him the best in all his future endeavors."
Roberts, from Chicago started as a ring announcer as a 16 year old, calling independent pro wrestling and has ended up calling huge events such as Wrestlemania. He was made the lead ring announcer for Raw in 2009 after joining the WWE in 2002.
He was a WWE fan from an early age and in a recent blog post he described how much wrestling helped him as a child:
"I am and have been a wrestling fan since I was a child. I was a nerd. I didn’t have a lot of friends. I got bullied. But I didn’t care, I had an escape. Every Saturday, Sunday and Monday I escaped the real and often cruel world I lived in by watching World Wrestling Entertainment."
In a interview in 2013 with the Daily Herald he was quoted calling his role a "dream job":
"I got my dream job," Roberts said. "It sounded impossible, but I got it. That's why I tell people today, if you want something, go for it. No matter how impossible it may seem, anything and everything is possible if you follow your dreams."
Roberts posted a picture before Raw on Monday night with Evander Holyfield and seemed to be in high spirits, leading us to believe that his release was as much of a shock to him as it was to us!
The reason for his release is at this time but there are a few longtime employees that have been fired in recent weeks due to budget cuts so that could have something to do with it.
As for his successor, Lillian Garcia, the SmackDown announcer could see her role increased. Another option is Brandi Rhodes aka Eden who is NXT's former ring announcer.
Legendary commentator Jim Ross displayed his thoughts on the sacking of Roberts tweeting he was "shocked and sad" and that Roberts "loved his job".