In the wake of John Laurinaitis being placed on administrative leave, some talent have concerns about his replacement as interim WWE Head of Talent Relations.
News broke on June 15th that Vince McMahon was investigated by the WWE Board of Directors for allegedly paying $3 million to a former employee with whom he had an affair. It was also noted that that the board’s investigation has also unearthed older non-disclosure agreements that surround claims of misconduct made by other former female WWE employees that involve both Vince McMahon and WWE’s Head of Talent Relations, John Laurinaitis.
Allegations surrounding the relationship between Vince McMahon and the former WWE paralegal came to light when the company board was sent anonymous emails, with one said by the Wall Street Journal to contain the unsettling claim that McMahon gave the employee “like a toy” to John Laurinaitis.
On June 17th, McMahon officially stepped down from his duties as WWE CEO and is being replaced in the interim by his daughter Stephanie McMahon. While John Laurinaitis was not in attendance at SmackDown that night, there was no word of his status within the company being affected by these allegations until today, when it was reported by Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful that Laurinaitis has been placed on administrative leave and that Bruce Prichard was named interim Head of Talent Relations.
Expanding on the original report, Fightful Select provided more details on backstage reactions to the news that Bruce Prichard would be stepping in. According to the report, one of the major concerns for talent is that Bruce Prichard is now in charge of both creative decisions and talent relations, which means the same person who can approve time off from the company is the one who serves as a creative filter between talent and Vince McMahon.
In fact, the report notes that some have joked that “Vince McMahon only knows three people,” alluding to Laurinaitis and Prichard being tasked with multiple roles in the company.
Additionally, Fightful Select indicates that many within the company believe Johnny Ace’s leave will turn out to be permanent, and that they won’t be working with him again. While there is concern over Prichard taking over his role, some talent were said to be celebrating Laurinaitis’ impending departure from the company.
While John Laurinaitis was not at tonight’s Monday Night Raw, Vince McMahon made a surprise appearance in front of the crowd to hype up the return of John Cena next week in Laredo, TX, 20 years to the day of his WWE debut on SmackDown.