Following the closure of WCW in March 2001, John Laurinaitis joined WWE as an agent. From here, he worked his way up the backstage ladder and was made Head of Talent Relations in 2004, replacing Jim Ross.
Although Laurinaitis was later replaced himself by Triple H, the former Johnny Ace remained an executive until being stripped of his title and backstage responsibilities in 2012. The former tag team star continued with WWE behind the scenes before being promoted to Head of Talent Relations once again in March 2021. However, Laurinaitis was let go in August 2022 for his involvement in the sexual misconduct scandal which also involved former Chairman Vince McMahon.
Jim Ross Has Some Choice Words For John Laurinaitis
While with WWE, Laurinaitis was far from a universally loved figure backstage, receiving criticism more than a decade ago for how he handled WWE’s developmental promotion Ohio Valley Wrestling, and call-ups to WWE’s main roster. In later years he was also criticised for his involvement in WWE’s women’s division, while upon leaving the company one top star branded him “one of the biggest snakes in the business.”
Another person who wasn’t a fan of Laurinaitis was Jim Ross who worked alongside him in the early 2000s. Speaking on his podcast, Grilling JR, the WWE Hall of Famer said that he never trusted Johnny Ace, who deserves “the Goddamn misery that he’s living.”
“I had a hard time as time went on trusting Laurinaitis. That’s sad to say. I hired him. I gave him a job when he needed it. I don’t think he treated me quite right. He just wanted to show Vince that he was a better manager than JR and all these things. So now his ass is without a job and he deserves the Goddamn misery that he’s living, that I perceive that he’s living, and I didn’t like how he treated me.”
During the episode, the AEW announcer also paid tribute to William Regal who has seemingly exited All Elite Wrestling. Ross said that was a “valuable asset” that “cannot be replaced easily.”
H/t to WrestlingNewsCo