John Laurinaitis is back leading the WWE talent relations department, a role he previously held for several years according to new reports.
The Wrestling Observer has reported that Laurinaitis is back with the company he first joined after the demise of WCW in 2001. However, no confirmation from WWE as to his return has been made at this time.
Laurinaitis previously took over the role as head of talent relations in 2004, replacing WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross. He held that role for eight years until 2012 when Paul Levesque [Triple H] took over the talent relations department. Laurinaitis’s new title will be General Manager, Talent and he is slated to be beginning in that role immediately.
Included in the Observer report is the news that the talent relations department will be split in two. The two new units will be known as talent management and talent branding. Talent branding will reportedly be responsible for third-party bookings for WWE Superstars in things such as films and media appearances.
John Laurinaitis would appear as an on-air character in WWE in 2011 and 2012. He would make his first appearance during the culmination of CM Punk’s famous WWE Title win at Money In The Bank 2011. Laurinaitis would become General Manager of Raw in October 2011 and would use his role to continue to feud with Punk.
At WrestleMania 28, Laurinaitis would head up ‘Team Johnny’ in a battle with his SmackDown counterpart Theodore Long. The winning team’s General Manager would gain control over both brands in the company. Laurinaitis’s team of David Otunga, Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre, Jack Swagger, Mark Henry, and The Miz would defeat Team Teddy. Laurinaitis, therefore, gained overall control of both brands in WWE.
John Laurianitis would compete at the Over The Limit pay-per-view in 2012 in a match against John Cena. Laurinaitis would pick up the unlikely win after interference from Big Show.
Laurinaitis would be fired from his on-screen role by Vince McMahon at the No Way Out event in June 2012. Cena would defeat Big Show in a cage match where the stipulation was that if Cena won Laurinaitis would be fired.