John Laurinaitis left WWE in August 2022 after being wrapped up in the sexual misconduct scandal that surrounded Vince McMahon.
It was claimed that Laurinaitis demoted a woman after she ended their affair, while he also stepped down from his role as Head of Talent Relations around the same time he reached a “$1.5 million nondisclosure agreement” with the employee.
The veteran also known as Johnny Ace was recently back in the news after being pulled from WrestleCon following fan backlash.
Over the years there has been no love lost between Laurinaitis and WWE legend Jim Ross. The latest installment of their issues came in December when JR said that Laurinaitis “deserved the misery he was living” after leaving WWE.
However, the legendary announcer has now revealed that the pair have cleared the air after a chance meeting in Phoenix, Arizona ahead of AEW Dynamite.
Speaking on his Grilling JR podcast, Ross said that he’s too old to hold grudges.
“I gotta tell you a story about my last trip to Phoenix,” Ross said. “Rafael Morffi and I were going to dinner in the hotel. And there was a bar area leading into the restaurant area in the back of the house. And so I saw John Laurinaitis there. I think he was there with Dean Malenko. They’re buddies.
And so I just walked on by back in the restaurant at my table. Raphael stuck behind…” Ross continued, “It surprised me. I had heard something. I think maybe Dean told me that he was going to get picked up at the airport by Laurinaitis when he arrived in Phoenix, but I’d forgotten about it. Like it’s a big deal to me one way or the other. So I walk on down to the restaurant and waiting on Raphael to get down there so we get to be seated. And I look up and here comes Raphael and Jonny Laurinaitis.
And I’m thinking, ‘Oh, geez, I wasn’t ready for this conference. It wasn’t a confrontation at all. We had a nice conversation. I told him, I said, ‘you know, I’m too old and I’m trying to overcome these issues of my skin cancer and all the subsequent treatment. I got more important things to worry about than having a grudge, and living a grudge. So we kind of cleared the air and had a nice conversation. And I thought it took a lot of balls for him to come approach me, to be honest with you.”
Ross added that he apologised for some of the things he said, commenting that the conversation was “surprisingly good.”
“That was a surprise. It was a surprising meeting and he was very sincere. And he was very upfront and very honest. And so I thought I’d share that with our folks here on the podcast. I haven’t talked about it at all. So this is breaking news. So anyway, it was good. It was surprisingly good. And I’m glad he stepped up and we had a nice clean talk conversation and cleared the air, so to speak.
You know, I don’t know that we’ll be on each other’s Christmas card list. But nonetheless, I kind of admired what he said to me and him making the first move, because like I said, I forgot he was even coming. And I didn’t see him standing at the bar with Dean, and all everybody else that was there.”
Booker T Recently Defended John Laurinaitis
Despite the criticism that has come his way, Laurinaitis recently received some support from Booker T. The NXT announcer said that while many might not like the former Head of Talent Relations, he owes a lot to the veteran.
H/t to WrestlingNews.Co