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Report: John Laurinaitis Fired by WWE amid Vince McMahon Investigation

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVAugust 8, 2022

Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

WWE has fired head of talent relations John Laurinaitis, according to PWInsider.com's Mike Johnson. Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com confirmed the report.

This comes after Laurinaitis was named in one of the Wall Street Journal reports detailing alleged hush money payments made by former WWE chairman Vince McMahon.

Joe Palazzolo, Ted Mann and Joe Flint of the WSJ reported July 8 the WWE board was investigating whether Laurinaitis had a sexual relationship with a paralegal at the company. The board was scrutinizing a $1.5 million nondisclosure agreement that centered around misconduct claims against him as well.

WWE announced June 17 following the first Wall Street Journal report that Laurinaitis and McMahon were the subjects of an internal investigation. According to Palazzolo, Mann and Flint, the 60-year-old had been placed on administrative leave prior to WWE cutting ties altogether.

The fallout from the WSJ investigations has caused major upheaval within WWE.

McMahon initially stepped back temporarily from his CEO and chairman duties as the investigation was ongoing but abruptly announced July 22 he was retiring altogether:

Vince McMahon @VinceMcMahon

At 77, time for me to retire. <br>Thank you, WWE Universe. <br>Then. Now. Forever. Together. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WWE?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WWE</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/thankful?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#thankful</a>

WWE announced July 25 that McMahon's daughter, Stephanie, and Nick Khan will serve as co-CEOs moving forward, with Stephanie taking over as chairwoman of the board. Triple H became the head of WWE's creative team, another role Vince had occupied prior to his retirement.

Laurinaitis first joined WWE in 2001 following the demise of WCW. He was promoted to senior vice president of talent relations in 2007 and resigned from his post in 2012.

The Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Dave Meltzer reported in March 2021 that Laurinaitis had returned as head of talent relations.

In addition to his work backstage, "Johnny Ace" began appearing on WWE programming in 2011 and played the role of the Raw general manager. He even got back inside the ring, beating John Cena in the main event of Over The Limit in 2012.

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