Jim Ross discusses his “turbulent relationship” with John Laurinaitis

Mar 3, 2023 - by James Walsh

During a discussion on his “Grilling JR” podcast, WWE Hall of Famer & current AEW star Jim Ross discussed former WWE Talent Relations head John Laurinaitis and a recent run-in they had in Phoenix. Laurinaitis, who lives nearby, was with AEW’s Dean Malenko, while Ross was with AEW Vice President of Live Events & Touring Rafael Morffi, who has also worked for WWE and TNA/Impact.

Ross had the following to say about the interaction with Laurinaitis, their “turbulent relationship” and heat from the past:

“I got to tell you a story about my last trip to Phoenix. Yeah, Rafael Morffi and I were going to dinner in the hotel and there was a bar idea leading into the restaurant area in the back of the house. So, I saw John Laurinaitis there, I think he was there with Dean Malenko, they’re buddies. I just walked on by and went back to my table. It surprised me. I don’t know, 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, it wasn’t a big deal to me, one way or another. So, I walk on down to the restaurant and waiting on Rafael to get down there and so we could be seated and I look up and here comes Rafel and Johnny Laurinaitis. And I’m thinking, oh geez, I wasn’t ready for this confrontation, it wasn’t a confrontation at all, we had a nice calm conversation. And I told him, I said, you know, I’m too old and I’m trying to overcome these issues with my skin cancer and all the subsequent treatment.

I got more important things to do to worry about than having a grudge and living a grudge. So, we kind of cleared the air and I had a nice conversation. And I thought it took a lot of balls for him to come approach me, to be honest with you. Because he had read everything I’d written about, you know, him being a chicken shit. And I told him, I apologize for some of the things I said, I get emotional and there you go. So, anyway, we had a nice little, you know, 10-15 minute chat. And, of course, John lives in Phoenix and I’m kind of glad that we got that out of the way because it’s just better to live your life without that additional stress and angst. It’s just a negative thing and I didn’t want to admire myself into negativity, that doesn’t make any sense. I’m too goddamn old, you know, I’m more concerned about my health and my job and travel and all the things that go along with it. My wound doctor, god, so, anyhow, that’s kind of what that was. That was a surprise, it was a surprising meeting and he was very sincere. He was up front, 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 on social media, so breaking news. Anyway, it was good, it was surprisingly good and I’m glad he stepped up and we had a nice clean conversation and cleared the air, so to speak.

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. You know, I’m sure he didn’t tell me this, you know, Laurinaitis, but he may be looking for work, hell, I don’t know, I didn’t ask him. His wife has been sick and she’s surviving well, seems like and I like her a lot and a really nice lady. So, you know, we’ll be moving forward on this, it was kind of cool. Folks, none of us can live in denial, we can’t live in angst and anger and been pissed off and hurt feelings and all that shit. Let’s be an adult and get that past, so that’s kind of what we did, so I like to think we’re past it and I have no issues with him at this point in time. I’m glad that he did what he did, I admired what he did. But it was a nice conversation, he was prepared for it, I can tell you that. He knew what he wanted to say and he just got caught in the crossfire there, it seems to me like he made some bad decisions apparently, I don’t know, we didn’t delve into his situation very deeply. But I was glad that we at least got a chance to chat because, you know, I’m 71 years old, I hope I’m going to be around a long time as I knock on wood, but you never know, we got no guarantees here. Tomorrows are not guaranteed. So, it was an interesting conversation, glad it happened, and I wish him well.”

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