John Laurinaitis Removed From Wrestling Event Following Public Backlash

It was only a day ago when it seemed like pro wrestling was ready to take a chance again on one John Laurinaitis, who has been out of sight, out of mind since leaving WWE. Alas, the Johnny Ace comeback no one was waiting for appears to be over before it could even begin.


On Twitter, Bobby Fulton, one-half of the tag team The Fantastics and owner of Big Time Collectibles, made the following announcement regarding Laurinaitis' appearance at WrestleCon 2023.

"Yesterday we announced John Laurinaitis would be doing an appearance with Big Time Collectibles," Fulton tweeted. "Upon announcement we received only negative feedback. After much consideration we have decided to not work with him. We apologize to those that were offended by us working with him."

The negative feedback from fans likely has to do with how Laurinaitis left WWE. The former WWE head of talent relations was a central figure in the investigation that led to the retirement of former WWE CEO Vince McMahon, with both McMahon and Laurinaitis being accused of misconduct. Initially taken off the road, Laurinaitis was quietly released from WWE in August. To date, Laurinaitis has yet to publicly comment on the matter.


In addition to his scandal and executive role, Laurinaitis is best known for his run in All Japan Pro Wrestling as Johnny Ace, and his onscreen authority figure role from 2011-2012, where he introduced the catchphrase "People Power!", wrestled John Cena, and was called "Funkman" by CM Punk on numerous occasions. No word yet on who Fulton and Big Time Collectibles will be replacing Laurinaitis with, though it will hopefully be someone less controversial.