Ronda Rousey Details “Dirtbag” John Laurinaitis Stealing Control Of NXT

Ronda Rousey

NXT was one of WWE’s most striking success stories in recent years and now Ronda Rousey has lifted the lid on the backstage shenanigans that saw Vince McMahon take control of Triple H’s baby.

In the fall of 2021, WWE was rocked by Triple H requiring emergency heart surgery that took him away from his role for several months. During his absence, Vince McMahon’s tentacles took over NXT and introduced the NXT 2.0 format while releasing several members of the brand’s backstage team including Samoa Joe, William Regal, and Road Dogg.

Writing in her new book Our Fight – available for pre-order now – Ronda Rousey detailed that turbulent time in WWE history and thinks it was McMahon’s “cronies” that made the move to take NXT out of Triple H’s hands:

NXT, which had been Triple H’s domain, had been caught in the ongoing family dispute between him and Vince McMahon. Vince’s unwillingness to give up any control made progress on the main roster all but impossible. But operating out from under Vince’s thumb, Triple H had built NXT into a brand that was not only developing WWE’s next generation but producing some of the organization’s best and most innovative wrestling.

People were excited about NXT in a way that they weren’t about Raw and SmackDown’s constant reliance on rehashing the same formulaic story lines over and over. As NXT grew and it became apparent that there was the potential to expand and profit from it, suddenly it became attractive to Vince. In fall of 2019, WWE launched a weekly NXT show—slated to go head-to-head on-air with AEW.

Now, NXT was on the up-and-up, but so too was AEW. Then Triple H almost died, suffering from heart failure and requiring surgery. He stepped away to deal with his health, and in his absence, Vince’s cronies saw an opportunity. NXT was losing the ratings battle to AEW, they whispered to Vince.

Ronda Rousey Blasts John Laurinaitis

Ronda Rousey then took aim at former Head of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis who she claimed was running NXT in Triple H’s stead. It’s safe to say Rousey is no fan of Laurinaitis but says his failure running the brand was systematic of wider problems in the company:

Changes needed to be made. Which is how John Laurinaitis, a former wrestler turned WWE executive and all-around dirtbag, ended up running NXT. Laurinaitis had made a name for himself as an average but by no means outstanding wrestler before he moved into playing an in-ring authority figure type and then a producer. He looked and acted like an entitled sixty-year-old former frat boy. Tall, blondish, and with a cleft chin, he always appeared to be scowling, even when he smiled. His raspy voice earned him the nickname Johnny Laryngitis, which was one of the nicer things people called him.

Whereas Triple H looked for talent and potential in NXT prospects, it appeared John Laurinaitis looked for f*ckability. He further purged the NXT roster, firing it seemed like everyone over twenty-five and turning recruiting attention away from the indie circuits in favor of blonde sorority-types from places like the Universities of Florida and Tennessee.

Putting the blame for the decline on Laurinaitis—which Vince would basically try to do a few months later—would be easy but Laurinaitis was only a symptom of what was wrong within WWE. Honestly, the actual drama was so much better than anything WWE could ever script.

Ronda Rousey has blasted Bruce Prichard – another Vince McMahon lieutenant in her book and Rousey also revealed she has no plans to ever return to WWE.