John Laurinaitis began his career as a professional wrestler in 1987, performing in some territories of the National Wrestling Alliance under the ring name Johnny Ace; during this time he forms an alliance with colleague Shane Douglas, called The Dynamic Dudes.
In 1990 John Laurinaitis moved to Japan, in All Japan Pro-Wrestling, where he remained for about ten years, achieving great results especially in the couple category together with Kenta Kobashi. In 2000, he announced his retirement from professional wrestling.
He is the brother of professional wrestler Joseph Laurinaitis, better known as Road Warrior Animal (1960-2020).
On September 3, 2015, Laurinaitis got engaged to Kathy Colace who is the mother of the Bella Twins. The two married in a private ceremony on March 24, 2016.
In 2005, John Laurinaitis was criticized by some athletes and insiders for his actions during his first term as manager. In April, after WWE discovered a secret relationship between Edge and Lita, Matt Hardy's girlfriend at the time, Laurinaitis fired the latter to avoid any rifts between the athletes backstage; Hardy was then rehired in June by decision of Vince McMahon. In July, Laurinaitis was accused of nepotism for rehiring his brother Road Warrior Animal.
In November, during the funeral of Eddie Guerrero, Laurinaitis tried to sign some athletes of Total Nonstop Action, among which the name of Sting stands out; he also began negotiations to rehire Charlie Haas, who had been fired in July.