Professional wrestling authority figures

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This list brings together authority figures – people who hold on-screen power – in professional wrestling promotions or brands within North America. The North American wrestling industry portrays authority figures as responsible for making matches, providing rules and generally keeping law and order both in and outside of the ring. The role can vary according to disposition. A face authority figure tends to give what the fans want and favors fellow face-wrestlers: note for example Theodore Long. Heel authority figures tend to run their shows out of their own self-interest: Vince McMahon's Mr. McMahon gimmick exemplifies this type.

WWE authority figures[edit]

See also: WWE

In the past, WWE's authority figure was presented by the President, who had booking power and controlled all wrestlers. However, in 1997, the President was replaced by the Commissioner, with Sgt. Slaughter serving as the first WWE (or WWF at that time) Commissioner. During the Attitude Era of WWE, not only the Commissioner, but Vince McMahon had booking power as well through his chairman position under his evil character "Mr. McMahon". McMahon usually used his power in order to haze his (kayfabe) nemesis, Stone Cold Steve Austin. When Shawn Michaels was Commissioner, he was able to overrule McMahon, but he only sporadically exercised his booking power, and was working with an "Iron-Clad" contract where he couldn't be fired. When Mick Foley acquired the position, he took full reign until he was fired from the position.

Upon splitting the WWE into two separate brands in the WWE Brand Extension of 2002, on-screen co-owners Vince McMahon and Ric Flair proceeded to draft WWE wrestlers into two separate rosters. Flair took ownership of Raw, while McMahon controlled SmackDown. After McMahon regained control of the entire company, he removed Flair from control of Raw, relinquished his own position, and appointed separate general managers to control the different brands.

On July 18, 2011, Triple H came to Raw and told Vince McMahon that the board of directors (kayfabe) revoked his "day-to-day operation power" and named him to manage it instead.[1] After that, Triple H became the WWE's chief operating officer (storyline) who had the booking power in WWE on both Raw and SmackDown brands until the Board stripped him of his power, and named John Laurinaitis the Interim Raw general manager.

Chairman[edit]

Chief executive officer[edit]

1 Kayfabe-appointed CEO by Linda McMahon; subsequently lost power in a ladder match at King of the Ring.

2 Linda McMahon gained control after her husband Vince McMahon was barred from appearing on WWF television after Fully Loaded. In real life, Linda McMahon served on the board of directors for WWE from 1980; Vince McMahon appointed her to the position of CEO in 1994 during the WWF steroid scandal.

President[edit]

  • Willie Gilzenberg (1963– November 15, 1978)
  • Hisashi Shinma (1978–1984)
  • Jack Tunney (September 1984 – July 12, 1995)
  • Gorilla Monsoon (July 12, 1995 – August 3, 1997) (interim from July 12, 1995 to March 31, 1996, when he officially became President)
  • Roddy PiperInterim President (1996) (substitution for an injured Gorilla Monsoon)

Chief operating officer[edit]

1 Theodore Long announced that Triple H had given him the power to book Raw when necessary. This arrangement ended when John Laurinaitis became Interim Raw general manager.[2]

Director of operations[edit]

  • Kane (November 4, 2013 – April 7, 2014; August 11, 2014-present)

Commissioners[edit]

  • Sgt. Slaughter (August 4, 1997 – November 23, 1998)
  • Shawn Michaels (November 23, 1998 – June 26, 2000)
  • Mick Foley1 (June 26, 2000 – December 18, 2000; October 11, 2001 – November 19, 2001)
    • DebraLt. Commissioner – (October 30, 2000 – March 5, 2001)
  • William Regal (March 8, 2001 – October 11, 2001)

1 While Mick Foley was commissioner in 2000, he was the ultimate on-screen authority, overriding everyone else.

Raw authorities[edit]

Owners[edit]

  • Ric Flair (March 18, 2002 – June 10, 2002)
  • Vince McMahon (June 10, 2002 – June 15, 2009), (June 22, 2009 – present)
    • Shane McMahon-Executive vice president (June 10, 2002 – June 22, 2009)1
  • Donald Trump (June 15, 2009 – June 22, 2009)

1 Shane McMahon made occasional appearances all throughout this time and had booking power.

General managers[edit]

  • Eric Bischoff (July 15, 2002 – February 10, 2003)1, (February 10, 2003 – December 5, 2005)
    • Chief MorleyChief of Staff (November 25, 2002 – February 10, 2003), (February 17, 2003 – May 5, 2003)
    • Steve AustinSheriff (December 29, 2003 – April 17, 2004)
  • Steve Austin (April 29, 2003 – November 16, 2003) 2
  • Mick Foley (December 1, 2003 – December 15, 2003) 2
  • Vince McMahonInterim general manager (December 12, 2005 – June 11, 2007)
  • Jonathan CoachmanActing/Interim general manager (June 11, 2007 – August 6, 2007), (September 3, 2007 – October 1, 2007)
  • William Regal (August 6, 2007 – May 19, 2008)
  • Mike Adamle (July 28, 2008 – November 3, 2008)
  • Shane McMahon (November 3, 2008 – November 24, 2008)
  • Stephanie McMahon (November 24, 2008 – April 6, 2009)
  • Vickie Guerrero (April 6, 2009 – June 8, 2009) 3
  • Vickie Guerrero (May 10, 2010)
  • Bret Hart (May 24, 2010 – June 21, 2010)
  • Hornswoggle (Anonymous general manager) (June 21, 2010 – October 2, 2011) 4
    • Michael ColeSpokesman to the Anonymous general manager (June 21, 2010 – October 2, 2011)
  • John Laurinaitis (October 10, 2011 – June 17, 2012) 5
    • David OtungaLegal counsel (October 10, 2011 – June 17, 2012)
    • Theodore LongAssistant to the general manager (April 3, 2012 – June 17, 2012)
    • Eve TorresExecutive administrator (April 23, 2012 – June 17, 2012)
  • AJ Lee (July 23, 2012 – October 22, 2012)[3]
  • Vickie GuerreroManaging aupervisor (October 22, 2012 – July 8, 2013) 6
    • Brad Maddox- Assistant to the managing supervisor (February 18, 2013 – July 8, 2013)
  • Brad Maddox (July 8, 2013 – May 26, 2014)

1 Bischoff was briefly fired from the general manager position on February 10, 2003. He would be rehired by Vince McMahon later that night.

2 Austin and Foley served as co-general managers with bischoff during their respective tenures in 2003.

3 On February 23, 2009, the board of directors named Vickie Guerrero Interim general manager when Stephanie McMahon took a leave of absence. She became permanent general manager on April 6, 2009.

4 From July 18, 2011 when Triple H became the WWE's chief operating officer, the Anonymous general manager had not appeared and used any booking power on Raw, but the general manager's podium still appeared on Raw every week until Hell in a Cell on October 2, 2011. However, on July 9, 2012, it was finally revealed that Hornswoggle was the anonymous Raw general manager.

5 On October 10, 2011, Vince McMahon returned to Raw and announced that Triple H was relieved of his booking duties by the board of directors and that John Laurainatis was the Interim general manager. He became general manager on April 1, 2012.

6 Guerrero was given the title of managing supervisor by the board of directors when she regained control of Raw on October 22, 2012.

SmackDown authorities[edit]

See also: WWE SmackDown

Owners[edit]

General managers[edit]

  • Stephanie McMahon (July 18, 2002 – October 19, 2003)
  • Paul Heyman (October 23, 2003 – March 22, 2004)
  • Kurt Angle (March 25, 2004 – July 22, 2004)
  • Theodore Long (July 29, 2004 – September 21, 2007)
    • Palmer CanonNetwork Executive (August 25, 2005 – April 27, 2006)
    • Vickie GuerreroAssistant general manager (May 18, 2007 – September 21, 2007)
  • Vickie Guerrero (September 28, 2007 – April 6, 2009)
    • Theodore LongAssistant general manager (November 30, 2007 – May 16, 2008)
  • Theodore Long (April 7, 2009 – April 1, 2012)
    • Vickie GuerreroOfficial Consultant (November 20, 2009 – February 25, 2011)
    • Zack RyderAssistant to the general manager (July 29, 2011 – January 6, 2012)
    • Santino MarellaAssistant to the general manager (January 6, 2012 – April 1, 2012)
  • John Laurinaitis (April 1, 2012 – June 17, 2012)
    • David OtungaLegal Counsel (April 1, 2012 – June 17, 2012)
    • Theodore LongAssistant to the general manager (April 3, 2012 – June 17, 2012)
    • Eve TorresExecutive Administrator (April 23, 2012 – June 17, 2012)
  • Booker T (July 31, 2012 – July 19, 2013)
    • Theodore LongSenior Advisor to the general manager (July 31, 2012 – July 19, 2013)
    • Eve TorresAssistant to the general manager (August 17, 2012 – January 14, 2013)
  • Vickie Guerrero (July 19, 2013 – June 23, 2014)

Saturday Morning Slam authority figures[edit]

Owners[edit]

General manager[edit]

NXT authority figures[edit]

Host[edit]

  • Matt Striker (February 23, 2010 – June 13, 2012)
    • Ashley Valence – Co-Host (June 22, 2010 – August 31, 2010)
    • MaryseCo-Host (March 8, 2011 – August 24, 2011)

Match coordinator[edit]

General managers[edit]

ECW brand authorities[edit]

See also: ECW (WWE)

Owners[edit]

General managers[edit]

  • Paul Heyman (under the title of ECW Representative) (June 13, 2006 – December 4, 2006)
  • Armando Estrada (August 14, 2007 – June 3, 2008)
  • Theodore Long (June 3, 2008 – April 7, 2009)
    • TiffanyAssistant general manager (June 10, 2008 – April 7, 2009)
  • Tiffany (June 30, 2009 – February 16, 2010) 1

1 On April 7, 2009, the board of directors named Tiffany Interim general manager when Theodore Long announced his return to SmackDown as general manager following Vickie Guerrero's appointment as general manager of Raw. She became permanent general manager on June 30, 2009.

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling authority figures[edit]

Directors of authority[edit]

The Director of Authority operated as the on-screen authority-figure for the company

NWA championship committee[edit]

TNA Wrestling also maintains a championship committee – established in 2004 to help the Director of Authority to book matches and to keep contenders in proper order. The committee members also served as guest judges for TNA Impact! when broadcast by Fox Sports Net, as all matches had a time limit and if the match went to time, a judge had to make the call as to who had won (somewhat as in boxing).

The committee consisted of:

  • Dusty Rhodes (founder, original member, November 2004 – June 2005)
  • Harley Race (original member, November 2004 – ???)
  • Terry Funk (original member, November 2004 – March 2005)
    • Funk never appeared on-screen in TNA
  • Roddy Piper (replacement for Funk, March 2005 – ???)
  • Larry Zbyszko (original member, November 2004 – 2006)

Management director[edit]

  • Jim Cornette (July 16, 2006 – May 21, 2009)
    • Matt MorganBodyguard/Enforcer (August 9, 2007 – April 10, 2008)

President[edit]

  • Dixie Carter (April 19, 2009 – October 14, 2010), (November 25, 2010 – March 3, 2011), (October 16, 2011 – Present) 1
    • Mick FoleyExecutive Shareholder (October 23, 2008 – January 4, 2010)
    • Hulk HoganManaging Partner (January 4, 2010 – October 14, 2010)
    • Rockstar SpudChief of Staff (November 22, 2013 – March 9, 2014)
    • MVPInvestor (January 30, 2014 – Present) 3
  • Hulk Hogan – (October 14, 2010 – November 25, 2010), (March 3, 2011 – October 16, 2011)2
    • Mick FoleyNetwork Consultant (May 3, 2011 – June 2, 2011)

1 Dixie Carter has been legitimately TNA President since 2003 after Panda Energy International became majority shareholder of TNA. However, she began to have an on-screen role in 2009.

2Hulk Hogan was (storyline) President from October 2010 to October 2011 after Carter unkowingly signed her power away to him in a contract. Carter was re-established as on-screen President following Sting defeating Hogan at Bound For Glory.

3Even with MVP no longer the Director of Wrestling Operations as of June 26, 2014 edition of Impact Wrestling, he would still be an investor.

General manager[edit]

  • Sting (October 20, 2011 – March 22, 2012)
  • Hulk Hogan (March 29, 2012 – October 3, 2013)

(Executive) Director of wrestling operations[edit]

  • MVP (March 9, 2014 – June 26, 2014) 1
  • Kurt Angle (June 26, 2014 – Present) 2

1As a result of the outcome of the Lethal Lockdown match at Lockdown, MVP partly took control of TNA as the (storyline) Director of Wrestling Operations.

2As a result of a decision made by TNA's board of directors, on June 20, 2014 (but aired on June 26, 2014 edition of Impact Wrestling), MVP was stripped of his title, with Kurt Angle announced as MVP's replacement as the Executive Director of Wrestling Operations.

Knockouts division[edit]

  • Traci BrooksCommissioner (August 28, 2008 – January 2009)
  • Ms. Tessmachergeneral manager (September 20, 2010 – October 14, 2010)
  • Karen JarrettExecutive VP (September 1, 2011 – December 15, 2011)
    • Traci BrooksExecutive Assistant (September 1, 2011 – December 15, 2011)
  • Brooke HoganExecutive (May 31, 2012 – August 16, 2013)
Xplosion commissioner[edit]

Executive producer[edit]

Representative of the TNA board of directors[edit]

  • Earl Sullivan Armstrong – (June 20 [Aired June 26], 2014) 1

1Made the announcement on June 20, 2014 (but aired on June 26, 2014 edition of Impact Wrestling) that MVP was stripped of his title as Director of Wrestling Operations, then later on announced Kurt Angle as MVP's replacement as Executive Director of Wrestling Operations.

Ring of honor authority figures[edit]

See also: Ring of Honor
  • Jim CornetteCommissioner (October 2, 2005 – November 4, 2006)
  • Ric FlairROH Ambassador (April 5, 2009 – May 30, 2009)
  • Jim Cornette – Executive Producer (September 26, 2009 – October 13, 2012)
  • Nigel McGuinnessMatch Maker (November 3, 2012 – present)

IWA authority figures[edit]

World Championship Wrestling authority figures[edit]

Ted Turner purchased Jim Crockett Promotions and launched World Championship Wrestling in 1988. The company went through a series of Vice Presidents and bookers, ranging from those with little wrestling experience to those entrenched in the old territorial methods of promotion, until Eric Bischoff took control in 1994. His tenure saw the creation of WCW Monday Nitro, the start of the Monday Night Wars, and the formation of the New World Order. Declining ratings saw Bischoff ousted in 1999, and former WWF writer Vince Russo was hired in an attempt to salvage the company. WCW was purchased by the WWF in March 2001, however the company was featured prominently on WWF television as part of the Invasion storyline for the remainder of the year.

Owners[edit]

1 Shane McMahon owned WCW as part of the Invasion storyline.

Executive Vice Presidents[edit]

Presidents[edit]

1 Flair became on-screen president after defeating Eric Bischoff in a match on Nitro.

Commissioners[edit]

  • Nick Bockwinkel (January 27, 1994 - June 18, 1995)
  • J.J. Dillon (April 21, 1997 - October 25, 1999)
  • Roddy Piper (September 8, 1997 - 2000)
  • Terry Funk (January 3, 2000 - January 16, 2000)
  • Kevin Nash (January 16, 2000 - April 10, 2000)
    • Jeff Jarrett - Acting/Interim commissioner (January 31, 2000 - February 9, 2000)
  • Ernest Miller (May 31, 2000 - October 29, 2000), (January 14, 2001 - February 12, 2001), (February 18, 2001 - February 26, 2001)
  • Mike Sanders (October 29, 2000 - January 14, 2001)
  • Lance Storm (February 12, 2001 - February 18, 2001)
  • William Regal (October 15, 2001 - November 18, 2001)1

1Regal served as commissioner during the Invasion storyline.

Miscellaneous figures[edit]

1 Upon arriving in WCW, Russo and Ferrara introduced "The Powers That Be", a mysterious on-screen presence that controlled the company.

Extreme Championship Wrestling authority figures[edit]

1 Stephanie McMahon owned ECW as part of the Invasion storyline.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2011-07-18/mcmahon-relieved-of-duties "Game" changer for McMahon
  2. ^ http://www.wrestlingnewsworld.com/wwe-news/wwe-raw-results-9-5-2011.php Theodore Long came out to announce the 8 man tag team match on that night, and also his booking power.
  3. ^ "The Raw General Managers Timeline". Retrieved 2013-02-05.