The Authority (professional wrestling)

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This article is about a group in the professional wrestling company WWE. For the international governing body of freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling, see United World Wrestling.
The Authority
The official Authority logo.
Statistics
Members See below
Name(s) The Authority[1]
Combined
weight
1,643 lb (745 kg; 117.4 st)
Debut August 19, 2013
Years active 2013–2014
2014–present
Promotions WWE[1]

The Authority is a villainous stable in WWE, which originated due to Triple H helping Randy Orton win the WWE Championship at SummerSlam in August 2013. The stable is led by company executives Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, and many other wrestlers have been part of the group, most notably Seth Rollins as the hand-picked "future of the business", Kane as the "Director of Operations", and Randy Orton as the Authority's hand-picked champion and "face of the WWE". The Shield formerly acted as the Authority's main henchmen to offer protection or carry out attacks until March 2014.

The name of "the Authority" was introduced in October 2013. The Authority shares similarities with The Corporation and The McMahon-Helmsley Faction, and has also had ties to Triple H's previous stables D-Generation X and Evolution.

The Authority initially ended on November 23, 2014 at Survivor Series when their team lost to Team Cena in the main event; however, they were brought back by Cena on the December 29 episode of Raw.

History

Formation

From June 2013, members of the McMahon family began to dispute various elements of the control of the WWE, such as the fates of Daniel Bryan, and of Raw and SmackDown General Managers Brad Maddox and Vickie Guerrero.[2][3] On the July 15 episode of Raw, John Cena chose Bryan as his opponent for his WWE Championship defence at SummerSlam.[4][5] In the following weeks, Vince McMahon would repeatedly offer Bryan a corporate makeover, which Bryan would consistently refuse. Triple H would subsequently announce himself to be the special guest referee for the match.[6]

Feud with Daniel Bryan and Big Show (2013–2014)

Triple H and Stephanie McMahon created the Authority.

At SummerSlam, Bryan would defeat Cena to win the WWE Championship. Following the match, Triple H would give Bryan a Pedigree, allowing Randy Orton to cash in his Money in the Bank contract, turning both men heel in the process.[7] The following night on Raw, Orton would have a championship coronation with Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon and Triple H, with Triple H inviting Bryan to the ring to clear the air from the night before. This would be a ruse, as Orton would attack Bryan, with them all standing over Bryan, holding the WWE Championship high and cementing the formation of the group.[8] That same night, The Shield would begin to work for Triple H as his enforcers. Kane would also join the Authority as the "Director of Operations".

During this time, the Authority were also feuding with Big Show, who as well as Bryan, was voicing his displeasure of Triple H's regime. As punishment for this, Show would be placed in a three-on-one tornado handicap match against The Shield, which Show lost and would be forced to sit at ringside during his friends matches and watch them being attacked by members of the Authority at the risk of being fired. The Authority would later claim that Show was broke, and forced him to knock out the likes of Bryan and The Miz, again at the risk of being fired.[9] At Battleground, Show would interfere in the WWE Championship match between Bryan and Orton and knocked out both of them, sending a message to the Authority and causing the match to end in a no contest.[10] The following night on Raw, Show would be fired by the Authority after he announced he was ordered to only knock out Bryan the night before. Following this, Show would knock out Triple H before be escorted by officials out of the arena.[11] After Triple H announced that Show was banned from WWE for life, Show would begin to run-in and attack various superstars over the next several weeks. On the November 4 episode of Raw, the Authority was forced by the Board of Directors to give Show whatever he wants in return for not suing the company. Show would ask for his job back and a WWE Championship match against Orton at Survivor Series, which he received. At the pay-per-view, Orton would go on to successfully retain his title.[12]

The Authority were also involved in a short feud with Cody Rhodes, after Rhodes also spoke out against Triple H's authoritarian rule, was forced in a match against Orton on the September 2 episode of Raw, with his job on the line, which he lost.[13] Over the next few weeks, his brother Goldust would try and win his job back, losing to Orton on an episode of Raw, while his father Dusty Rhodes, after confronting Stephanie McMahon, was knocked out unwillingly by Big Show while pleading for his sons to get their jobs back. At Battleground, Rhodes would win his job back after teaming up with Goldust by defeating Shield members Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns in a non-title match.[14] On the October 14 Raw, The Rhodes Brothers would defeat Rollins and Reigns again in a no disqualification match for the WWE Tag Team Championship after an attack by Big Show.[15]

Orton would continue to feud with Bryan over the WWE Championship, where at Night of Champions, Bryan would defeat Orton to win the title. However, the following night on Raw, Triple H would strip Bryan of the title due to a fast 3-count by referee Scott Armstrong.[16] Orton and Bryan would compete for the vacant WWE Championship at Hell in a Cell, where Orton would win back the title after special guest referee Shawn Michaels would super kick Bryan, allying himself with the Authority.[17]

Former Authority member Randy Orton as WWE World Heavyweight Champion before the WrestleMania XXX main event.

On the November 25 episode of Raw, Orton's long time rival, John Cena, suggested that there should only be "one champion" in WWE. Triple H would announce a unification match at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, where Orton defeated Cena to unify his WWE Championship with Cena's World Heavyweight Championship, which ultimately created the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.[18] Orton would defeat Cena again in a rematch at Royal Rumble after interference by The Wyatt Family.[19] At Elimination Chamber, Orton would retain his title in the Chamber match, defeating Cena, Sheamus, Bryan, Christian and Cesaro.[20]

Bryan's feud with the Authority intensified due to Authority members getting involved in Bryan's matches. This would lead to Bryan challenging Triple H to a match at WrestleMania XXX, with Triple H refusing, until the March 10 episode of Raw, after Bryan would rally dozens of his fans to occupy the ring, Triple H would finally accept the challenge. Triple H would later add a stipulation where the winner of their match would be placed in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship later that night, making it a Triple Threat match.[21] At WrestleMania XXX, Bryan would defeat Triple H and would later defeat Orton and Batista to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.[22]

Evolution reunion; addition of Seth Rollins (2014)

In April 2014, Kane once again re-masked, but still allied with the Authority.

The next night on Raw, Triple H would challenge Bryan for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. After Bryan was attacked by Orton, Batista, and Kane before the match, The Shield would interfere and attack the Authority. As punishment, the following week on Raw, The Shield competed in an 11-on-3 handicap match, where after they were assaulted by all eleven superstars, the match would be declared a no contest. Following the match, Orton, Batista, and Triple H would reunite as Evolution, and would attack The Shield. During this, Stephanie McMahon and Kane would continue to feud with Bryan. At Extreme Rules, The Shield would defeat Evolution and Bryan would defeat Kane to retain his title.[23][24] The following night on Raw, Triple H would force Dean Ambrose to defend his WWE United States Championship in a 20-man Battle Royal, with Ambrose being eliminated last by Sheamus, losing his title. The Authority began pressuring Bryan to give up the WWE World Heavyweight Championship as he was not physically cleared to compete, but Bryan refused. At Payback, after threatening to fire Bryan's wife Brie Bella after Stephanie McMahon viewed Brie shoving her as "assault", Brie instead 'quit' before slapping Stephanie. That same night, Evolution were once again defeated by The Shield.[25]

In June 2014, Seth Rollins turned against his Shield teammates to rejoin the Authority.

The following night on Raw, Batista, who was frustrated with not receiving a proper one-on-one match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, quit the WWE.[26] Later in the night, before a match between Roman Reigns and Randy Orton, Rollins attacked both Ambrose and Reigns with steel chairs, thus turning on The Shield.

On the June 9 episode of Raw, Bryan's doctor stated Bryan was not clear to compete; therefore, the Authority would strip Bryan of the title. That same night, the Authority would create a 6-man Ladder match for the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Money in the Bank, with them adding Orton to the match.[27] On the June 23 episode of Raw, the Authority would also add Kane to the match. Meanwhile, Seth Rollins would begin to feud with former Shield teammate Dean Ambrose, and, on the June 17 episode of Main Event, acting on behalf of the Authority, would announce a traditional Money in the Bank ladder match, also naming himself as the first entrant. At the pay-per-view, Rollins would win the Money in the Bank contract, defeating Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kingston, Rob Van Dam and Jack Swagger; however, both Orton and Kane were unsuccessful in winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, losing to John Cena.[28][29] At Battleground, Rollins would defeat Ambrose by forfeit after Ambrose would be ejected from the arena by Triple H and both Orton and Kane were once again unsuccessful in winning the title from Cena in a Fatal four-way match, also involving Roman Reigns.[30]

Seth Rollins (as the Money in the Bank holder) with Stephanie McMahon and Triple H after being attacked by Dean Ambrose at Night of Champions.

Since Bryan left WWE to recover from his injury, Stephanie McMahon began feuding with The Bella Twins by constantly putting Nikki in handicap matches. Brie would return to WWE on the July 21 episode of Raw, appearing in the crowd as a fan, with Stephanie being arrested for battery after slapping Brie and for resisting arrest. That same night, Triple H would chose John Cena's opponent for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam; after seemingly choosing Orton, Orton would be attacked by Reigns. Brock Lesnar would then make his return to WWE and would then instead be chosen by Triple H to face Cena.[31] At SummerSlam, Orton would be defeated by Reigns; however, Rollins would defeat Ambrose, Stephanie would defeat Brie after Nikki turned on her sister and Lesnar would defeat Cena to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.[32]

The following night on Raw, Rollins would injure Ambrose after being placed in a Falls Count Anywhere match following interference by Kane and Rollins driving Ambrose's head through cinderblocks. This would lead to Rollins feuding with Reigns, however, Reigns would legitimately suffer a hernia surgery. At Night of Champions, Rollins would declare himself winner by forfeit due to Reigns' injury, leading to Ambrose returning attempting to attack Rollins, though he would be escorted from the arena by security. Later on the night, Rollins would interfere in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match between Lesnar and Cena, attempting to cash in his Money in the Bank contract but was stopped by Cena before the bell rang.

From September, Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble were seen taking orders from Triple H, and used in segments throughout the show. They would later be confirmed to be working for the Authority, mainly being placed as personal security for Rollins. Over the next few weeks, tension would appear between Orton and Rollins, with Rollins attacking Orton following one of his matches. At Hell in a Cell, Orton would be defeated by Cena; however, Rollins would defeat Ambrose following interference by Bray Wyatt. The following night on Raw, Orton would attack Rollins to get revenge for Rollins attacking him before. That same night, the Authority would try and get Cena to join them, only for Cena to refuse. This would lead to Triple H challenging Cena to a Traditional Survivor Series tag team elimination match at Survivor Series. On the November 3 episode of Raw, Vince McMahon would announce if Team Authority lose the match, they would be out of power. That same night, Orton would be defeated by Rollins and following the match, would attack him. Kane, Noble and Mercury would come to Rollins aid and they all would attack Orton, (kayfabe) removing him from action.[33]

Feud with Sting and Randy Orton (2014–present)

In the weeks leading up to Survivor Series, the Authority secured the final spots on their team with Mark Henry, Rusev, and Luke Harper. Cena chose Big Show, Dolph Ziggler, and Sheamus for his team, leaving one final spot to fill. However, on the November 17 episode of Raw, Sheamus would suffer a legitimate injury, removing him from the match. Later that night, during a confrontation with the Authority and their hand-picked team, Cena would be joined by Erick Rowan and Ryback, completing his team for Survivor Series. On the November 21 episode of SmackDown, Triple H announced that if Team Cena were to lose the match, every member of Cena's team, with the exception of Cena himself, would be fired.[34]

At Survivors Series, Vince McMahon returned to add a final stipulation to the match; if Team Authority were to lose, only Cena would have the power to restore the in-ring jobs of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. During the match, Big Show turned on his team by knocking out Cena and deliberately being counted out of the match, thereby aligning himself with the Authority. Despite this power shift, and with only one member of Cena's team remaining (Ziggler), Sting, making his WWE debut, attacked both the Authority's crooked referee Scott Armstrong and Triple H, giving Ziggler the chance to pin Rollins and gain the win for Team Cena, thus ending the Authority's control over the WWE.

Rollins (left) being accompanied by J&J Security (Jamie Noble, center, and Joey Mercury, right) in December 2014.

After Survivor Series, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon would return to WWE's headquarters, with the remaining members of the Authority still associating with each other, often referred to by the announcers as "the remnants of the Authority". On the December 29 episode of Raw, Rollins was invited on The Cutting Edge Peep Show by guest hosts Christian and Edge. Rollins attacked Christian and, with the help of Big Show and J&J Security, held Edge hostage. When Cena attempted a rescue, Rollins threatened to "break Edge's neck again" unless Cena brought back The Authority. After Cena relented and aquieced to Rollins' demand, Rollins, Show and J&J Security attacked Cena as Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, accompanied by Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman, emerged onto the entrance ramp to celebrate their return.[35]

On the January 5 episode of Raw, the Authority punished each member of Team Cena; Ziggler was forced to battle and was defeated by Bad News Barrett for the WWE Intercontinental Championship in a 2-out-of-3 falls match; Rowan was forced to battle and was defeated by Harper, with J&J Security as special guest referees; and Ryback was forced to battle and was defeated by Rollins and Kane in a handicap match. Later that night, the Authority, during what they called "John Cena Appreciation Night", invited Ziggler, Rowan and Ryback into the ring with Cena, only to fire all three men.[36] Cena then attempted to win their jobs back, and, on the January 19 episode of Raw, defeated Rollins, Kane and Show in a 3-on-1 handicap match, once again with the help of Sting, thereby reinstating Ziggler, Rowan and Ryback's jobs.

At Royal Rumble, Rollins was unsuccessful in winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship from Lesnar in a Triple Threat match also involving Cena. In the Rumble match, both Show and Kane were unsuccessful after Roman Reigns eliminated both men at the same time. At Fastlane, Rollins, Kane and Show defeated Ziggler, Rowan and Ryback in a 6-man tag team match. Following the match, Randy Orton made his return, attacking J&J Security and Kane. Later that night, Triple H would have a face-to-face confrontation with Sting, which ended up in a brawl. Sting issued a challenge to Triple H for a match at WrestleMania 31, which Triple H accepted. The following night on Raw, The Authority attempted to persuade a returning Randy Orton to rejoin them following his attack of Authority personnel, though Orton would not give a direct answer until the group met up backstage. Orton agreed to rejoin the stable, and he and Rollins were subsequently booked in a tag team match for later that night against Daniel Bryan and Reigns. The loss Orton and Rollins suffered in the match further exacerbated tension between the two. The tension would finally teach a head a few weeks later when Orton refused a hot tag from Rollins during a match with Roman Reigns. Orton would then brutally beat Rollins for several minutes after the bout, ultimately putting him through an announce table with an RKO.

At WrestleMania 31, The Authority won several big victories; Triple H defeated Sting in Sting's first ever WWE match (shaking his hand afterwards), Big Show won the 30-man André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. After losing in his singles match against Orton earlier in the night, Rollins cashed his Money in the Bank contract during the main event between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, turning it into a Triple threat match, becoming a world champion for the first time and giving The Authority its first world title ever since Orton lost it in the previous WrestleMania.

Members

Name Tenure Notes
Triple H[37] August 19, 2013–present Co-leader.
Stephanie McMahon[38] August 19, 2013–present Co-leader.
Seth Rollins[39] August 19, 2013–April 7, 2014
June 2, 2014–present
Joined as a member of The Shield.
Rejoined after turning against The Shield.
Kane[40] October 28, 2013–present Director of Operations.
Joey Mercury September 19, 2014–present J&J Security.
Jamie Noble September 19, 2014–present J&J Security.
Big Show November 23, 2014–present Joined after turning against Team Cena at Survivor Series.
Randy Orton[41] August 19, 2013–November 3, 2014
February 23, 2015–March 9, 2015
Exiled from the group
Rejoined, but left after attacking Rollins.
Dean Ambrose[42] August 19, 2013–April 7, 2014 Joined as a member of The Shield.
Roman Reigns[42] August 19, 2013–April 7, 2014 Joined as a member of The Shield.
Road Dogg January 13, 2014–April 6, 2014 Joined as a member of The New Age Outlaws.
Billy Gunn[43] January 13, 2014–April 6, 2014 Joined as a member of The New Age Outlaws.
Batista[44] April 7, 2014–June 2, 2014 Joined as a member of Evolution.

Timeline

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

See also

References

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