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, as a face authority figure tends to give what the fans want and does what is fair, while a heel authority figures tend to run their shows out of their own self-interest.

WWE authority figures[edit]

See also: WWE

From its founding in 1963 to 1997, the WWE looked to a President as an authority figure: the President had booking power and controlled all wrestlers. However, in 1997, the Commissioner replaced the President, with Sgt. Slaughter serving as the first WWE Commissioner. During the Attitude Era (1997–2002), not only the Commissioner, but also Vince McMahon (through his position as WWE Chairman under his evil character "Mr. McMahon") had booking power. McMahon usually used his power in order to haze his kayfabe nemesis, Stone Cold Steve Austin. When Shawn Michaels served as Commissioner, he could overrule McMahon, but he exercised his booking power only sporadically, and was working with an "Iron-Clad" contract where he could not 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 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 General Manager of Raw.

Presidents and Commissioners[edit]

  • Willie Gilzenberg, WWF President (1963 – November 15, 1978)
  • Hisashi Shinma, WWF President (1978–1984)
  • Jack Tunney, WWF President (September 1984 – July 12, 1995)
  • Gorilla Monsoon, WWF President (July 12, 1995 – August 3, 1997; Interim President July 12, 1995 to March 31, 1996)
  • Roddy Piper, WWF Interim President (1996; substitution for an injured Gorilla Monsoon)
  • Sgt. Slaughter, WWF Commissioner (August 4, 1997 – November 23, 1998)
  • Shawn Michaels, WWF Commissioner (November 23, 1998 – May 15, 2000)
  • Mick Foley, WWF Commissioner1 (June 26, 2000 – December 18, 2000)
    • Debra, Lt. Commissioner (October 30, 2000 – March 5, 2001)
  • William Regal, WWF Commissioner (March 8, 2001 – October 11, 2001)
  • Mick Foley, WWF Commissioner1 (October 11, 2001 – November 19, 2001)

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

Corporate officers[edit]

From 1996 onwards, the corporate roles of Vince McMahon and his wife Linda were gradually acknowledged in WWF programmes and were subsequently included in storylines. The following list gives the development of corporate offices as portrayed in storylines and should not be confused with their counterparts in the actual structure in WWE, Inc. and its predecessors.

  • Vince McMahon, Titan Sports/WWF/WWE, Inc. Chairman of the Board (since 1980, first acknowledged in 1996)
  • Linda McMahon, WWF, Inc. Chief Executive Officer (1994 – June 7, 1999)1
  • Stone Cold Steve Austin, Chief Executive Officer (June 7, 1999 – June 27, 1999)2
  • Vince McMahon, Chief Executive Officer (June 27, 1999 – September 16, 2009)
  • Linda McMahon, Chief Executive Officer (September 2, 1999 – September 16, 2009)3
  • Vince McMahon, Chief Executive Officer (September 16, 2009 – present)4
  • Triple H, Chief Operating Officer (July 18, 2011 – present)
    • Theodore Long, Assistant to the COO (September 5 – October 10, 2011)5
    • Kane, Director of Operations (October 28, 2013 – April 15, 2014; August 11 – October 25, 2015)

1 In real life, Linda McMahon served on the board of directors for the WWF's parent company from 1980; Vince McMahon appointed her to the position of CEO in 1994 during the WWF steroid scandal.

2 Kayfabe-appointed CEO by Linda McMahon; subsequently lost his position back to Mr. McMahon in a ladder match at King of the Ring.

3 Linda McMahon gained control after her husband Vince McMahon was barred from appearing on WWF television after Fully Loaded.

4 Triple H relieved Vince McMahon from his operative duties and became Chief Operating Officer (COO). Vince McMahon however remained Chairman and occasionally appeared as such on WWE programmes.

5 Theodore Long announced that Triple H had given him the power to book Raw when necessary. This arrangement ended when John Laurinaitis became Interim General Manager of Raw.[2]

Raw authorities[edit]

SmackDown authorities[edit]

See also: WWE SmackDown

NXT authority figures[edit]

See also: WWE NXT

Defunct brands[edit]

Saturday Morning Slam authority figures[edit]

ECW brand authorities[edit]

See also: ECW (WWE)

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling authority figures[edit]

Chairman (CEO)[edit]

  • Jeff Jarrett (2002–2003)
    • Jerry Jarrett (2002–2003)
  • Panda Energy (2003–2016)
  • Dixie Carter (August 12, 2016 – present)

Director of Authority[edit]

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

NWA Championship Committee[edit]

TNA Wrestling also maintained 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). By June 2005 the committee was dropped and only Larry Zbyszko made appearances for the company.

The committee consisted of:

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

Management Director[edit]

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

President (COO)[edit]

  • Jerry Jarrett (2002 – 2004)
  • Jeff Jarrett (2004 – 2009)
  • Dixie Carter (April 19, 2009 – October 14, 2010), (November 25, 2010 – March 3, 2011), (October 16, 2011 – August 12, 2016) 1
    • Hulk HoganManaging Partner (January 4, 2010 – October 14, 2010)
    • Rockstar SpudChief of Staff (November 22, 2013 – March 9, 2014)
  • Hulk Hogan – (October 14, 2010 – November 25, 2010), (March 3, 2011 – October 16, 2011)2
    • Mick FoleyNetwork Consultant (May 3, 2011 – June 2, 2011)
  • Billy Corgan (August 12, 2016 – present)

1 Dixie Carter has been legitimately TNA President since 2003 after Panda Energy International became majority shareholder of TNA. However, Jerry Jarrett continued to appear till 2003 as President and Jeff Jarrett was recognised on screen from 2004 till 2009 when Dixie began to have the on-screen role.

2 Hulk 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.

Vice President[edit]

On-screen executive[edit]

  • Mick Foley - Co-owner/Executive Shareholder (October 23, 2008 – March 22, 2010); Network consultant/executive (May 12, 2011 – June 2, 2011)
  • Billy Corgan (2016)

General Manager (GM)[edit]

TNA Investor[edit]

  • MVP (January 30, 2014 – June 26, 2014) 1

1 MVP was also the Director of Wrestling Operations but lost his position on June 26, 2014. The investor storyline was dropped after that.

(Executive) Director of Wrestling Operations[edit]

  • MVP (March 9, 2014 – June 26, 2014) 1
  • Kurt Angle (June 26, 2014 – January 7, 2015) 2

1 As 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.

2 As 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 removed as the Director of Wrestling Operations, with Kurt Angle announced as MVP's replacement as the Executive Director of Wrestling Operations.

Knockouts Division authority figures[edit]

  • Traci BrooksKnockouts Commissioner (August 28, 2008 – January 2009)
  • Ms. TessmacherGeneral Manager (September 20, 2010 – October 14, 2010)
  • Karen JarrettExecutive Vice President (September 1, 2011 – December 15, 2011)
    • Traci BrooksExecutive Assistant (September 1, 2011 – December 15, 2011)
  • Brooke HoganKnockouts Vice President (May 31, 2012 – August 16, 2013)
  • Maria Kanellis - Leader of the Knockouts (April 19, 2016 – September 8, 2016)1
    • Allie - Apprentice (May, 2016 – present)
    • Sienna - Bodyguard/Enforcer (May, 2016 – present)

1 Was told by TNA Chairwoman & Chief Strategy Officer Dixie Carter on the September 8, 2016 episode of Impact Wrestling that the decision was made by the TNA Board of Directors that as long as she has possession of the TNA Knockouts Championship, she has no decision-making authority, as her being both Knockouts Champion & Leader of the Knockouts creates a conflict of interest.


Xplosion Commissioner[edit]

Executive Producer[edit]

Representative of the TNA Board of Directors[edit]

  • Earl Sullivan Armstrong (June 26, 2014) 1

1 Made the announcement on the 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
  • Rob Feinstein – Founder
  • Cary Silkin – Owner (February 23, 2002 – May 21, 2011)
  • Gabe SapolskyHead of Talent Relations (February 23, 2002 – October 26, 2008)
  • 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)
  • Joe Koff – ROH Chief Operating Officer (May 21, 2011 – present)
  • Nigel McGuinnessMatch-coordinator (November 3, 2012 – present)

International Wrestling Association authority figures[edit]

  • Savio Vega, General Manager (2001–2006)
  • Orlando Toledo, General Manager (2006–2010)
  • Joe Bravo, General Manager (2010–2012)

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 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.

Owner[edit]

1 Shane McMahon owned WCW as part of the Invasion storyline with the rights actually owned by WWE chairman Vince McMahon.

Executive Vice President[edit]

President[edit]

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

2 Sting became on-screen president after defeating Ric Flair in a match on Nitro, then several weeks later gave up the position for WCW to name a new president.

Commissioner[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 The Alliance Commissioner during the Invasion storyline.

The Powers That Be[edit]

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

Leaders of The New Blood[edit]

1 Bischoff returned to WCW as an unspecified authority figure on April 10, 2000 and alongside Vince Russo took control of the company as the leaders of The New Blood group.

Extreme Championship Wrestling authority figures[edit]

1 Stephanie McMahon owned ECW as part of the Invasion storyline with the rights actually owned by WWE chairman Vince McMahon.

Chikara authority figures[edit]

Founder[edit]

Owner[edit]

Commissioner[edit]

Director of Fun[edit]

  • Leonard F. Chikarason (2005–2009)
  • Dieter VonSteigerwalt (2009–2010)
  • Wink Vavasseur (2010–2013)
  • Mike Quackenbush (2014 – present)
    • Bryce Remsburg - Acting/Interim Director of Fun (2016)

Other positions[edit]

  • Cavalier JonesMember of the Chikara Board of Directors (2004)
  • Wink Vavasseur – Executive Auditor of the Board of Directors (2010–2013)
  • Jakob Hammermeier – King of Chikara (unofficial) (2016 – present)

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.