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Authority figures in wrestling

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This list brings together authority figures — people who hold on-screen power — in selected 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

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. 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 Raw General Manager.

Chairman

Chief Executive Officer

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

  • 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 Piper - Interim President (1996) (substitution for an injured Gorilla Monsoon)

Chief Operating Officer

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.

Director of Operations

  • Kane (November 4, 2013 – present)

Commissioners

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

Raw authorities

Owners

  • 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

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

Owners

General Managers

Saturday Morning Slam Authority Figures

Owners

General Manager

NXT Authority Figures

Host

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

Match Coordinator

General Managers

ECW brand authorities


Owners

General Managers

  • 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)
    • Tiffany - Assistant 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.

World Championship Wrestling authority figures

Commissioners

Temporary/Honorary Commissioners

On-screen presidents

On-screen owners

1 This occurred during The Invasion storyline.

2 Appointed acting Commissioner by Kevin Nash while Nash was out with injury.

3 Sting defeated Ric Flair for the presidency July 19, but didn't take the job because he just wanted Flair out of the position rather than wanting the power for himself.

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling authority figures

Directors of Authority

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

NWA Championship Committee

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

President

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.

Executive Producer

General Manager

Mystery Investor

  • MVP (January 30, 2014 – March 9, 2014)

Director of Wrestling Operations

  • MVP (March 9, 2014 - June 19, 2014) 1
  • Kurt Angle (June 19, 2014 – present)

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.

2 As a result of MVP abusing his power in TNA and creating the fiction with Bobby Lashley & Kenny King.

Knockouts Division

Xplosion Commissioner

Ring of Honor authority figures

IWA authority figures

Reality of Wrestling authority figures

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