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 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

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 ironclad 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 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 the Raw and SmackDown brands until the Board of Directors stripped him of his power and named John Laurinaitis the interim general manager of Raw.

Presidents and commissioners

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

Corporate officers

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.

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 Storyline CEO only; appointed in storyline by Linda McMahon. Lost his position back to Vince 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 COO. However, Vince McMahon 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

Main article: List of WWE Raw on-air personalities § Authority figures

See also: Raw (WWE brand) and List of WWE Raw guest stars

SmackDown authorities

Main article: List of WWE SmackDown on-air personalities § Authority figures

See also: SmackDown (WWE brand)

NXT authority figures

Main article: NXT (WWE brand) § Authority figures

See also: NXT (WWE brand)

Defunct brands

Saturday Morning Slam authority figures

Main article: WWE Saturday Morning Slam § General Managers

See also: WWE Saturday Morning Slam

ECW brand authorities

Main article: WWE ECW § Authority figures

See also: ECW (WWE brand)

All Elite Wrestling authority figures

See also: All Elite Wrestling

After the All In wrestling event in 2018, Ring of Honor wrestlers Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks partnered with Shahid Khan and Tony Khan, the owners of Fulham F.C. and Jacksonville Jaguars, to form All Elite Wrestling on January 1, 2019.

Impact Wrestling figures

See also: Impact Wrestling

Chairman (CEO)

Director of authority

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

NWA Championship Committee

TNA Wrestling also maintained a championship committee, which was 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 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. By June 2005, the committee was dropped and only Larry Zbyszko made appearances for the company. Despite the name, the National Wrestling Alliance had no direct relationship with the committee. During its existence, TNA controlled the booking of the NWA World Heavyweight Championship and treated it as its foremost title.

The committee consisted of:

Management director

President (COO)

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 until 2003 as president and Jeff Jarrett was recognised on screen from 2004 until 2009 when Carter began to have the on-screen role.
2 Hulk Hogan was (storyline) president from October 2010 to October 2011 after Carter unknowingly 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

On-screen executive

General manager (GM)

TNA investor

1 MVP was also the director of wrestling operations, but he lost his position on June 26, 2014. The investor storyline was dropped after that.

(Executive) director of wrestling operations

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 (aired on June 26, 2014 episode 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

1 She was told by TNA chairwoman and 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 and leader of the Knockouts creates a conflict of interest. On the October 13, 2016 episode of Impact Wrestling, she lost a title vs. Knockouts leadership match against Gail Kim, thus completely removing her as leader of the Knockouts.

Xplosion commissioner

Executive producer

Representative of the TNA Board of Directors

1 Made the announcement on the June 26, 2014 episode 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.

Representative of the Impact Board of Directors & Consultant/Advisor to Anthem

1 Made the announcement on the June 17, 2021 episode of Impact Wrestling that Don Callis was fired from Impact and also ceased being Executive Vice President. Dreamer also reinstated Sami Callihan. [5] On the June 24, 2021 episode, it was revealed that Dreamer had been asked by Anthem by stay on as the company's Consultant/Advisor within Impact. [6]

Executive Vice President

Ring of Honor authority figures

See also: Ring of Honor

International Wrestling Association authority figures

World Championship Wrestling authority figures

See also: World Championship Wrestling

Ted Turner purchased Jim Crockett Promotions and launched World Championship Wrestling (WCW) 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, but the company was featured prominently on WWF television as part of the Invasion storyline for the remainder of the year.

Owner

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

Executive vice president

Vice President of Wrestling Operations

Senior Vice President

President

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

1 Regal served as the Alliance commissioner during the Invasion storyline.

The Powers That Be

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

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

See also: Extreme Championship Wrestling

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

Chikara authority figures

See also: Chikara (professional wrestling)

Founder

Owner

Commissioner

Director of Fun

Other positions

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ "Game" changer for McMahon".
  2. ^ "WWE Raw Results - 9/5/2011" Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine. Theodore Long came out to announce an eight-man tag team match on that night and also his booking power.
  3. ^ Lambert, Jeremy (February 15, 2022). "Cody And Brandi Rhodes Moving On From AEW | Fightful News". www.fightful.com. Retrieved 2022-03-06.
  4. ^ "Impact Wrestling News: Jeff Jarret On The Hardys Leaving & More". 28 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Anthem's representative @THETOMMYDREAMER has REINSTATED @TheSamiCallihan and FIRED @TheDonCallis as IMPACT EVP". 18 June 2021. Retrieved 18 June 2021.
  6. ^ "Impact Wrestling News - Tommy Dreamer's New On-Screen Role, Purrazzo vs. Susan". eWrestlingNews.com. 25 June 2021.
  7. ^ Williams, Hardcore History, p. 130.