10 Best Authority Figures in Pro Wrestling History

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Last week, at The Survivor Series, Sting made his WWE debut and helped Dolph Ziggler overcome insurmountable odds, while also laying out Triple H, and The Authority lost all their power in the WWE. As a result, Daniel Bryan returned and ran the show before the end of the episode saw the return of the infamous Raw General Manager computer.

Now, honestly, that was stupid. The anonymous Raw General Manager was already revealed a long time ago to be Hornswoggle, although they might now claim that he was just fooling around and there really is an anonymous Raw General Manager. I really hope not.

To tell the truth, there have been way too many authority figures in professional wrestling over the last few years, and its really time to just lay that to rest for awhile and just put on some good wrestling shows. With that said, there have been some great authoirity figures over the years.

Here is a look at the 10 best authority figures in professional wrestling history.

10. Nigel McGuinness – I really, really like Nigel McGuinness as the authority figure in Ring of Honor Wrestling. I hate the fact that injuries cut his career short because he was awesome when he was in TNA Impact Wrestling and was on his way to the WWE when his injuries ended things for him. He is a good guy as an authority figure and takes no crap from anybody. Plus, he is a thousand times better than Jim Cornette was in the same role before him.

9. John Laurinatis – I know a lot of people hated Johnny Ace when he became the WWE general manager, but that was the point. For a guy who had zero charisma as a wrestler, he really took that entire ideal and turned it into the best general manager gimmick I think I have seen. They guy was just heat intensified every time he came out to the ring and that made the moment that he got his sendoff a hugely entertaining moment.

8. Jack Tunney – This is one that some people might not really think of. The General Manager role really started with Eric Bischoff in WCW and then Vince McMahon in the WWE. However, back in the 80s, the WWE had a president that handed down all the official decisions. Unlike the GMs over the years, Jack Tunney was not on TV every week and wasn’t someone who really booked matches. He was just a person who handed down suspensions and was there when contracts were signed. While he wasn’t super memorable, he was the most important person in the WWE when it came to handling superstars.

7. Mick Foley – Out of all the temporary general managers following Mr. McMahon in the WWE, Mick Foley had to be the most entertaining. He ran things from 2000-2001 and was one of the more entertaining GMs, especially when he just cut loose with his comic decisions towards the wrestlers who really deserved to be put in their place.

6. Cowboy Bill Watts – Of course, like I have said since I started this column, I watched a lot more than just the WWE and watched the territories when I was a kid – mainly Mid South and World Class. With that said, Cowboy Bill Watts was the owner of Mid South Wrestling and was always there to step in when the bad guys got out of control – especially when those bad guys were the evil foreigners like the Russians.

5. Vickie Guerrero – Did people hate Vickie Guerrero because they hated her or because she was a perfect villain general manager? Honestly, I think it was because she played her character so perfectly. Look at her send off when she came out acting like she had for the past decade – a slimy and cowardly woman who would pander to her bosses to get her way – only to finally stand up for herself and remind everyone that she was Eddie Guerrero’s wife. Vickie was perfect in her role.

4. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon – The Authority was what the WWE expected to be the new version of Mr. McMahon and his evil Corporation, and they did a good job while they were in charge. Between the arrogance and brutality of Triple H and the vindictive and truly evil Stephanie McMahon, they were the most dominating power couple in wrestling.

3. Paul Heyman – Let’s look at Paul Heyman in ECW when he was Paul E. Dangerously. He built the company from the ground up and ran it as the most successful secondary wrestling company in the world. However, he also got a huge role in the WWE when he was named the general manager of the WWE’s version of ECW. Heyman is one of the best authority figures, both in real life and on the screen.

2. Eric Bischoff – The man who created the general manager role in professional wrestling – at least the way we know it today – was Eric Bischoff in WCW. He was an announcer, but then, when the nWo attacked and took over, fans learned that he was actually the booker and had power and he joined the nWo and blurred the lines between the behind-the-scenes working and the on-screen storylines. Then, he shocked the world and joined the WWE as their general manager – something no one ever saw coming.

http://youtu.be/XlqZLPsFgNc

1. Mr McMahon – While Eric Bischoff was the man who created the authority figure role, it was Vince McMahon who perfected it. Mr. McMahon was created when the world began to see McMahon as the owner, and not an announcer. That happened when he screwed Bret Hart and then started a feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin. Honestly, the biggest feud in wrestling history was Mr. McMahon vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin and when an authority figure is involved in something so big, that says a lot about how important the character was.

 

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About the Author

Shawn S. Lealos
Shawn is a film critic with over 25 years of experience in print and online media. He is a member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle and loves everything from critically acclaimed movies to B-level action flicks.
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