The growth of WWE has seen it become a massive company in need of employees in just about every area needed. A unique situation of being a touring brand and an episode television product means WWE must have employees in various aspects of the job. Some jobs require having enough experience in the field to do an effective job. Quite a few familiar names are surprisingly under WWE contract despite most fans never even seeing them. From producers to writers to agents to other backstage personnel roles, these talents have been hired by either Vince McMahon or Triple H to add to the overall product.
The employees of Vince are usually helping put together the show for Raw, SmackDown and live events. These names must contribute to the overall bigger product of WWE being on national television and live tours all year. Triple H also has his own team of employees for his work in the company. While he does a lot of work on the main roster, Triple H also runs NXT and the Performance Center. Many of Triple H’s employees try to help the future talent of WWE. Find out which familiar names are around today with eight people you forgot Vince McMahon employs and seven that Triple H employs.
15 Vince: Mark Henry
The legendary in-ring career of Mark Henry has unofficially come to an end. Following his recent Hall of Fame induction back during WrestleMania 34 weekend, most fans assumed Henry was officially done from in-ring competition. However, he did make a return in the Greatest Royal Rumble match in Saudi Arabia as all wrestlers with value were needed for Vince McMahon’s event.
We likely won’t see Henry back in the ring any time soon, but he is still part of the company. McMahon has a great relationship with Henry, and the veteran’s voice is respected by the chairman.
Henry has revealed in recent interviews that he now has a backstage role with the company.
For the past few years, he has been an unofficial scout leading to the signings of Braun Strowman, Baron Corbin, Apollo Crews and a couple of other talents on the roster today.
The transition from the ring has seen Henry became an official scout for the company along with the role of a producer. McMahon trusts Henry’s voice to provide a positive experience for the younger wrestlers trying to get on the right track in WWE. The love Henry has for WWE will likely see him involved in the company for as long as he wants.
14 Triple H: Funaki
Many fans will remember Sho Funaki for his time as a competitor in WWE. He was part of the Kai en Tai faction with fellow Japanese wrestler Taka Michinoku. Both men were respected in-ring workers in Japan, but WWE felt they were better off in comedic roles during the Attitude Era. Funaki remained with WWE for many years. From his time as “SmackDown’s #1 announcer” to a role in the Cruiserweight division, Funaki had a successful career in WWE.
Triple H brought him back into the company to help with the transition period for top Japanese stars coming to NXT.
Hideo Itami was the first that saw Funaki help him get situated in the new country as well as the WWE life. NXT even used their relationship as part of a storyline when The Ascension attacked Funaki to play mind games with Itami.
Shinsuke Nakamura, Kairi Sane and Asuka also received some help from Funaki during their early days in NXT. WWE footage of Nakamura’s first day meeting everyone featured Funaki showing him around and translating. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon have also been working hard to continue WWE’s outreach as a global brand. Funaki fits into this as a color commentator for the Japanese broadcasts of the monthly WWE PPVs.
13 Vince: Billy Kidman
The wrestling career of Billy Kidman is very underrated when looking back at it. Kidman is often in the most entertaining match on WCW Nitro in the time frame where he starts getting a Cruiserweight push until the end of WCW. While he wasn’t celebrated enough for it back then, his work stands the test of time. Kidman would have a bigger star in the current era today.
WWE even underutilized Kidman during his stint there. Kidman had a few stand out matches in the Cruiserweight and tag team divisions, but his run ended faster than expected. The experience of Kidman along with his knowledge allowed him to get a job backstage in WWE.
Kidman is a producer with a lot of responsibilities.
His role is more pivotal than some of the other producers in the company. Kidman is usually the one in charge of timing the segments and matches. He is often in the referee’s earpiece providing updates about when the show is going to commercial break or if the timing of a match needs to be changed.
Not many would have predicted Kidman having such an important position, but Vince McMahon seems to trust him in the role.
12 Triple H: Gabe Sapolsky
Only diehard fans of promotions outside of WWE will recognize the name of Gabe Sapolsky. For those unaware, Sapolsky was the creative mind behind the origin of Ring of Honor. The first seven years of ROH saw Sapolsky booking the show and essentially making decisions on who to sign and push. CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Seth Rollins and many other future stars credit Gabe for his role in their evolution.
There is no ROH without the role of Gabe in the beginning stages. His career started in ECW working backstage under Paul Heyman. The creative vision of Heyman inspired Sapolsky and the two developed a mentor/protégé relationship that still exists today.
Sapolsky currently is the head booker of Evolve Wrestling and other promotions in the same WWN family. WWN has a relationship with WWE and Triple H that allows talent to get chances in tryouts.
Sapolsky is now part of the creative team in NXT. Triple H officially hired him to be a part of the large creative team.
Many personalities behind the scenes will offer ideas in the NXT booking meetings. Sapolsky is one of the minds helping put together the NXT television and TakeOver shows. Triple H has seen what he can do on the independent level and wants him on his team.
11 Vince: Dewey Foley
One of the most surprising hires from WWE in quite some time saw Dewey Foley join the WWE backstage staff as a creative assistant. Dewey is the son of WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley. The success of Mick saw him become one of the biggest stars of the Attitude Era after Steve Austin and The Rock. His son Dewey was referenced in a legendary ECW promo where he buried the ECW fans for bringing a sign that said, “Cane Dewey.”
All these years later and Dewey is now in the wrestling business in a backstage role. The young son of Mick has an education in writing. Between this and his passion for wrestling, Dewey started to write scripts and storylines online to show his vision for WWE.
Many fans liked it and it ended up getting on the radar of WWE to get him hired as a creative assistant.
Vince McMahon reportedly made the decision when others in the company told him about Mick’s son. This was around the time the Holy Foley reality show was pitched for the WWE Network. McMahon had high expectations for this show leading to Dewey getting a break sooner than most expected. Dewey hopes to move up the ranks and become a full-time writer in the future.
10 Triple H: Shawn Michaels
Triple H made one of his biggest moves when convincing his best friend Shawn Michaels to make a move into joining the Performance Center. Michaels remained in the WWE family following his retirement with a lot of on-screen appearances. However, he started to give his input backstage when the younger wrestlers with big roles on Raw and SmackDown would ask for his advice.
Michaels started to channel this with training appearances at the Performance Center as a favor to Triple H. This started to bring his passion back for the business in a major way. Triple H convinced him to move from his longtime home in San Antonio to Orlando to take a full-time training gig. Michaels now shows up to the Performance Center every day along with producing at the NXT television tapings, TakeOver specials and live events.
The biggest job of Michaels is teaching an advanced class at the Performance Center for the wrestlers closest to getting called up. Michaels offers advice to help these wrestlers for when they are on the big stage.
Drew McIntyre, Adam Cole and Johnny Gargano are a few wrestlers to reference being in Shawn’s class. Triple H scored a huge hire when getting Michaels to take such a job to help the future of WWE.
9 Vince: Jamie Noble
The role of a producer is very important in WWE. Vince McMahon trusts these former performers to help the current talent deliver what is expected from them in the overall story. Most of the producers are wrestlers that were immensely respected by his peers. Jamie Noble fits the bill as someone that other wrestlers loved to work with. Everyone to speak about him publicly has nothing but kind things to say.
Noble ended up getting a backstage role as a producer. Many of the big matches on television are planned between the performers and Noble. WWE even used him as an on-screen character in recent years. Joey Mercury and Noble used to appear with Seth Rollins as the J and J Security. The smaller wrestlers comedically tried to take the damage for Rollins whenever an opponent was going after him.
WWE surprisingly fired Mercury from a similar role due to wanting an upgrade. Fans have been confused about the status of Noble given his partner is no longer there.
However, Noble still remains in WWE as a long tenured producer.
The likelihood of him remaining in the company for the long term is very good. All the wrestlers and people in management reportedly loves him.
8 Triple H: Sarah Stock
Triple H is not afraid of hiring talented performers to find success in other promotions when looking for trainers and producers. Sara Del Rey was a highly respected independent wrestler. Her work in Ring of Honor, Shimmer and other promotions made her among the best female performers in the industry. The success of Sara allowed her to get signed by WWE as a trainer. Many important people credit her as a huge reason for the women’s evolution success.
The success of Sara has showed WWE that getting minds to thrive without the machine could be beneficial.
It led to fellow women’s wrestling talent Sarah Stock joining the Performance Center as a trainer. Triple H hired her as another credible female performer transitioning into the world of training. Many fans know her for her time in Impact Wrestling under the name of Sarita.
Stock has been a huge success since joining the company. While she still does help out at the Performance Center, Stock now works for the main roster as a producer. Various productions of WWE documentaries have seen Stock backstage as a producer in gorilla position. Triple H reportedly views Stock as being a big part of the future when it comes to ‘his’ producers.
7 Vince: Gene Okerlund
Most of the roles discussed so far have been the producers and trainers that work full time with WWE. There are still some relevant names that are on the WWE payroll in smaller roles. ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund is considered to be the greatest backstage interviewer in WWE history. Renee Young may be the best in the role since his departure, but most others have struggled to follow his success.
Okerlund left the company in the mid-90s to join WCW when the company was offering huge contracts to anyone that had success in WWE. Vince McMahon reportedly was unhappy with the loss of Okerlund due to how well he did in the role. Once WCW went out of business, Okerlund was too old to continue working full-time in the role. However, he has been a part of the WWE family since then.
WWE signed him to a legends contract that allows him to work on a few projects for the company. Okerlund currently narrates the WWE Network show Story Time. A few other shows and DVD specials will see him as the host.
McMahon has loyalty for certain people that were part of the company during the 80s and 90s boom periods. Okerlund is one of them is still getting paid by WWE.
6 Triple H: Jeremy Borash
Many former Impact Wrestling stars have called Jeremy Borash the person that held the company together backstage for many years. Borash held just about every role at one point from ring announcer to commentator to producer to writer to marketer. The success of Borash would be celebrated most in the backstage world when Matt Hardy decided to give him a new project.
Borash and the Hardy brothers worked together to create the Broken Universe that was a huge hit for the company. The wacky matches involving the Hardys on their compound or in other unique surroundings were produced by Matt and Borash. This likely played a huge role in Borash deciding to finally take the jump leaving Impact for WWE.
The role of Borash is currently a part of the production team in NXT. Triple H reportedly hired Borash to be one of the people to continue running NXT when he eventually has to give it up for a bigger role on the main roster replacing Vince McMahon.
Some of the social media content and backstage videos for NXT are already part of Borash’s directions.
While he doesn’t talk about it on social media, Borash retweets NXT posts consistently. Hardy also has Borash helping him out on the main roster for projects like the Great War match against Bray Wyatt.
5 Vince: D-Von Dudley
One of the more recent hires by Vince McMahon for the main roster backstage saw D-Von Dudley join the staff. The legendary tag team work of D-Von and Bubba Dudley landed them one more run when they returned to the company as wrestlers in 2015. Both wrestlers signed one-year contracts to serve as depth for the tag division on Raw and Smackdown. The Dudley Boyz helped put over New Day and The Usos during their year back in the ring.
WWE decided against renewing their contracts as talent. D-Von was offered the chance to sign a backstage deal. The knowledge and experience of D-Von were impressive enough for McMahon to add him as a producer. D-Von has been working as a producer over the past few years.
Considering he has worked with a lot of the talent before getting this role, there is a lot of respect for him by peers.
The Dudleyz were inducted into the Hall of Fame this past year for the last major moment for D-Von’s career as a talent. Most of the wrestlers to learn from D-Von today were in attendance to witness his induction. It had to be a cool moment for D-Von to give his speech in front of old peers from various eras and a younger core that he helps in another way today.
4 Triple H: Scotty 2 Hotty
The training staff at the Performance Center has all kinds of wrestlers. There are international stars like Robbie Brookside and Norman Smiley. Some talents were independent success stories like Sara Del Rey and Steve Corino. One of the rare wrestlers to find success in WWE during their career is Scotty 2 Hotty. The career of Scotty peaked in the Attitude Era with Grand Master Sexay and Rikishi in the Too Cool group.
Scotty’s most memorable move was the worm. Before delivering a chop block to his opponent, Scotty delivered the worm dance move in the ring as the crowd chanted along with him. The respect Scotty had in the locker room was shared from top guys to his fellow lower card success stories. Everyone appreciated his work ethic and it was remembered today.
Triple H made the decision to hire him as part of the training staff teaching the new trainees and providing insight to the experienced talents needing help.
Scotty became a firefighter during his time away from the industry. The decision to return to the wrestling industry was due to his passion for the job. Now he has a consistent role as a trainer at the Performance Center.
3 Vince: Tyson Kidd
Many of the producers in WWE never were top guys. In fact, the best part of their main roster careers often featured them putting over other wrestlers that the company had more faith in. Tyson Kidd is one of these stories. While he often had great matches, Kidd never received a major singles push. His career even ended shorter than expected when suffering a terrible injury against Samoa Joe.
Kidd was unsure of his future as he would never be able to wrestle again. WWE decided to do right by Kidd and offered him a job as a producer once he was healthy enough to travel every week.
Vince McMahon has a track record of being loyal to certain wrestlers that had unfortunate incidents on his watch. Darren Drozdov remained under contract in various roles for years following a career ending injury.
The decision was made for Kidd to be a producer given his passion and knowledge for the industry. Reports have circulated that he is already rising in the pecking order as one of the better producers in the company. Kidd was the producer of the Seth Rollins vs. Miz match at Backlash that stole the show. Social media posts have seen Kidd express his love for the new job and he will likely have it for many years to come.
2 Triple H: Steve Corino
The training staff at the Performance Center is a huge part of the future of the company. WWE wants to have these young prospects become the major superstars for the company as new talent will be needed every year. Triple H signs former wrestlers he believes can connect with the athletes to help them develop as performers. Steve Corino is one of the former wrestlers to sign with WWE to train at the Performance Center.
While he never signed with WWE, Corino had a great career in the industry. Most fans will remember him as one of the standout performers in ECW’s final years. Corino became an even better performer after ECW went out of business. Various Japanese promotions booked him as he made a great living on tours there. Ring of Honor came into play and hired him full-time in the late 2010s.
Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and Adam Cole are just a few wrestlers to speak positively about Corino helping them in ROH. This word of mouth likely led to Triple H making the move of adding him to the staff. Corino officially retired from the ring and commentary to become a full-time trainer at the Performance Center. Rumors indicate that Corino is already a beloved member of the training staff and is considered to be doing a good job.
1 Vince: RD Evans
The writing team in WWE sometimes sees some unique hires joining the company. Former WWE personality Ranjin Singh is currently one of the lead writers for Raw and SmackDown. Jimmy Jacobs was part of the staff for a couple of years making the jump from the independent wrestling circuit as a talent to the WWE writing staff. Even though Jacobs is gone, another former indie star is currently on the writing staff.
RD Evans was part of the Ring of Honor roster for a few years as a wrestler. He comedically had an unlikely undefeated streak that lasted quite some time. Evans also was a great source of consistency for the Chikara promotion.
The in-ring work and personality of Evans made him a memorable performer to those that watched him. A huge surprise would see him join WWE as a writer rather than a wrestler. Evans has been shown in backstage segments when wrestlers are filmed on their way to the ring or interacting with others.
The mind of Evans allows him to contribute in the backstage world rather than as a performer. Evans is one of the few WWE writers with experience in wrestling. Vince McMahon clearly must respect him if he has a rare spot on the main roster writing team.