Many of us have problems with authority. Taking orders and following rules are not among our everyday desires. It's natural anarchism, non-conformity, and self-reliance that's keeps us at odds with the authority figures of our society. We don't always listen or play well with others, we long to be rebels but are forced to live within the confines of our environment. Thus, authority eventually takes over.
We like to eat and drink and sleep in warm beds at night. We love our phones and tablets and laptops. However, in order to maintain our comforts we must make money. Therefore, we find jobs and suddenly realize how difficult rebellion truly is in the real world. It's easy to defy our parents in high school, it is much harder to defy our bosses. Smile and wave, get paid, get by, live within our means, and then die.
The Authority in WWE - at least on-screen - is currently Triple H and Stephanie McMahon and while they both yield actual power and influence within the company, the true authoritarian of WWE is Vince McMahon. Those placed in a position of "power" on WWE programming (with the exception of the McMahon family) are simply playing a role.
Throughout the years, a number of people have assumed an on-screen authoritative role and completely ran with the concept (Stone Cold Steve Austin, Eric Bischoff, Mick Foley). However, the faux power position has also seen its share of bad moves. Those who quite frankly, were not suited for the position. They may have tried but ultimately failed at capturing the true aspects of being an authority figure in WWE.
The following is a look back at those who didn't quite make the grade while performing in their power-stricken role.
These are the top 12 worst authority figures in WWE history:
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12 AJ Lee
AJ Lee was never the biggest Diva in the locker room but her heart and passion for the business sure made up for her lack of size. The former Divas Champion may have left WWE but her impression remains on the structure of the Divas division.
However, there was once a time when AJ was taken away from in-ring action and placed in the role of Raw General Manger; an angle that didn't quite work. AJ may have rocked the business suit but competing in the ring suited her much better.
AJ Lee was a hot mess General Manager.
11 Jonathan Coachman
Jonathan "Coach" Coachman would take on numerous roles during his tenure in WWE. In 2007, Coach would twice serve the role of Raw General Manager in an "interim" or "acting" capacity.
While Coach was good as an announcer, as an authority figure, something didn't mesh. Coach was often subject to ridicule by the WWE Superstars which may have contributed to the lack of seriousness involved with his GM angle.
Jonathan Coachman has since found himself a cushy little job over at ESPN.
10 Bret Hart
Bret "Hitman" Hart coming back to WWE truly felt like an overdue homecoming. Hart was welcomed back to town by the WWE audience and Superstars alike with open arms and open hearts.
In fact, for a short month back in 2010, Bret Hart was given the on-screen role of Raw General Manager; a spot that proved to be a little messy for the "excellence of execution." Hart sometime fumbles his words during promos and really the only qualification for being Raw GM is the ability to cut a promo.
Everybody loves having Bret Hart back in WWE but having The Hitman play a power position doesn't get over that well.
9 Brad Maddox
Believe it or not, Brad Maddox is still employed by WWE, mainly working as a "jobber." This is a far fall from Raw General Manger, a role Maddox once assumed not too long ago, even though his tenure is rather forgettable.
Brad Maddox as Raw General Manager didn't work at all. Maddox was virtually unknown prior to his position as GM which will automatically hurt your chances of getting over with the audience.
The Raw General Manger needs natural charisma that can help him/her play off the crowd. Unfortunately for Brad Maddox, that quality was lacking.
8 Armando Estrada
At this point, we all know the story of ECW and WWE's attempt at reviving the product. The not-so-extreme experiment would prove to be one of the biggest WWE fails of all time.
Of course, much like Raw and SmackDown, the ECW brand was ran by a General Manager. Armando Estrada - former handler of Umaga - would take on this role at some point and leave no lasting impression.
Armando Estrada represented none of ECW's original values which in a weird way complimented the WWE version.
7 Theodore Long
Theodore Long would represent SmackDown as its General Manger for a lengthy period of time. Perhaps too long. Eventually, the people grew bored with Long but for some reason WWE kept him locked in the GM role.
At one point, Theodore Long also (briefly) served as General Manger of ECW. Needless to say, that didn't work out very well. Long has had flashes of good as a General Manger in WWE but never anything great.
WWE would move Theodore Long away from these roles and he was eventually released from the company.
6 Anonymous Raw General Manager
Perhaps the most annoying authority figure on our list was not even in the flesh each week: the anonymous Raw General Manger who later turned out to be Hornswoggle and completely let down the fans.
However, before this grand reveal, the anonymous Raw General Manger would communicate to the WWE Universe by way of email; which was read by Michael Cole and received with much heat.
Had the mystery behind this GM proved to be a massive star, the angle would have been worth the time. Instead, it was just another WWE bust.
5 John Laurinaitis
"People Power" ... The slogan of former Raw and SmackDown General Manager, John Laurinaitis. The former backstage employee was provided with the opportunity of becoming an on-air talent.
However, most of the John Laurinaitis stuff would fall flat. Aside from his feud with CM Punk, not much good came from Laurinaitis' tenure as an on-screen authority figured in WWE.
John Laurinaitis was once a professional wrestler who couldn't get over. The same circumstance would prevail as General Manager.
4 Jack Tunney
For over a decade, Jack Tunney would serve as "President" of WWE. While not appearing in person on a regular basis, Tunney would often "oversea" certain situations and storylines.
Whenever Jack Tunney was seen on-screen to make a "major announcement," it became clear as to why Tunney was not a regular on-air character. Tunney was bland and didn't possess much if any charisma.
The tenure of Jack Tunney was of course a much different time for WWE. However, Tunney could have at least made a valiant attempting at finding some personality.
Taryn Terrell, known in WWE as Tiffany, has found much more success in TNA than WWE. Proving once again that not everybody can play in the big leagues. Some are doomed to live in the bush league.
While with WWE, Tiffany was appointed General Manger of the ECW brand at a point where there was clearly no saving the C-Show of WWE programming. Tiffany played the part but played sub-par at best.
Watching Tiffany "run" ECW quickly reminded fans that nobody aside from Paul Heyman could truly control the brand.
2 Mike Adamle
Hosting American Gladiators does not mean one can play a role in WWE; especially at the General Manger position. However, back in 2008, WWE had the bright idea of bringing in Mike Adamle and placing him "in charge" of Raw.
Mike Adamle was absolutely terrible. Adamle could barley get through a promo, would sometimes mispronounce the names of Superstars, and completely flub an entire segment on his own.
Mike Adamle is definitely the worst General Manager in WWE history but not the worst authority figure. That distinction belongs to someone special ...
1 Donald Trump
June 15th, 2009: Vince McMahon announces that he "sold" Monday Night Raw - his flagship show for which he fought tooth and nail to maintain during the Monday Night War - to Donald Trump ... Publicity stunt.
Donald Trump would "own" Monday Night Raw for a week before selling it back to Vince McMahon for double the price in an awful storyline and bad booking decision. This angle was the fakest thing you could find in a fake world.
Donald Trump as a WWE authority figure for one week was more than anybody needed. Imagine his guy running America for four to eight years? (Proud to be Canadian moment).
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