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Top 15 Authority Figures In Wrestling History

Everyone has had that boss that they would love to deck, even if just once. The difference between your job and a pro wrestler’s is that your boss would most likely have you arrested while a wrestler’s boss would put him into a handicap match or hit you in the back with a chair. Authority figures in pro wrestling are interesting characters as they play up various aspects of what we loathe in our own bosses while also allowing us that ability, at least tangentially, to see them get their comeuppance eventually. For the most part authority figures are heels within the wrestling world, and the few face ones are usually shown to be more submissive to the more overpowering heel, with the Teddy Long and John Laurinaitis feud being an example of this.

Over the years there have been many authority figures in wrestling, usually with the goal of making the faces' lives hell while pushing their cohorts and other heels, aping the occasional issues behind the scenes concerning backstage politics. A face authority figure can win the crowd over in a matter of seconds as they will give them the matches that they want to see or will stick it to the heels that have been running amuck in the promotion.

So this list is designed to look at the best authority figures in pro wrestling history. These are the men and women who could generate any reaction that they wanted from the crowd, whether it is boos or cheers, these people are the ones that make the audience put a little bit of themselves and their emotions into the storyline. The entries were ranked on a criteria including how memorable they were, how they were received by the audience, storylines involved in, among other things. So please read, enjoy, and let us know what you think down in the comments section. How would you have ranked these differently? Are there other authority figures that you felt should have made the list or that one of the entries should be ranked differently?

16 15. John Laurinaitis

via wwe.com

15 14. Vince Russo

via youtube.com

14 13. Theodore Long

via wwe.com

13 12. Tod Gordon

via obsessedwithwrestling.com

12 11. Jim Cornette

via wikimedia.org

Possibly the most brutally honest person in all of wrestling, Jim Cornette has played a number of authority figures throughout his long career. He would play authority figures for different promotions including Ohio Valley Wrestling, Ring of Honor, and TNA. It was his time as TNA Commissioner that was particularly notable as he would have “staff meetings” where he would hold the roster accountable for things that they were or not doing right and make declarations for the week like LAX being made to wrestle again and firing Earl Hebner after his role in the “Orlando Screwjob.”

11 10. Ric Flair

via voicesofwrestling.com

10 9. Triple H

via youtube.com

9 8. Shane McMahon

via wwe.com

8 7. Jeff Jarrett

via wrestlingnewsreport.com

7 6. Vickie Guerrero

via wwe.com

6 5. Stephanie McMahon

via wwe.com

5 4. Paul Heyman

via wwe.com

4 3. Mick Foley

via pitch.com

After being the hardcore legend for years, Mick Foley would become the Commissioner of the WWE, there to keep the wrestlers in check as well create matches that fans wanted to see. It would be Foley who would famously announce that the first ever Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match would take place between the Dudley Boyz, Hardy Boyz, and Edge & Christian, he would also occasionally fire heel wrestlers only to hire them at the end of the night as a lesson for them that it might be better to change their ways. Foley would later become another authority figure, this time for TNA, acting as a large shareholder for the company, before he ultimately turned on Jeff Jarrett and became TNA Champion.

3

2 2. Eric Bischoff

via prowrestling.wikia.com

1 1. Vince McMahon

via fanpop.com

Was it any surprise that Vince McMahon is number one on the list? While starting his career as an interviewer and commentator, Vince’s life would forever change after the Montreal Screwjob and trying to explain it away by saying that “Bret screwed Bret.” Now the most hated man in pro wrestling, Vince would up the ante by taking on top face Stone Cold Steve Austin, effectively helping turn the tides of the Monday Night Wars and allowing McMahon to reap the financial benefits and become a certifiable billionaire. Though he would play a face every once in a while, it was usually as an outside observer to what was happening in a given storyline, though fans are always ready to boo him, especially when he utters the famous last words towards a superstar, “YOU’RE FIRED!”

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Top 15 Authority Figures In Wrestling History