The backstage element of WWE is a huge part of the system that puts together the shows we watch every week. Vince McMahon has assembled a deep roster of behind the scenes employees that contribute to the product in different ways. There are the bookers, writers and various other members of the creative team that put together the on-screen product. Agents and producers contribute with input for each match along with the talent. Even the coaches and trainers at the Performance Center play a huge role in the company.
We will look at the most valuable employees to deliver their work off television. Most of them have been performers in some capacity before landing a backstage job to continue contributing in a new field. Find out just which behind the scenes people in WWE have provided the most over the years. These are the top ten most valuable backstage employees in WWE history.
10 Paul Heyman
The on-air greatness of Paul Heyman is easy to write as his legacy in wrestling, but the ideas behind the scenes are just as important. Heyman became a writer for WWE following the brand split as the leader of the creative side of Smackdown in the early 2000s.
Fans loved Smackdown in its first year and a half on its own. Talents like Brock Lesnar, Edge, John Cena, Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero became huge stars under the writing of Heyman. WWE recently gave Heyman another chance to contribute backstage as the person in charge of Raw moving forward.
9 Matt Bloom
Matt Bloom has found a second career after retiring from the ring to become the head trainer at the WWE Performance Center. The wrestling career in WWE featured him playing characters like Prince Albert, A-Train and Lord Tensai.
A transition into a coach would see Bloom become even more successful helping teach the stars of tomorrow. Bloom is the one in charge of all the talent at the Performance Center from rising NXT stars to new trainees just starting wrestling. The upgrade from Bill DeMott to Bloom played a huge role in WWE’s positive changes at the PC.
8 Jim Cornette
WWE used Jim Cornette as both an on-air character and creative mind in the 90s. Cornette would manage wrestlers like Yokozuna, Owen Hart and Davey Boy Smith on Raw while trying to contribute to the creative meetings before and after shows.
Vince McMahon trusted Cornette to have a different but relevant perspective when discussing creative plans. Cornette claimed he played a role in talents like Steve Austin, Chris Jericho and Terry Funk signing with WWE in the 90s. WWE even let him run the developmental territory OVW for a few years.
7 Vince Russo
The arch-nemesis of Jim Cornette also deserves a spot on the list for his contributions. Vince Russo was promoted from a WWE Magazine writer to the head of creative after pitching a few ideas to Vince McMahon. The polarizing reputation of Russo came due to everyone having a strong opinion about him one way or the other.
Russo was criticized for having stories make television for shock value with little long-term thinking. However, his vision did play a huge role in the success of the Attitude Era. Russo did need a filter of McMahon shutting down his worst ideas, but he does deserve credit for a role in the most successful era.
6 Bruce Prichard
The recent news of Bruce Prichard becoming the Smackdown Executive Director has him in charge of the blue brand as they start on FOX. Prichard has been the right-hand man for Vince McMahon for decades from the 1980s into the early 2010s.
The role has seen him pitch many ideas and help hire talent as the one person Vince most trusted. Prichard was released for a few years where he rejuvenated his career with a popular podcast. WWE brought him back and he’s now in one of the most powerful roles for the company yet again.
5 Sara Del Rey
Sara Del Rey was one of the top female wrestlers outside of WWE on the independent circuit in the 2000s. The great work of Del Rey unfortunately fell under the radar as WWE was still in the mode of hiring women from modeling backgrounds rather than their wrestling accomplishments.
Del Rey finally joined WWE in the early 2010s in the surprising role of a trainer. The rise of women’s wrestling in NXT started partially thanks to Sara having a key role in training the ladies. Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks and Bayley all credited her for helping their WWE careers. Many future ladies in the PC learned from Sara as she also moved into a producer role on the main roster.
4 Michael Hayes
The legendary Michael Hayes had his peak in-ring work come as a member of the Fabulous Freebirds faction. Hayes would try transitioning into a broadcaster when joining WWE as Doc Hendrix in the mid-90s. The experiment flopped, but WWE tried him as a producer and found his calling.
Hayes progressed from a producer helping put together matches to one of the bigger ones that helped put together the entire show. The duties go back and forth from providing creative to deciding house show winners to timing the show. Hayes has held a powerful position in WWE for well over a decade now.
3 William Regal
The in-ring career of William Regal featured many outstanding matches and hilarious promos as one of the more underrated all-around performers. Triple H specifically always valued the mind of Regal and it made perfect sense to have him start working backstage in the overall set-up of WWE.
Regal is the Director of Talent Development and Head of Global Recruiting as the right-hand man to Triple H. Many of the big signings of talents like Shinsuke Nakamura, Kevin Owens and Finn Balor all came thanks to Regal’s input. The work in NXT and at the Performance Center have helped improve WWE now and for their future.
2 Pat Patterson
Wrestling legend Pat Patterson was considered the best friend and most trusted co-worker of Vince McMahon for many years in WWE. Patterson received a huge role as a producer in the 80s when McMahon made the first steps to have WWE grow into a national mainstream brand.
Wrestlers like Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart and Scott Hall credited Patterson for providing great input in their matches and the overall decision-making behind the scenes. McMahon always ran ideas past Patterson when trying to put together the perfect product. Patterson still works occasionally at WWE as a part-time creative consultant.
1 Jim Ross
The legendary career of Jim Ross is most remembered for the broadcasting work as arguably the best play by play commentator in wrestling history. WWE used him in a backstage capacity as well as an executive leading into a long run as the Vice President of Talent Relations.
Ross was responsible for stars like Mick Foley, The Rock and Kurt Angle getting deals locked down with WWE. Even his final years in the role led to the next wave of stars like John Cena, Batista and Brock Lesnar joining the company. JR was quietly responsible for many icons thriving in WWE.