Authority figures are considered to be a necessary evil by many in professional wrestling, but for WWE, it seems to be one of their primary storytelling points more often than not.
Some people like them and others don't, but either way, they certainly give fans something to talk about - or moan about, if you want to get serious about this.
Through the bad times there have also been some good, though, and today, we're going to run through both sides of the coin.
P.S: this list may trigger some incredibly unpleasant memories from days gone by, but hopefully, there will be a few good ones in there, too.
10 GREATEST - Vince McMahon
Regardless of whether or not you love him or hate him, there’s no way of getting around that Vince McMahon is one of the greatest authority figures in the history of the business. His storied rivalry with Stone Cold Steve Austin is one of the reasons why WWE is where it is today in terms of the company’s success, and that’s no exaggeration.
In his prime, and even now to a certain extent, there was an aura that came with seeing the famous Mr. McMahon character on screen.
Many members of his family have tried to replicate it, but none have really been able to do the McMahon name justice as well.
9 WORST - Kurt Angle
Kurt Angle is one of the true greats when it comes to in-ring competition, but as a general manager, he left a lot to be desired. From the odd Jason Jordan storyline to being pushed around on a week to week basis, it just felt like he didn’t really have any, well, authority.
He started off well in the immediate aftermath of WrestleMania 33, but in all honesty, he just seemed to go downhill from there. We prefer to remember him as the Wrestling Machine and Olympic Gold Medalist if you don’t mind.
8 GREATEST - William Regal
During his original days as the commissioner, William Regal was a hell of a lot of fun to watch on WWE programming. In the present day, however, he has been able to take his legacy to entirely new heights during his tenure with NXT.
He’s a recognizable face which always helps to validate an authority figure. He also doesn’t make himself the focus of the attention and delivers his announcements in a great way.
There are very few things not to like about this man, especially in this type of role.
7 WORST - Baron Corbin
As an in-ring competitor, Baron Corbin was painfully underrated and probably should’ve gone a lot further as a singles star than he did (although there’s still time for him).
Unfortunately, when he was positioned as a wannabe Corporate Kane, everything kind of fell apart. He lost all of the traits that made him interesting in the first place, and he was overused so much that it almost became impossible to watch.
We just hope that they find it within themselves to rebuild him because he deserves that chance to shine once again.
6 GREATEST - Jack Tunney
While Jack Tunney may be viewed as a forgettable figure in the eyes of many fans, the one thing we love about him is that everything he does is so simple.
We don’t mean that as an insult, either.
The guy did what he said he would do: make decisions in a concise and orderly manner. Whenever they cut to Big Jack behind his big desk, you knew something important was about to go down.
As a traditional old school pro wrestling fan, that’s always a nice feeling to have.
5 WORST - John Laurinaitis
When you heard this man speak, you knew that you were in for a mind-numbing segment or two, and we aren’t being overdramatic in saying that.
Everything about John Laurinaitis was just so tame, and he never felt like a serious threat.
While you probably aren’t supposed to feel like a threat as a boss in everyday life, the weird and wonderful world of pro wrestling ensures that all heel figures should have some degree of authenticity to them.
Big Johnny Ace never had that, which is a shame.
4 GREATEST - Eric Bischoff
The best thing that can be said for Eric Bischoff is that he was already an established figure by the time he made his way over to WWE, just a few years after watching World Championship Wrestling sink to the bottom of the ocean.
From his theme song to his general persona, everything just worked.
Sure, there were a few odd storylines here and there as we’ve come to expect with most general managers, but that’s just the way of the world in WWE.
He came out swinging, and we love that.
3 WORST - Mike Adamle
We’re sure that Mike Adamle meant well, but he was just never really able to hit the ground running with his tenure as the general manager. He constantly got things wrong, he didn’t really have all too much charisma, and he wasn’t really a very good fit with the pro wrestling business.
He’s a nice enough guy and he was able to succeed in other areas, but WWE just wasn’t for him.
He was often ridiculed by fans during his time with the company and has been ever since, which tells you all that you need to know.
2 GREATEST - Daniel Bryan
A big part of Daniel Bryan’s appeal as general manager was his tenure on Talking Smack because it was quite clear to see that he had no Fs to give whatsoever. He knew that WWE needed him more than he needed them, and that was plain and clear for all fans to see.
Bryan is an incredibly exciting in-ring competitor, but he’s almost equally as entertaining on the mic. He did his job as GM with very little hassle or worry, and we always knew that we were going to get a segment that had substance when he was on screen.
1 WORST - Stephanie McMahon
From a promo point of view, Stephanie McMahon was really strong in all of her authority roles. However, that was ruined by the fact that she was consistently booked to go over some seriously big names.
Whether it was outright firing people or slapping them across the face (or actually beating them in a match), Stephanie was always booked to look like one of the strongest members of the roster.
The problem is that she wasn’t an in-ring talent, and shouldn’t have been allowed to make so many other superstars look so foolish.