Professional wrestling authority figures
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This list brings together authority figures – people who hold on-screen power – in professional wrestling promotions or brands within North America. The North American wrestling industry portrays authority figures as responsible for making matches, providing rules and generally keeping law and order both in and outside of the ring. The role can vary according to disposition. A face authority figure tends to give what the fans want and favors fellow face-wrestlers: note for example Theodore Long. Heel authority figures tend to run their shows out of their own self-interest: Eric Bischoff exemplifies this type.
==WWE authority figures==
In the past, WWE featured the President as an authority figure: the President had booking power and controlled all wrestlers. However, in 1997, the Commissioner replaced the President, with Sgt. Slaughter serving as the first WWE (or WWF at that time) Commissioner. During the Attitude Era of WWE (ca 1997-2002), not only the Commissioner, but also Vince McMahon (through his Chairman position under his evil character "Mr. McMahon") had booking power. McMahon usually used his power in order to haze his (kayfabe) nemesis, Stone Cold Steve Austin. When Shawn Michaels served as Commissioner, he could overrule McMahon, but he exercised his booking power only sporadically, and was working with an "Iron-Clad" contract where he couldn't be fired. When Mick Foley acquired the position, he took full reign until he was fired from the position.
Upon splitting the WWE into two separate brands in the WWE Brand Extension of 2002, on-screen co-owners Vince McMahon and Ric Flair proceeded to draft WWE wrestlers into two separate rosters. Flair took ownership of ''Raw'', while McMahon controlled ''SmackDown''. After McMahon regained control of the entire company, he removed Flair from control of ''Raw'', relinquished his own position, and appointed separate General Managers to control the different brands.
On July 18, 2011, Triple H came to ''Raw'' and told Vince McMahon that the Board of Directors (kayfabe) revoked his "day-to-day operation power" and named him to manage it instead.〔http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2011-07-18/mcmahon-relieved-of-duties "Game" changer for McMahon〕 After that, Triple H became the WWE's Chief Operating Officer (storyline) who had the booking power in WWE on both ''Raw'' and ''SmackDown'' brands until the Board stripped him of his power, and named John Laurinaitis the Interim General Manager of Raw.
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