The Creation & Should-Be Death of the “Authority” Role In Pro Wrestling

vince mcmahonThe “authority” angle in professional wrestling is dead. It doesn’t matter how good the performances of Steph and Trips are every week, that horse was beaten, bludgeoned and decapitated after both Vince McMahon and Eric Bischoff brought it to heights in the mid-to-late 90’s that would never be reached again. That’s how good they both were.

It was late 1995 when I just started working on the WWE creative team under Bruce Prichard. Much to Brother Love’s credit, he shared with me way back then the plans to put Vince in front of the camera as the “Head Authority” of WWE. At that time, there wasn’t a plan in place to ignite the sequence into motion – that is, until Bret laid out Vince in a locker room in Montreal. 

It was at the production meeting the next day when management veterans just assumed we were going to brush Vince’s newly-acquired black eye under the carpet like nothing had ever happened. I saw it differently. This was about as real as it was ever going to get in professional wrestling, and we had to exploit the situation. Vince agreed, thus the birth of “Vince McMahon didn’t screw Bret Hart . . . Bret Hart screwed Bret Hart.”

From that point, history would be totally re-written. With the marriage of the Evil Emperor Vince McMahon, to everyone’s favorite rattlesnake “Stone Cold” Steve Austin . . . the wrestling business was never going to be the same again. Vince was absolutely phenomenal in that role. Nobody else would have been better. He spared no expense in doing his part to get Austin over, because at the end of the day, that’s what it was all about. Whatever Ed Ferrara and myself wrote on the blank page, Vince did, no questions asked. He was never inhibited with how foolish he was going to look. As a matter of fact, if my old memory serves me correctly, it was even Vince’s idea for him to piss his own pants to a gun-wielding Stone Cold – a moment that will never be forgotten by anyone who witnessed it.