Authority. For some reason, pop culture conditions us to undermine it. From music to movies to TV shows, we’re pelted with one uncompromising message.
Resist. Fight. Rise up against the Man. Not Becky Lynch obviously, we like her.
Yet where would be be without authority? It’s the glue that binds our ragtag society together. It provides order, lays out the rules and ensures that each of us stay in our lanes.
Take that away and we’re all just a bunch of inconsiderate marauders. Blitzing through red lights, spray painting orphanages and – shudder – wearing white after Labor Day. We might as well stock up on canned foods and move into the Thunder Dome by that point.
Fortunately, wrestling acknowledges our implicit desire for order and has found no shortage of people willing to impart that discipline. People who will gladly pick up the shield and, for the common good, withstand the barrage of obscenities while they keep us in line.
I’m talking about wrestling authority figures. Every promotion has them and, as crazy as this sounds in 2018, some have even been good. Others, of course, anointed themselves World Champion, got sued by Hulk Hogan and almost single-handedly collapsed an entire promotion. I could name fifty people in this list and still not get to that imbecile.
So instead we’ll confine ourselves to the best authority figures in wrestling. The cream of the crop. Those whose charisma, morality and assertiveness gave the show direction, created weekly intrigue and, crucially, improved the product.
When reading this list, bear in mind that most of the following people were creatures of their time. While they may not be the authority figures we want right now, they were certainly the authority figures we needed back then.