WWEditorials Ep. IV: The Authority
By: J. Johnson
Since SummerSlam 2013, the Authority has been the most important group in WWE. As the evil overlords, they have sought to create a new WWE in their vision, pushing their favorites instead of the fan favorites. Initially, the Authority was an excellent stable, and their involvement in Bryan’s main event ascent led to one of the best storylines in recent memory.
However, over the past year, the Authority has struggled to bring anything positive to WWE programming. In fact, they’ve actually caused a lot of problems. From recycled storylines, to repetitive promos, to confusing presentation, to an overemphasis on their own characters on RAW, the Authority has actually done more harm than good.
This article will present ten reasons why the Authority has become highly problematic for WWE, both from a storyline perspective and from a practical understanding. If the Authority had been presented properly, then they would be getting the right kind of reaction from the crowd, i.e. ‘we boo you because we hate your characters’. Instead, the general consensus regarding the Authority is, ‘we boo you because you’re boring and repetitive’.
This is the wrong kind of reaction that the Authority is getting, and how the characters are presented on WWE programming is actually more destructive than it is constructive. So why have they actually been so bad for business? Because…
It’s outdated! For some reason, WWE’s management still think that the concept of an omnipotent authority figure holding dominion over the entire company is still something new and exciting. In reality, that is a very archaic concept. It’s 2015, and no one really cares about on-screen authority figures. The overwhelming majority of fans know that it’s Vince who still runs the company, and that all of the on-screen characters are simply extensions of his desires. Because of that, the Authority is kind of redundant.
On a storyline level, the Authority just screams ‘Mr. McMahon 2.0’, with many of the storyline elements, characters, and booking philosophies eerily reminiscent of the Austin/McMahon saga of the late 1990s. Because of that, the Authority doesn’t really bring anything novel to the table, with the sole exception of being shameless marketing shills for WWE’s products.
The truth is, RAW would be much better if, either the Authority’s prominence was reduced significantly, or if they disappeared from RAW altogether. They don’t really contribute anything new to the show, anyway.
When was the last time RAW started with a match?
For the better part of two years, every single episode of Monday Night RAW has opened with a promo, and the majority of those promos were cut by the Authority, either as an entire group, or by one of their representatives.
Maybe it’s because WWE Superstars is taped before RAW, and viewers get plenty of action from that show, but for the fans that don’t watch that show and tune in to see RAW every Monday, the notion of seeing a promo take place to open the show has led to a horribly predictable and repetitive show.
Not only that, but the Authority’s promos themselves are incredibly repetitive. For the most part, all of the Authority’s promos have the same elements:
Stephanie: ‘Welcome to RAW’. <Condescending promo about how they’re better than everyone else.>
HHH: ‘That’s right, Steph.’
Stephanie: ‘You can re-live our victory a million times by subscribing to the WWE Network for just $9.99.’
Seth Rollins: ‘I’m the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, and I’ll keep this belt for a long time’ (thanks to interference from the Authority).
Kane (while channeling his inner Teddy Long): ‘As Director of Operations, I’m booking a tag team main event, because…’
All of them together: ‘That’s what’s best for business’.
Apart from a few odd remarks and snide insults, this is pretty much the general composition of every single Authority promo, yet they repeat themselves regularly, expecting fans to forget what happened a few weeks ago. This is why the Authority will never come even remotely close to Mr. McMahon, and why they’re more of a problem than an asset: there’s little to nothing truly new about them.