Ever since the RAW and Smackdown brands divided in half in the Spring of 2002, World Wrestling Entertainment have had a number of General Managers overseeing the show on Monday Nights. The latest being this Monday when John Laurinaitis was named the interim RAW General Manager in what would go down as an infamous episode of RAW. Let us take a look at the men and women who were the main authority figure on RAW from 2002 and beyond.
Please note that guest general managers are not going to be named on list but rather people who ran the ship onRAW.
Ric Flair(April 1st 2002-June 10th 2002)
Technically speaking, Ric Flair was the fifty percent owner of the World Wrestling Federation from 2001-2002 in the storylines, with Vince McMahon obviously holding the other half. Stephanie and Shane McMahon had sold Ric Flair their stock to purchase WCW and ECW, to form the Alliance in the ill fated Invasion. Flair lost his fifty percent of the stock to Vince McMahon on the June 10th 2002 RAW. Vince McMahon would run RAW by default for a few weeks but he would name a General Manager.
Eric Bischoff(July 15th 2002-December 5th 2005)
The man who ran WCW(some would say into the ground) for years, Eric Bischoff was the longest running General Manager of RAW(even if for a period he had two different co General Managers, but more on that later). Eric Bischoff was the original heel authority figure, predating Mr. McMahon for over a year and he played his role rather well. He was eventually put on trial for his various misdeeds throughout his tenure as RAW General Manager and was sent out of the arena in the back of a garbage truck.
Stone Cold Steve Austin(co General Manager with Eric Bischoff, April 28th 2003-November 16th 2003, Sheriff of RAW, December 29th 2003-March 22nd 2004)
Stone Cold Steve Austin, the epitome of an anti-authority character throughout the Attitude Era, was installed by Linda McMahon as Eric Bischoff’s co general manager to try and even out Bischoff’s behaviors. Austin would be fired as General Manager after his team lost to a team of wrestlers picked by Eric Bischoff at the 2003 Survivor Series. After a grassroots effort by Mick Foley, Austin returned as the Sherriff of RAW, riding around on his ATV. Austin would fade out of that role shortly after Wrestlemania 20 and Bischoff would be the supreme leader of RAW to the very end of his time.
Mick Foley(co General Manager with Eric Bischoff from December 1st 2003-December 15th 2003)
Former Commissioner during the tail end of the Attitude Era, Foley was another attempt to keep Eric Bischoff’s power in check but he walked out of a potential match with Randy Orton, thus ending his time short as co General Manager.
After Eric Bischoff was drummed from the company in disgraceful fashion, Vince held a job interview. Such qualified candidates such as Trevor Murdoch, Candice Michelle, and many others were passed up, before Vince ran the show himself for a while until he appointed an Executive Assistant to take care of the menial day to day stuff.
Jonathan Coachman(May 29th 2006-August 6th 2007)
Long time commentator and current ESPN Broadcaster Jonathan Coachman was essentially RAW’s General Manager, with the various McMahons popping up on RAW being the only people who can overrule him. Got beat up by John Cena and DX several times and pretty much a punching bag for the various top babyfaces on RAW.
William Regal(August 6th 2007-May 19th 2008)
William Regal won a battle royal, last eliminating the Sandman to become the RAW General Manager. Sadly, General Manager Sandman was not in the cards. Regal ruled the roost on RAW with class but got drunk with power, after winning the 2008 King of the Ring. He lost a match to Mr. Kennedy, which was actually due to a violation of the WWE Wellness Policy and the fact that he had to sit in time out for sixty days.
In the late spring and early summer of 2008, the General Manager structure was a bit strange. Vince McMahon took the role for a little bit once again, but a falling stage took him out. Then Shane and Stephanie took the role from afar but there was no definite General Manager for a while until the night of July 28th 2008 where a true legend would take the helm. Ladies and Gentlemen, the new RAW General Manager was the one, the only…Ric Flair!
Or at least that was supposed to happen according to Internet rumors but we got this clown instead. And no I don’t mean Doink.
Mike Adamle(July 28th 2008-November 3rd 2008)
Mike Adamle was “Jamaican us crazy” for a few months as the General Manager of RAW. I think that this was WWE sticking a big sweaty middle finger in the face of all of the fans that wanted Ric Flairas RAW General Manager. This man called Jeff Hardy, “Jeff Harvey” on his first night in the company. If someone can’t be bothered to learn the names of the top stars of the wrestling company that he’s working for than he should be fired.
Stephanie McMahon(November 3rd 2008-April 6th 2009)
With Vickie Guerrero filling in when Randy Orton had taken out Stephanie McMahon for a few weeks here and there on the RAW. Stephanie had one half of the McMahon-Helmsley era, the owner of ECW during the Invasion era, and the Smackdown General Manager from 2008-2009. Plus given that her pops is Vince McMahon, she must have picked up a few things about running a wrestling show. Not really all that memorable.
Vickie Guerrero(April 6th 2009-June 8th 2009)
Vickie was brought to RAW as the full time General Manager after Wrestlemania 25, after serving as the Smackdown General Manager for years. Then she left to spend more time with her daughters. Not before getting quite the humiliating write off for the show although she would return later that year.
Donald Trump(June 15th 2009-June 22nd 2009)
Yes indeed that Donald Trump, he of legendary hair, had purchased the rights to RAW. Not the entire WWE, but just RAW. And he left quite a mark, with a commercial free RAW, refunding the fans their money, and announcing the guest host concept that would rule RAW. It’s my understanding that Trump was intended to be a longer term part of the show but his schedule wouldn’t allow it. So he sold RAW back to Vince McMahon for twice the price.
The RAW Guest Hosts had the power to make the matches and also mangle both the names of wrestlers and some event names as well. I do wonder if the Miz is still banned from the Summerfest or if that ban has been lifted. On May 10th 2010, a more permanent General Manager was announced. Vickie Guerrero was GM for a week but Randy Orton intimidated her into quitting.
Bret Hart(May 24th 2010-June 21st 2010)
The former five time World Wrestling Federation Champion Bret Hart became General Manager of RAW and given the circumstances, he was one of the fairer man to run RAW, despite it being for a short time. The Nexus ended his time in the sun with a beating.
So who would replace the legendary Bret Hart? Would you believe a laptop?
The Anonymous RAW General Manager(June 21st 2010-October 10th 2011)
For around a year, there was a person who had refused to show his face on RAW, who had communicated through a laptop, with Michael Cole reading e-mail messages. Numerous hints have been dropped about the identity and we wondered for a while who was sending the e-mails. The Anonymous RAW General Manager was…HEY LOOK OVER THERE!
Triple H did have an amount of authority on RAW after getting named the COO on July 18th 2011 but he lost his power on October 10th 2011.
John Laurinaitis(October 10th 2011-June 17th 2012)
Mrs. Baba’s favorite wrestler, one half of the legendary Dynamite Dudes with Shane Douglas, and current Exectuive Vice President of Talent Relations, John Laurnitatis was named as the interim RAW General Manager. It remains to be seen how he runs RAW, although he once hired the wrong one legged wrestler and does his talent scouting for the divas out of swimsuit catalogs. Laurinaitis ran roughshot on RAW for close to a years time. However his time appeared to be up when John Cena defeated the Big Show at No Way Out. Mr. McMahon said the two magic words and Johnny was out of there. For now.
There you have it, the men and women who have run RAW from 2002 to the present day.http://sportales.com/wrestling/the-history-of-wwe-raw-authority-figures/